With HotSchedules, you have a labor management tool that can help you to succeed in one of the most challenging aspects of running a business: scheduling. Read on to learn what you need to know about Hotschedules and how it can work for you.
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Whether you are a restaurant, boutique, maintenance provider, or literally any other company using a schedule, this app can help save you time and money. Read on to learn how HotSchedules can streamline your operation and make your workforce more productive and profitable.
What Is HotSchedules?
HotSchedules (now called Fourth) is scheduling software that helps managers and business owners automate their employee scheduling, specifically in businesses in the hospitality industry, such as restaurants.
It streamlines the process for managers and allows employees to play a part in the planning process. No matter how large your business is, there’s no question that automating scheduling can save you time and money on staff costs.
That’s why HotSchedules offers a cloud-based product that can help to facilitate a variety of tasks. Let’s dig a little deeper and check out all of its bells and whistles.
The Three Services
HotSchedules offers three distinct services that focus on assisting you with staffing issues. These services are:
- HotSchedules – This is the core of the product, its scheduling service.
- HotSchedules Recruit – Want to find quality candidates to fill open positions easily? Then is service can help.
- HotSchedules Train – This online training system helps to make the training process easy for both the management and the staff.
While this is likely all you’ll need, the company is always seeking new ways to innovate. As a result, you can likely expect to see plenty more products roll out in the future.
Best Features Of HotSchedules
Back in its humble beginnings, HotSchedules was a website for restaurant employees to log in and view their schedules. It’s now become a collection of services under the banner of HotSchedules that addresses several aspects of management, but this is its core service.
HotSchedules is web-based, but you and your employees can connect using a host of HotSchedules apps on Androids, iPhones, mobile Windows devices, and iPad.
These apps are “all-in-one” scheduling apps that make it easy to create schedules, manage schedules, and communicate with employees.
HotSchedules also allows you to place messages for the entire company to see on its app. If employees check their schedules frequently, then it’s a great way to communicate things to them since messages pop right up when they open the app. You can also send messages to specific employees through the app.
Makes Scheduling Easy
You can easily find all scheduling information in one convenient place with HotSchedules including employee availability and requests for time off.
Managers can approve schedule changes, shift changes (such as pick up shifts or release shifts) and vacation requests right from the app and the schedule will update automatically.
Employees instantly see any changes made to the work schedule on their own apps, which helps to eliminate the need for time-consuming games of phone tag or emails back and forth.
Predict the Future
Another handy feature of HotSchedules is that it uses labor and sales data from your POS terminals to predict schedules in the future, up to a month out. The reports can help you to have a better grasp of the performance of your employees and your business, so you can constantly make changes in order to improve.
According to HotSchedules, you can create schedules up to 70 percent faster and can save up to 2 percent on labors costs by using the data provided to make better scheduling and forecasting decisions.
When you manage a business, finding quality team members that want to stick around can be a constant battle. That means it can take a lot of time and effort to find the right person to fill a position.
And that takes away from all the other things you need to do to ensure your business is running well. HotSchedules can help you with that.
Their Recruit service takes advantage of your own employees’ social networks to find competent candidates in a more cost-effective and efficient way than traditional job advertisements.
All you do is create a profile for your business that potential candidates see in HotSchedules Recruit, as well as any available openings. You simply refresh it every month to ensure that openings stay visible.
Chances are, your business will already be listed in the system, but once you verify it and customize, the jobs posts will be ready to go.
Any candidates for open positions can be communicated with right through the app using the dashboard. This service also rates candidates, making it easier for you to separate the good from the bad.
Then, once you hire someone, you import their information into your HotSchedules and they’re ready to get started.
Keeping staff up to date on trainings is a challenge for any manager and business owner, especially if you manage more than one location. You can ensure that training remains consistent with the help of HotSchedules Train.
No employee wants to watch a training video from 2004 or read through some boring manual. HotSchedules Train is powered by Schoox and it helps you to create a curriculum that meets the unique needs of your business.
