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Set Up Guide for a Food And Beverage Company (Operations Hub)
Set Up Guide for a Food And Beverage Company (Operations Hub)

Get your food and beverage company running smoothly and efficiently with Connecteam!

Amos Selinger avatar
Written by Amos Selinger
Updated over a week ago

At Connecteam, we want your setup to be easy. As customer success managers we took our experience from working with hundreds of food and beverage companies worldwide and created this step-by-step tutorial to get your company set up to PERFECTION.

You can expect this guide to go through all of the steps needed to get your account up and running with real-world examples of how each feature or capability can work for a Food and Beverage company your size. Like Connecteam, this guide works as an all-in-one solution to your Operations Hub Set Up. While there are many other articles found here on our Help Center, we have designed this guide, particularly for food and beverage companies of your kind and it should walk you through your complete setup step by step.

Don't worry! We’ve got all of the first steps to make your life easy and Connecteam work for you! 🤩

Table of Contents

After reading this guide you should be able to start fully operating the platform you will learn how to:

💡Tip: Anytime you see blue text in this article it is a link or menu of links to other areas inside this guide. If you're looking for something specific, or you don't finish the setup in one day, you can always find what you need or pick up where you left off by clicking on the relevant topic.

👪 Users & Smart Groups:

Wait! Did you sign up for multiple hubs? Did you already receive a setup guide and know how to add users and create smart groups? Then click here to move on to the next section

The first steps when setting up your account are going to be adding your users and creating your smart groups. In this section, we will walk you through:

Custom Fields

Custom fields are information fields found inside the user's profile, and are filled with information specific to each employee. They are a smart way to identify and group your workforce, allowing you to customize what information is important to your company. Creating these now will help you later on in order to organize your users.

Examples of custom fields can be Position, Department, Birthday, Uniform Size, and so much more!

We recommend planning out the information you want to know about your employees and creating these custom fields prior to adding the employees themselves. This will allow you to update all their information when adding them and save you tons of time later.

To Add a Custom Field: Head to the user's tab, enter the employee's detail page then select Add Field and choose the type of field, name it, and press save.

In the example below you can see we created a custom field named Position. In our company, the positions will be Supervisor, Server, Barista, Cook, etc.

Another custom field can be the locations or branches the employee works at.

Please note that there are 3 default fields you will never be able to edit or delete; these are First Name, Last Name, and Mobile Phone.

💡A Customer Success Manager’s Tip: We recommend using the drop-down custom field type when creating your custom fields, which allows you to create a list of information to select from when filling out the custom field. This will simplify things later if using smart groups, which are filtered by custom fields. The filter of smart groups is case-sensitive, and here at Connecteam we have encountered numerous companies whose users were not added to the proper smart groups because of typos made when filling out a user's custom field. Using a drop-down custom field avoids this possibility right from the start!

Adding Users

Once you have set up your custom fields it's time to move on to adding users. After all that's what you came here for - managing your workforce.

To Add Users: Simply navigate your way to the Users Tab on the left sidebar and click on it. Once inside select Add Users and fill in the requested details. You can also use the menu on the right side to add more details than the ones which appear here which are only the required fields. After filling out the details make sure the Send an invite button is selected in order to invite these users to the app!

💡Tip: If you have many users, you can import them in bulk.

Creating Smart Groups to Sort Users

Smart groups are groups based on rules. All the users who meet the rule will automatically be added to the group and those who don't will be added. It's as simple as that. A smart groups filter is based on custom fields - which we previously created.

In food and beverage companies, smart groups are hugely beneficial and allow you to create different teams with different qualifications for your staff. For example, you can group your staff by their ability to do specific jobs like- servers or cooks jobs.

Since Connecteam's features, assets, jobs in the schedule, chats and much more can be assigned to smart groups, grouping them now will help us later on with things like scheduling correctly (and much more).

To create a smart group follows these steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the smart group's category on the left sidebar

Step 2: First, add a Segment

Step 3: Use the + Add a group button from inside the Segment to create a group and then name the group.

Step 4: Set the Filter. First, choose the Custom field, and then finally select or enter the criteria that the group will be defined by.

