The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best To Do List App
The Situation at Hand
Effective restaurant management requires timely execution of numerous tasks, along with prompt incorporation of corrective measures.
As the restaurant industry is one of the most demanding sectors, it requires a brilliant scheduling system that can facilitate all that is required. This includes convenient task management, cascading duties, and responsibilities on short notice, and more.
Also, as restaurant employees are almost always on-the-go, it becomes necessary to use a task management tool that can be accessed from almost anywhere, because posting a printout in the break room just won't do.
The most convenient alternative would be a to do list app, which can be accessed from a smartphone, tablet, or a computer. To get a better understanding of why we recommend using a to do list app, let's take a look at some of the common challenges faced by restaurateurs.
Challenges Involved in Running a Restaurant
Running a restaurant requires an enormous amount of effort, and the restaurant's staff members are often overburdened with a long list of things to do. Quite often, this list is dynamic in nature as the restaurant industry revolves around customer satisfaction.
The dynamic nature of this industry requires frequent substitution and reallocation of tasks. So if a restaurant manager chose to stick a to do list somewhere in the break-room, then he/she could be in for some serious trouble.
The other alternative is to hold frequent meetings or discussions to reassign tasks, which can result in loss of time. So, restaurant managers need to find a more productive way of doing this, which is indeed difficult.
That's mainly because there's always someone working at the restaurant, even while they aren't open to customers. There's always someone who's storing the food and monitoring its temperature or cleaning up before the place opens up for its customers.
As the restaurant industry is one that works round-the-clock, there is a sheer need for a way to stay connected 24x7 with the staff. Since 9 out of 10 restaurants employ less than fifty employees, the intranet is definitely not going to be a desirable or financially viable option.
An easy way out is to make use of one of the many to do list apps that facilitate task management through a wide range of devices. However, just any to do list app won't do.
So, you definitely need one that goes beyond merely listing tasks and creates an ecosystem for you to interact with. Let us now look into some of the best traits that restaurateurs should look for, in an ideal to do list app.
Core Features of an Ideal To Do List App
With so many to do list apps available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. So, to simplify this process for managers and restaurateurs, here is a list of some of the most desirable features that you must look for while narrowing your options down to one particular application.
1. Promotes Team Management
Managing a restaurant is all about managing a team that works together to accomplish a common goal customer satisfaction.
This involves several tasks such as inventory management, maintenance, storage, and several others. According to statistics, 9 out of 10 restaurant managers started their careers at entry-level. A majority of those managers embraced technology and made use of it to simplify task management.
So, if you own or manage a restaurant, don't neglect technology. Instead, embrace it and the best way to start is by making use of a to do list app, which lets you manage a large team effortlessly.
2. Easy Delegation of Work
The majority of those working in the restaurant industry usually don't get the weekends off, but managers still need to tactfully plan who gets what days off. This makes delegation of work a tedious process, especially when staff members miss a shift or call out.
Also, there are times when tasks need to be shuffled around in order to speed up the entire process. So, you simply cannot implement a to do list app that does not let managers delegate work with the click of a button.
3. Facilitates Communication
As a restaurant owner, you probably schedule weekly tasks for your staff and then reorganize it according to the need of the hour.
While this is the common approach, it often leads to a series of last-minute calls and that results in a loss of time.
The easiest solution would be to have a task management app that also lets you communicate with your team. There are some to-do list apps, like Zip Checklist, that go that extra mile and offer an interface for the whole team to communicate.
4. Allows for Simple Alterations
There are times when restaurants are flooded with customers, while there are also those dry days when there's hardly any traffic at the restaurant.
Since restaurant managers need to deal with both of these situations with the same headcount, there is every possibility of an error. This may require that the manager recommend corrective measures or assign the task to someone else.
So, make it a point to look for a feature in the task management or in the app that enables you to recommend corrective measures.
This is where apps like the Zip Checklist check all the boxes, because they not only let users delegate tasks but also lets them follow-up and send acknowledgments. So if an employee does not show up to work and there are five others who are on their day off, you could easily determine who is available to fill in and contact that available employee.