You can spice up your trainings by generating your own customized and branded online training academy, then assign it by location or job within the company.
You can input publicly available courses or use the free training course offered by HotSchedules. Of course, you can always create your own content by adding videos, lectures, images, or anything else you think your employees will find engaging and valuable.
HotSchedules Train can also help with compliance. Through their partnership with 360training.com, you gain access to dozens of compliance videos that you can use for training purposes.
HotSchedules Helps Increase Productivity
With the HotSchedules platform, you also receive five different services that put the focus on increasing and maintaining the productivity of your business. These services include:
When your business operates over more than one location, you need to ensure a consistent customer experience across every single location. That means you have to have a solid set of consistent protocols and processes.
A business normally uses a series of checklists to get this done, providing that you find some way to manage, track, and collate all that information together. HotSchedules Logbook offers you a mobile solution to this time-consuming problem.
Bring Lists Into the 21st Century
Logbook brings your paper lists online, allowing you and your staff to mark when tasks have been completed and who completed them. You can then use the app to monitor any shift information, log notes from the shift, store documents, and schedule to-dos if you want or need to.
Shift notes can include any guest complaints, sales notes, accidents, or any other information to be stored all in one place. You can then use Logbook’s search function to find what you want when you need it.
Make Tasks Universal
Logbook also provides you with a collection of universal task lists that you and your staff can use. You can also create your own custom lists to meet the needs of your unique business.
Communication and notifications are also easy to use in Logbook, allowing you to broadcast messages to individuals or all staff or to comment on individual line items.
You can take pictures with your mobile device to add to a to-do list or task. You’ll also receive notifications when you receive messages or tasks come due.
The Wonderful World of Widgets
One of the best additional features to Logbook is the widgets. You can see the daily weather forecast, employee’s daily tasks, and uncovered shifts with the variety of widgets available through HotSchedules Logbook.
The Manager’s Red Book
HotSchedules understands that digital and online checklists and systems are great. But sometimes there’s just no replacement for something you can hold in your hands. That is exactly what the Manager’s Red Book is.
It serves much the same purpose as the Logbook, but it’s a product line for printed books offered through Red Book Solutions, a Hotschedules company.
They offer literally hundreds of different books to meet your needs. In fact, they offer books for 14 different industries. You can find:
- Preshift huddle guides
- Reservation books
- Audit books
- Deposit logs
- And more!
It’s worth a look to check out this section of HotSchedules to see if there’s a book that could help you manage your business more effectively. If there’s not, there’s always an option to create a custom book just for you.
There’s also a companion app just for the Manager’s Red Book so you can combine low-tech with hi-tech to accomplish what you need both online and off.
Gathering the data and crunching the numbers to run your business is a lot of hard work. Just getting data from one location in a timely manner can be a huge task.
Combining all that data together to help you get better results is even more difficult. But it’s work that must be done to get the best financial results.
HotSchedules understand that this is a challenge for many business owners and managers, which is why they created HotSchedules Reveal.
This mobile app for Apple and Android helps you gather data from the POS systems in your stores, your HotSchedules system itself, and any other sources you need.
The data is moved to the Hotschedules cloud servers where it’s crunched for you. The analytic and transactional results are then available for you to look over. It’s like a miracle.
There’s a KPI for That
From the get-go, Reveal can generate up to 24 different site-specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you understand what’s going on across the different locations of your business. A few of the KPIs available include:
- Labor hours
- Nets sales for one location or all locations
- Guest check averages
- Guest counts
- Product mix
- Labor cost over sales
Speed of Service
You can view all KPIs in real time from your mobile device so you can take action to fix problems as they occur. The analytic power it puts at your fingertips saves you the time and energy to focus on other aspects of your business too.
Such as feedback and ratings on social media pages. Reveal also integrates with Yelp to help gather up all this information so you can see how things such as ratings impact your sales and your visitors.
