Categorized | Smart Phone App

Find Out What’s Hot in Labor Cost Control

Find Out What’s Hot in Labor Cost ControlQ: Tell me a little bit about HotSchedules and how it came about.

A: Ray Pawlikowski and David Cantu started HotSchedules in 1999 after working together at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and living through the pains of creating, maintaining and accessing weekly restaurant work schedules. It was a thankless chore that needed a major overhaul from both the managers’ and employees’ perspectives. Ultimately, the HotSchedules team wanted to make restaurant employees lives better, and we believed that providing schedule flexibility was the foundation.

Q: Tell me about the products you created to address those needs.

A: HotSchedules has a suite of solutions suited to any size restaurant, be it independent or multi-unit. Our entry-level scheduling solution, called Team, includes everything needed to create and manage schedules, generate valuable reports and communicate with staff. Our Workforce solution is just like Team, but is integrated with the point-of-sale system so that more detailed sales data can be obtained for forecasting purposes. It also allows for actual overtime alerting and enforced punctuality – two features that save our customers a lot of expense. Our Digital Logbook is an online version of the manager’s log and allows customers to keep detailed, spell-checked, digital records that are time-stamped and easily searchable.

Along with these products, customers can purchase add-on components to customize their solution to suit their unique needs. Items such as Meal Period Planner allow customers to build-in state-mandated employee breaks so they are compliant with the law.

Find Out What’s Hot in Labor Cost ControlQ: How are HotSchedules’ solutions accessed?

A: All of our solutions can be accessed in a variety of ways, including any internet-connected computer, via our bilingual support desk, or via smartphone, using our mobile apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. More information about the app can be found on

Q: What do your customers use the app for specifically?

A: A few of the activities staff members can use the app for include, being alerted via text when their work schedule is posted, viewing the schedule, releasing shifts, putting in requests to swap shifts and seeing who they are working with. Managers can use their HotSchedules app to approve or deny shift change requests, view the daily roster and make and review logbook entries.

Q: Are you introducing any new products?

A: We introduce enhancements to our products all the time. Because our solutions are delivered via the cloud, we can push improvements out to our user-base very consistentlyand we do. New software releases go out every 6 weeks.

We’ve also just launched a new eLearning capability that is being used for training new HotSchedules customers. Training material is now accessible on-demand and is immediately updatable as needed. In the future, this capability can be extended to allow our customers to eliminate the cost of printing employee manuals, tests and quizzes, menus, human resource documentation and more.

Q: Do you have any product demonstrations or interesting videos?

A: Anyone interested in HotSchedules can request a free demonstration any time by contacting [email protected] or calling (866) 539-5156. They can also view the demonstration online at

Q: Why should someone choose HotSchedules over any other solution?

A: HotSchedules is unique in many ways. First, is our unparalleled customer support. We believe in being our customers’ trusted partner and are committed to service levels that simply aren’t achievable by most companies. We offer live support in English and Spanish, 7 days a week, as well as a 24-hour automated service year round.

Perhaps more importantly, our track record speaks for itself. Ask any of our customers – any of them – and see what they think of HotSchedules. It truly saves them time and money, and makes for a better work environment for their employees. And if they ever have an issue of any sort, they know they can call us and get it resolved quickly and without hassle.

Q: How many customers do you currently have?

A: HotSchedules currently has 6,000 customer locations and over 650,000 users, including PF. Chang’s China Bistro, Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s, Chili’s, Jamba Juice, Pluckers, The Tilted Kilt, Roaring Fork, Texas Roadhouse, BJ’s, Carino’s, CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, TS Restaurants and many more.

Q: Do you only provide service to restaurants?

A: No. Though restaurants are clearly where we got our start, we have extended into many other industries, including medical clinics, valet services, hotels, casinos, and more. Anywhere that hourly employees are being scheduled, we can help.

Q: What kind of return on investment do your customers experience?

A: Most of our customers see an immediate reduction in labor costs when they begin using HotSchedules – up to 1.5%, and some say even more than that. Users of our solutions also claim to greatly reduce the time invested in creating, updating and maintaining employee schedules – up to 75%! Finally, users of our Digital Logbook solution spend next to no time at all searching for store records that previously took them hours, even days, to locate.

And those are just the hard ROI numbers. Additional soft ROI savings include, balancing the work-life schedules of employees and managers, so they are happier and more satisfied in their jobs. Happier employees typically lead to happier customers too.

Find Out What’s Hot in Labor Cost ControlQ: What else is interesting about HotSchedules?

A: For those who want to keep up with what’s going on at HotSchedules, get Hot Tips for using the software effectively, and hear about industry trends, they can follow us on Twitter: @HotSchedules, like us on Facebook and read our blog. Additionally, our YouTube channel, HotSchedulesTV,features not only product demonstration videos, but also videos created by our customers. HotSchedules has held two video contests with our customers, and the response has been overwhelming. Below are some funny and entertaining video examples of what our customers think about HotSchedules:

  • HotSchedules Saved My Life:


  • Terror in the Woods:


  • Creative Schedule Creation:


Q: Is HotSchedules growing?

A: Yes, in spite of the tough economic times, HotSchedules continues to grow. We are currently hiring in a number of different areas, and recently won best workplace awards from two Austin, TX-based publications. Learn more at

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