In the example below you can see how I create a group of only my staff who are qualified as cooks.

Now that you know the basics of setting up your account it's time to move on to the features related to the operations hub.

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The Operations Hub

This hub consists of 4 features, but for food and beverage companies we find the job schedule, time clock, and forms to be most beneficial. Below we will go over how to set up and utilize the capabilities in each feature that we find most big-sized food and beverage companies use.

📆 Job Scheduler: Build Your Weekly Schedules With Ease.

The Job Scheduler makes it effortless to publish shifts, or 'claimable' open shifts for your team and provides them with all the info they need right in their mobile apps, such as their position, location, attached checklists, and more.

From all the many food and beverage companies used by Connecteam there are few capabilities in the job schedule that should be used to optimally schedule all your employees and clients. These are:

Before we begin we will give you a quick overview of how the job schedule looks for your employees!

Users Experience

For your employees using Connecteam's Job Schedule couldn't be easier.

They can easily see their schedule and all its details. If you, the admin/owner, allow them, then they can also see their whole team's schedule, submit their availability, and find shift replacements on their own.

Now let's set it up and customize it to your company’s needs. We will begin with jobs!

Jobs & Sub-Jobs:

Jobs in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for.

Food and Beverage companies usually use the Positions or locations as "Jobs" ("Barista", "New Orleans branch", etc).

With the Sub-Jobs, you can add an additional layer to your time tracking.

  • If you have 1 location, or multiple locations and need to separate the schedules completely: The jobs can be the Position and if you have seniority levels the sub job can be the seniority level. For Example Jobs: “Cook”, Sub jobs: “Head”, “Trainee.”

  • If you have multiple locations and prefer to have 1 master schedule: The job can be the location/branch name and the sub job will be the position. For Example Job: “New Orleans branch”, Sub jobs: “Cook”, “Barista”, “Server” etc.

  • If your business is events based: The job can be the event’s name and the sub job will be the position. For example Job: “New Orleans branch”, Sub jobs: “Cook”, “Barista”, “Server” etc.

To Set Up Jobs Follow These Steps:

First, enter the schedule and click on the job button in the top left corner

Then you can either add a job or edit an existing one

Through the settings button next to each job, you can edit the existing job and control the job settings. When creating the job, you can also set these settings as seen below:

To set up sub-jobs, scroll down, click on add a sub job and add the relevant sub-jobs.

In the example below you can see we created a Job that is a location named “Washington Street” and then I created the sub-jobs Supervisor, Cook, and Server. These serve as the position of the parent job - Washington Street. Now I will be able to assign specific positions to my restaurant on Washington Street.

Qualifying Users to Jobs

When adding a job be sure to set the Qualified Users, these will be the user who is able or “qualified” for this job.

For example, for the Cook position, You can either select all your cooks from the drop-down list of users or if you have created a smart group for your cooks you can select that group.

How to Qualify Users for Jobs

In order to qualify users for jobs - access the Job Scheduler and click on the Jobs button at the top right corner:

Click on the Add Job button and choose whether to qualify users based on Smart Groups or by selected users:

Qualifying Users to Sub Jobs

The default option for the sub-job settings will be the same as the parent job, meaning - the users that are qualified for the parent job would also be qualified for the sub-job. You can adjust this setting by unselecting the box that says 'Use same settings as a parent job' and adjust the users/smart groups that are qualified for this sub-job:

When an admin wants to assign users to a shift, the system will group them into 'Qualified users' and 'Other users' to give you an indication of who's qualified for this job and who's not:

💡Tip: You can always change the qualification of an existing job from the settings of each job.

A Real-World Example: Throughout this guide, we will share with you real examples from food and beverage companies using Connecteam so you can get an idea of all that is possible with Connecteam in a way that is specific to your industry. One company we worked with had 3 restaurants in different locations with employees from different seniority levels and wanted to have separate schedules for each restaurant. We created 3 schedules assigned to the location smart group that we created, in each schedule the jobs were the position of the employee (cook, bartender, etc..), the sub jobs were the seniority level (trainee, junior, head, etc..) and we qualified the parent job to be for the position smart group.

