Switching Back of House systems can be a big and challenging project. If you’re currently transitioning from TACO to eRestaurant– or about to transition – avoid the headaches. Learn common pitfalls and strategies for success from home office and store leaders who have been through the process.
In Part 2 of this series, our panel of experts responds to questions from Taco Bell home office and above store leaders on what it takes to properly close out stores using eRestaurant, prevent Show Stoppers, and avoid polling problems.
- Sharla Harris: Director of Training, Border Foods
- Lynette Williamson: Client Success Manager, Delaget
- Kent Farris: Restaurant General Manager, Border Foods
Q: How do you properly close your stores with eRestaurant?
There are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure your stores are properly closed with eRestaurant. First, you’ll want to close your cash office by polling and closing all registers. Next, you’ll close out your inventory. To do that, you’ll print the count sheet, count the inventory, enter it, and then post it. Finally, you’ll need to close payroll. When you do this, do not edit times in eRestaurant. Always do it on the POS. All these steps should take you around 10 minutes to complete.
Q: What can restaurants do so files can be polled by Delaget or other reporting vendors?
The most important thing to do is review your workflow in eRestaurant. Everything you have to complete in your workflow will be shown as red, yellow, or green. You need to make sure everything is in the “green.”
A common error we’ve found occurs when the system isn’t polling the front of house correctly. This happens because the time clock data hasn’t been closed out properly, so it’s not going to poll.
Another issue could be that inventory hasn’t posted correctly. When you’re posting inventory, click the “Post” button. A warning message may or may not appear. If it does appear, it’s most likely because the tolerance for your variances is out of range. You will have to re-check your inventory and then click “Post” again. Another message will appear asking if you want to post inventory at the ICOS percent that you’re at. Click “OK”. And then you’re done!
A majority of the time, if you see polling errors here, it’s because your manager didn’t click the “OK” button on the posting, or they didn’t click the post button twice. If you see errors – those would be the biggest things for you to look out for.
Q: What happens if you’re looking at a report, there’s no data, and you’re not sure if you have a Show Stopper or not? What is the process to transfer those files?
In this situation, the first thing you’ll want to do is log on to eRestaurant. The system will prompt you with a notification that says that tasks haven’t been completed for the previous day. From there, you’ll click on the previous day’s information. You can then see what hasn’t been properly closed out. Sometimes, it’s nothing and you have to call eRestaurant and have them fix the error. But nine times out of 10, someone on your team forgot something little. So, you’ll have to go into the system, find the error, update the error, and click “I fixed it.” After that, the information should be sent over.
The above store leaders really need to follow up and understand why a restaurant would have a Show Stopper. As Kent outlined, a large majority of Show Stoppers are because the closing manager didn’t follow the steps all the way through or didn’t complete tasks.Initially, we saw quite a few Show Stoppers. This was because the closing managers were unsure if they were doing tasks correctly, and then they ended up just not doing them. It’s so important that the closing managers know what their closing team is doing, because they’re crucial to the process. They have to feel comfortable. So, make sure they complete the necessary pre-work steps and get them to a high-performing store that has already been through the eRestaurant transition. Taco Bell’s guidebook recommends having only your general manager and assistant general manager complete the necessary pre-work steps and training, but I think it’s important to have all your closing managers complete the training. This will eliminate some of the errors you see on the front end and increase the team’s knowledge.
Q: Is there a specific setting that the above store leaders need to have in order to see which stores have Show Stoppers?
There are a couple different options within eRestaurant’s services section. And whoever the security approver is for the franchise organization has the ability to set those up for the above store leader team. You can have a Show Stopper email sent specifically for each restaurant that has a Show Stopper or you can get an aggregate report that will show all the stores within an organization that have a Show Stopper.
The benefit to getting the aggregate email is obviously there’s just one email where you’ll see the Show Stoppers. The drawback is that you don’t necessarily know if it’s been fixed by the time you get the report. So, the other setting (where you get an email for each Show Stopper) may be preferable to you. For this setting, if the Show Stopper isn’t fixed first thing in the morning, you’ll actually get another email about it. This makes it easy to know what the team needs to follow up on.
Q: Are there any best practices prior to implementation to ensure Show Stoppers don’t happen?
One piece of advice is to make sure closing managers who are new to eRestaurant are going into more established stores and working a closing shift. That way, they can learn how to close out the system properly. As long as they know how to do it and they’re closing the store out every night, the team is not going to get Show Stoppers as often.
Q: What happens when an employee forgets to clock out?
Ideally, if an employee forgets to clock out, the manager would catch it the same day and then adjust the time on the POS. But, if it happened the day before, then it gets a bit more complicated. The manager will still need to delete the punch from the POS. But they’ll also need to go into eRestaurant’s timekeeping function and adjust the current day’s time, as well as the previous day’s time.