5. Facilitates Digital Record Maintenance
There is a lot of regulatory compliance that's expected from the food and restaurant industry, and the easiest way to keep up with that is by making use of technology. Just imagine how convenient it would be if you could store records, modify standard operating procedures, and issue task guidelines from your to do list app.
You could even show these records to health inspectors or other regulatory authorities with just a click.
6. Accessible on Any Platform
Restaurant employees seldom have the luxury of sitting behind a desk and working on their computers. Most of them are either engaged in serving, inventory management, cooking, maintenance, storage, or related tasks.
So, it becomes critical to make use of a task management mechanism that can be accessed through any platform computers, tablets, or smartphones. This is precisely what you should look for while choosing a to do list app for your smartphone.
7. Reminders and Alerts
With so many things to do, it is not uncommon for restaurant staff to forget their next task. The only way out is to set reminders and alerts using another application, which can be annoying and time-consuming.
However, there are to do list apps, like Zip Checklist, that let users receive task manager alerts, which remind them of what needs to be done. This is extremely important in a restaurant because any lapse could result in dire consequences.
For example, if an employee in charge of the storage forgets to set the temperature within a specific range, the food will go bad and ultimately go to waste. This is highly undesirable, as it would not only lead to loss of revenues but also result in non-compliance with the guidelines put forth by the concerned authorities.
Restaurants usually hire a diverse group and it isn't uncommon to hire natives for a specific type of cuisine. For example, you need to take into account that if your authentic sushi restaurant employs a Japanese chef, it is a good idea to select an app that operates in various languages.
Benefits of To Do List Apps in the Restaurant Industry
According to 95 percent of restaurant owners, making use of technology has increased business efficiency. This is mainly because technology allows restaurateurs to deploy their resources in a more effective manner. With that said, let us now discuss some of the benefits of using a to do list app in the restaurant industry.
1. Helps Work in an Orderly Manner
Restaurateurs need to make instant decisions when it comes to allocating tasks, which can be intimidating, if done without the use of technology.
One needs to skim through various timesheets to figure out who is available, just to reassign a task. However, with the use of an advanced to do list app, this shortcoming can be eliminated.
You can easily locate available resources with the click of a button and find out who is willing to handle an extra task.
You can also figure out which employee has completed all the assigned tasks and is available at the moment. This helps reduce a great deal of pressure and helps management make quick decisions.
2. Ensures Accountability
A restaurant works as a team and everyone needs to do their job to ensure customer satisfaction. This can only happen when there is a clear allocation of the various tasks and prompt substitution of resources, as and when it is required.
That can easily be done through a to-do list app, which is a great tool when it comes to ensuring accountability. It eliminates every possibility of excuses, as there is an effective allocation of work, which is constantly followed upon.
3. Enables Managers to Track Task Status
Although not all to-do list apps offer this function, the best ones do because they let managers and the staff access it in real-time data.
This lets managers stay up-to-date with what their staff is doing at any given moment. It also allows them to track the status of each task and confirm whether the assigned tasks have been completed.
4. Helps Prioritize
In the restaurant industry, there's always very little time and a lot needs to be done within that limited timeframe. This is where a task management app or a to do list app makes things easier by allowing managers and employees to prioritize the most important tasks, as this ensures better productivity, so you are assured of higher customer satisfaction.
5. Minimizes Stress
Managing a restaurant is extremely stressful and this won't change with a shift scheduler. However, by using a to do list app that enables communication and facilitates timely substitution, the management team can heave a sigh of relief.
This allows the manager to focus on other revenue-generating tasks, such as planning and implementing promotional campaigns.
The only way to simplify the complex restaurant-related operations is through communication and interaction.
However, in an industry that hardly has any time for that, written communication is the best way out. To do that in the most effective manner, take into account the abovementioned suggestions along with your individual needs and regulatory requirements. This will help you narrow down to the best to do list app for your restaurant.