Schedule Weekly Templates

Weekly templates make schedule planning easier and quicker. As a manager, you can save time and stress while creating your team’s schedule using weekly templates. Moreover, weekly shifts are always saved and ready to be plugged in so you don’t have to recreate the same schedule every week! We highly recommend this for food and beverage companies, as the schedules usually stay the same from week to week.

How to Create Weekly Templates:

  1. Navigate to your job schedule.

  2. Create the weekly schedule that you wish to turn into a template.

  3. Once you have successfully created your weekly schedule, tap the "Actions" button located on the upper right of your schedule page.

  4. And select " Save week as template" and give it a meaningful name.

To Load a Weekly Template Follow These Steps:

  1. Navigate to the relevant week

  2. Tap the "Actions" button and select "Load week template".

  3. Choose the weekly template you wish to apply and the full week will be auto-populated on your planning board. A total time-saver!

  4. Remember that if you already have a shift during the week, the system will let you choose whether you wish to replace the current shifts or add to the existing shifts.

*Don't forget to publish the shifts by pressing the "Publish" button located on the top right menu of the scheduling page, so it will be distributed to your team.

A Real World Example: The same company mentioned above created weekly templates for each schedule, since almost every week they need the same number of employees from each position. They use the weekly templates to create the schedule and every week assign shifts to the relevant employees with ease.

Open Shifts

You planned a special event and need more hands on a shift? Missing some servers on tomorrow's shift and needing someone to grab a shift? Open shifts will help you build your Job Scheduler a lot faster! You can now create open shifts and your employees can claim them on a first-come-first-serve basis. Using open shifts means that besides scheduling the open shifts you don’t need to do any more scheduling!

How to Create An Open Shift

In the Job Scheduler, you have 2 ways to create an open shift.

1. Position yourself on the shifts without the users row and hover your mouse over any day, then click the plus icon (+) to add a shift:

2. Click Add shifts on the top right of the screen, then click Add single shift:

Complete the shift details: date, time, title, job, location, shift notes, and tasks. Select ‘Enable users to claim this shift’ and choose the number of available spots. Click save and publish. Take a look at how this looks below:

Now your open shift has been published!

How do Open Shifts Look in the Scheduler

Open shifts appear in the shifts without users row and will have a blue square with a number on the left upper corner, indicating how many spots are left to fill.

Open shifts are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once an employee claims a shift, the shift will be added automatically to the employee's schedule.

Be aware that the new shift is published and available for claiming only for users who are qualified for the job specified in that shift.

A Real World Example: The company we mentioned above creates open shifts when they have special events that require more staff than usual, they also create open on-call/weekend shifts in case restaurants are very busy. When the person is needed the shift manager knows who claimed the shift and will contact them.

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⏱️ Time Clock: track your employees' hours.

Utilizing the time clock will allow you to track your employee’s work time and help ensure that you are paying them for the actual time they’ve worked.

From all the many food and beverage companies used by Connecteam we found the following capabilities which should be used to optimally run your business.

These are:

Before we begin we will give you a quick overview of how the job schedule looks for your employees!

The Users Experience

For you employees using Connecteam's Time Clock in their day 2 day is a breeze! They can clock in and out only to jobs relevant to them, switch jobs, take a break, review their timesheets, and much more!

Take a look at how using the time clock looks from their perspective below, and then let's get started setting up and customizing your company's time clock.

Sync the Time Clock with the Job Scheduler

Our time clock and scheduling are two separate features that can be used separately or in sync.

Job scheduling makes it effortless to plan and assign team members to shifts, whereas the time clock makes it easy to track the actual work time of your team and improves your payroll process. If you're new to Connecteam, those features will be synced by default if both are activated.

How to Sync the Time Clock with the Job Scheduler

When you have the two features synced, you will see that:

  • Users will be able to clock in directly from their shift: this saves the extra steps of both checking in to the shift and clocking in. All the time tracking records will be automatically documented in the time clock's timesheets.