The HotSchedules team is currently working to develop dashboards for Reveal that will allow you to create custom KPIs and provide support for additional languages and currencies. You know, in case you ever want to take your business international.
Managing inventory and vendors for any size business can be a real pain. Spreadsheets have been the go-to for years to keep track of all this information.
But it can still be difficult to find specific items on demand without combing through a bunch of spreadsheets first. This is where HotSchedules Inventory can really make a difference.
This function is an inventory management system created to help you deal with inventory efficiently and quickly on your mobile device. HotSchedules Inventory has three main benefits. They are:
- Control waste and costs – With HotSchedules Inventory, you can easily count and monitor your inventory to help reduce cost and waste. It also helps you to keep tabs on internal theft.
- Inventory right on your phone – On-hand inventory is available in real time, right on your mobile device. You can even organize the inventory order to match how the physical inventory is shelved in order to make it easy to count. If you’re running low on an item, then you can order it right through the app.
- Manage vendors – You can add or delete vendors on the app as well as download vendor catalogs to check pricing. You can also print or download purchase orders, or generate new orders
HotSchedules Inventory is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. It utilizes a few features to make this possible such as:
- Count by location
- Left-handed or right-handed data entry
- Count by location
Enterprise Back Office
Managers have to gather and analyze massive amounts of information and too often these pieces of information live on different systems.
That means managers spend an inordinate amount of time crunching numbers from one system to the next, with an outdated and cumbersome way of doing things, instead of focusing on other duties.
If you want to be able to focus on different aspects of the business, then what you need to do is combine all crucial information on one system. With Enterprise Back Office, you can do that.
With Enterprise Back Office, you can:
- Predict and manage inventory and costs
- Control pricing and portions
- Reward customer loyalty
- Make decisions driven by real data
- Generate and analyze business intelligence
- Provide self-service scheduling
This feature is designed to work on mobile devices, which makes it a very convenient tool for you.
Even More Features
HotSchedules is a pretty powerful tool already, but it offers a few more specific modules to make it even more powerful for your business. These modules include:
- Activity-based forecasting – This helps to predict scheduling based on past sales, weather, guest counts, and other historical info. You can generate shifts and forecasts automatically based on the information available here.
- Above store console – You can get reports on overtime, sales, labor, and more across multiple locations. It also makes it easy to distribute videos, polls, surveys and other communications across your organization.
- Affordable care advisor – You can control health costs for your company by scheduling appropriately. You can even set hourly limits for various employees to help control costs through the ACA.
- PayControl – This provides accurate time reporting and records for payroll. It also helps to apply appropriate labor laws to your business.
Plans and Pricing
So, you’re probably thinking that all of the features offered by HotSchedules sound pretty great. But how much is it going to cost you? HotSchedules operates on a subscription-based pricing model.
That means pricing is based on the number of users on your system from month to month. You must call the company to get a quote based on what features you want. For the Essential Plan, you will spend $2 per employee per month.
For the Plus Plan, you’ll spend $4 per month. And finally, for the Advanced plan, pricing is not published. The good news is that maintenance costs, recurring/renewal costs, and installation and implementation costs are included in your subscription fee.
Any customizations for different modules and data migration costs will vary depending on what you need. Apps aren’t free either and there’s a cost to download them on every device.
HotSchedules does offer a free trial, so it’s something to consider if you want to try it on for size. You can go to their website, hotschedules.com, to get started.
HotSchedules has a support link on every page of the site that will take you to its customer care page. From there, you’ll see a variety of ways to contact support.
There’s also a community forum to post questions and an FAQ section you can look through to get help.
Is HotSchedules Right for You?
If you run a business that would benefit from real-time metrics, then HotSchedules may be for you. We think HotSchedules has a lot to offer, including incredible ease of use.
And it’s one of the few pieces of management software that can actually help your small business to run smoothly and be more profitable.