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HotSchedules Continues to Improve Business for Restaurants

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happy people are working at the restaurant

We’ve all had that one terrible restaurant experience. They took forever to get you seated, it took an hour for the waitress to even take your drink order, the food came out cold and by the end of your visit, you wondered how the place even stayed in business.

HotSchedules is designed to prevent that from happening by helping people in the hospitality industry work smarter through technology. The company’s latest innovation, Clarifi, is the first cloud-based intelligent restaurant operating platform. This tool leverages their vast industry knowledge and ever-expanding collection of data to proactively help managers perform at their very best, day in and day out.

RewardExpert recently had the pleasure of speaking with David Cantu, Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at HotSchedules.

History of the Company

HotSchedules was formed in 1999 when restaurateurs David Cantu and Ray Pawlikowski combined their shared knowledge of the industry to help restaurants and their employees work smarter through the use of technology.

“Every day, we wake up with a passion to unlock the very best in those who serve others,” said Cantu. “We do this through a laser focus on: (1) creating solutions that help operators, managers and staff perform at their very best, (2) ensuring our solutions around people, product and operations scale and perform at the level our customers demand and (3) continuously innovating to proactively address critical issues that keep our customers and prospects up at night.”

“As we’ve grown and evolved, so have our customers, which include over 2.8 million users across 159,000 locations in 56 countries and counting. This didn’t happen by chance, nor did it happen overnight.”

From their humble beginnings as an online scheduling and communication application, through their transformation into a provider of best-of-breed labor management, task management, e-learning and enterprise back-office solutions, the team at HotSchedules had learned a lot over the past two decades.

“We’ve taken those lessons as well as the research and insights from our trusted industry partners to uncover what operators truly need to stay competitive in this complex operating environment,” explained Cantu.

Great Restaurants Come From Great Management

At the heart of every great restaurant, you will find a great management team. But great managers are in short supply.

Great Restaurants Come From Great Management with HotSchedules
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“The highest performing restaurants have one very important factor in common,” said Cantu, “they have great managers who focus on the activities that drive the right results.”

But that’s not an easy task when there’s so much unpredictability in the restaurant industry. Their goal is to serve up data to managers and employees in meaningful ways through actionable insights. This could be anything from an event-driven advanced forecast, an alert that a temperature is out of range or a recommendation on how to use an overage on chicken to maximize revenue opportunities.

Clarifi is the first cloud-based intelligent restaurant operating platform that enables great guest experiences by empowering teams to prepare and perform in the face of the unpredictable. Built with the operator’s success in mind, the program is an intelligent, integrated and modular platform that solves the people, product and operational challenges through its Foundation, Labor, Inventory, Financials & Cash, Asset Management and Talent Development Modules.

“It’s the first back office platform to marry business rules with internal and external data and turn it into intelligent insights that help managers forecast needs, control costs, maintain compliance, grow top line revenue and drive consistent operations.”

The Platform That Serves Those Who Serve

HotSchedules technology is designed to help restaurants work smarter by optimizing their labor, developing and training their staff, maintaining compliance, growing their revenue and more.

The HotSchedules suite of solutions helps restaurants with:

1. People:

  • Labor
  • Time & Attendance
  • Training & Development
  • Engagement

2. Products:

  • Inventory
  • Production
  • Recipes & Nutrition

3. Operations:

  • Forecasting
  • Food Safety
  • Assets
  • Vendors
  • Financials & Cash Management


  • Pre-built integrations
  • Common Standards (Bluetooth, etc.)
  • APIs
  • Development Kits

Improving the Work-Life Balance

Improving the Work-Life Balance with HotSchedules
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Maintaining a good work-life balance and schedule flexibility can be a challenge when employees have competing priorities. For example, many restaurants employ students and part-time workers who may have varying time-off requests and needs. But HotSchedules has this covered.

“HotSchedules’ all-in-one employee scheduling tools make it easy for employees to create, communicate and manage their work schedules,” explained Cantu. “Employees are able to use HotSchedules to manage their schedules, create a seamless way to track shifts, see future shifts and drop and pick up shifts—all helping restaurant employees better balance their lives without compromising staffing at their restaurant. Our robust labor management solutions can reduce labor costs by as much as 2 to 4 percent.”

Big Names Support and Use HotSchedules

There are some big names in the restaurant industry who use the HotSchedules platform to keep their ranking. That is largely because of the Clarifi Talent Development solution and how it benefits organizations.

It not only offers an easy to use learning and performance management system that handles everything from new hire and manager training to compliance tracking and everyday shift work, it also develops internal talent to keep them on the right career path. The robust, real time reporting tools connect sales data to training results so that human resource teams can show the business impact of learning and development initiatives.

“We power employee learning and development for brands like Subway, Five Guys Burger & Fries, Sprinkles, Newk’s Eatery, Brinker International and Alamo Drafthouse,” said Cantu.

In fact, more than 400 hospitality brands delivered 6.8 million courses and tracked the completion of 1.5 million certifications in 2017 alone. The company was also named a Top Rated Corporate Learning Management System by TrustRadius in 2018, received the Brandon Hall Award for Best Use of Learning Management System in 2017, and has strategic content and certification partnerships with and Discoverlink.

“HotSchedules has been the gold standard for scheduling, communication, forecasting and labor management since 1999.” Since the company was built by restaurateurs for restaurateurs, they are able to attract great restaurant brands such as Papa John’s, Cheesecake Factory, Del Frisco’s, Domino’s Pizza, Shake Shack and P. F Chang’s.

“We truly believe in serving those who serve others, which is why today, we have over 2.8 million users on a platform and a five-star rating in the iTunes App Store. We pride ourselves in taking care of our customers, investing more in the research and development of our solutions, and listening to our customers’ needs through our Customer Advisory Board and annual SPARK user-conference. We’re also passionate about moving this industry forward with next-generation technology. “

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