  • Unified job list: the ‘jobs’ from both features will be unified and synced including all the relevant job information. Adding new jobs, editing, and removing existing jobs from the schedule will affect the time clock and vice versa.

  • Filter users in the time-clock according to their shifts: when the 2 features are synced, you can finally get a quick understanding of everyone who should be working today.

Payroll Cycle and Timesheet Reminders

With Connecteam, you can easily define your payroll period and set up reminders for your employees to go over their timesheets and for managers to approve any pending changes that employees have requested.

To begin, head into your Time Clock and click on Settings at the top right and then Payroll on the left.

In the top section, you can define when your week starts, how long your payroll cycle is, and when your latest payroll period ended (this will then automatically update for the next period).

In the bottom section, you can set up push notification reminders for your employees to go over their timesheets and for your administrators to review their pending requests to ensure that your team stays on top of their payroll!

Pay Rates

Here at Connecteam, we can all relate to the headache payroll can create. For this reason, we have created Pay Rates. These allow you to set the rate at which each user in your business is paid. Not only that, but you can see the exact salary they should be getting paid. No more late-night calculations or redoing payroll.

To activate the Pay Rate feature head over to the General Settings, to the Pay Rate Settings tab, and make sure the Enable Pay Rates button is toggled on.

After this be sure to set your pay rate currency and set your admin permission which we will go over below.

How to Set a Users Pay Rate

Now that you have enabled the pay rate, let's go over how to set your user's pay rate step by step.

Step 1: Navigate to the Users tab and enter the relevant user's profile

Step 2: Enter the payroll tab and select set Pay Rate.

Step 3: Choose if the pay rate is hourly, monthly, or yearly, enter the amount, and set the effective date.

In the example below you can see that we set the pay rate hourly, to $25 an hour, and to be effective on today's date.

Now that you have activated pay rates and set your user’s pay rate, let's take a look at how this looks in timesheets because this is really where the magic happens!

The first thing we need to do is enable the Show Pay Rates option in our time clock.

How to Enable Pay Rates in the Time Clock?

To set this up go to the Time Clock>Settings>General Tab and enable Show Pay Rates. You have the option to allow either qualified admins or qualified admins and users to view the calculated pay.

How Do Pay Rates Look in the Time Sheets?

When entering your timesheets you will be able to see the total amount you are paying both your salaried and hourly employees for the current payroll period.

This can be seen in the top right-hand corner.

In most food and beverage companies the employees have an hourly rate.

Hourly rates are calculated on an hourly basis. The calculated salary is based on the number of hours your users worked x their pay rate.

In the example below you can see Rosie worked 80 hours at a base rate of $25 per hour making his total pay $2,000.

A Real World Example: The company we have mentioned above pays hourly for their employees by the position they have, so they set the pay rates for each employee according to the position he has, and now on their timesheets they can easily see how much each one of their employees will get paid for the hours they worked.

Here is an example of how the timesheets will look like:

Geo Fences

The Geofence is a capability that allows you to create a geographic "fence" around a site or an address in order to ensure your employees are clocking in/out in the right place at the right time. Food and beverage companies set their geofences for the location of their restaurants or the event they are working at.

How to Set Up Geofencing?

Setting up a geofence is easy and can be set in your time clock settings.

How to Set it Up Step-by-Step:

  1. Access the time clock

  2. On the top right side of the screen, click on "settings"

  3. Click on "Geolocation" on the left side of the settings menu

  4. Set "Geolocation" to "Required"

  5. On the same page, under "Sites for Geo-fence", click on the "Add Site" button

  6. Name the site for your convenience (i.e. the restaurant’s name, the event’s name, etc.)

  7. Type an address or a location name (integrated with Google Maps) and make sure to select from the suggested results

  8. Set the fence size for that site

  9. Select what jobs will be available to clock in from within that site (jobs that are not listed under any of your sites, will be available to use from anywhere according to users' qualification)

  10. That's it! You're good to go!

After setting up the geofences, for an employee to clock into a job, users must be within that specific fence, or else the job will not appear for them to clock in.

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📄 Forms: Go paperless!

Automating processes and standardizing them is something that is important for every business and especially in the food and beverage industry. Forms allow your employees to fill in reports, forms, checklists, requests, and more, all from their mobile app anywhere at any time.

The most common forms food and beverage companies use in Connecteam are:

  • Start/End of shift report for the employee - to make sure the place is clean, and tables are set and prepared for service.

  • End-of-day report for the manager - count the register, sales report, allocation of tips, make sure the employees receive their part

  • Inventory checklist - for bartenders and kitchen staff

  • Prep checklist - for kitchen staff to make sure they are prepared to accommodate X amount of guests

From all the many food and beverage companies used by Connecteam, we found the following capabilities which should be used to optimally run your business.

These are:

Before we begin getting your forms set up we give you a quick overview of how the job schedule looks for your employees!

Users Side

No more coming to the office to physically fill out a form, no more handing it to your manager, or emailing it to the correct individual. With Connecteam's Forms feature your employees can easily complete forms from anywhere at any time, and they can be automatically shared with the correct individuals - always!

Take a look at how using the forms feature looks from the employee's perspective below, and then let's get started setting up and customizing your company's forms!

Creating a Form

In order to collect information from your users, we must start by creating our form.

You can create a Form by starting from scratch or selecting from already existing templates. Whether you create a new or edit an existing one, you can choose various 'building blocks, like free text, multiple-choice, image uploads, documents scanner, digital signature, GPS location stamp, and much more so that you can capture all the necessary information. With a variety of fields to choose from and a mobile preview on the right, creating a beautiful form for your users has never been easier.

Below is a guide explaining how to create a form:

Step 1: To begin creating your form click on add new and select either "Start From Scratch" or "Use a Template". For this example, we will start from scratch. Don't forget to name your Form!

Step 2: After naming the Form, click on any of the objects on the left side of the screen to start adding fields to your Form. In the example below, we will be adding a task field that can be found on the left side of the screen which will populate the mobile preview on the right.

Pro tip: When creating your Form, you are able to make a field required, meaning employees will not be able to complete the Form without filling out that field. An example would be a daily task list where you want to make sure that your users are not missing out on completing any tasks. The rule of thumb should be: if the information is crucial for you, make sure to set the field as required.

Step 3: When your Form is complete, make sure to take another look at the mobile preview to the right to make sure it looks good and that you are capturing all the necessary information. When you are satisfied with your Form, click on save changes to assign it to your users.

As your employees submit the Form, their entries are saved and documented on your dashboard and can be accessed whenever you need them. The dashboard also helps to distinguish between entries, see response time, export all information to Excel or PDF files, track activity for each employee, send custom push notifications, and more.

See all entries by clicking on 'Show Entries'. You can also set your Form settings, edit the Form, edit the assignment, or archive the Form, by entering Options.

Information Analysis & Feedback

Now that your Form has been created, your users are able to fill them out for you to review and provide feedback. Let's dive into our user entries by clicking on "Show Entries". This is where we will be able to analyze all of our entry submissions and provide feedback to our users.

Within the entry submission screen, you are able to do a variety of actions.

For instance, with advanced filtering capabilities, you can easily filter for any field that you had previously created, making sure that you are able to acquire the right information at any time.

Overseeing Execution

Connecteam allows you to track which employees have submitted the Forms and which have not by using the "Filter" button at the bottom of your Form page, that you will be able to make sure that all of the necessary checklists (e.g Start/End of shift report, inventory checklists, etc.) Importantly, you can follow up with employees that didn't submit an entry by checking the box next to their name and using the "Notify" feature, which will allow you to send them a customized notification, reminding them to fill it out:

Manager Fields

Most food and beverage companies are looking to create an approval system for their checklists and reports, with our manager fields you can do this!

The greatest advantage of the Manager Fields is that it allows you to perfect the internal communication on specific entries, both between the managers and employees. By using Manager fields, you can approve forms with the status field, have managers digitally sign and confirm the entries, add a manager note to the Form, and use the Person field to tag the relevant stakeholders. For any process that needs the manager's or supervisor's approval, this capability will come in handy.

How Do I Customize the Status Column?

For every new Form, one status column will be added by default with the options “Done” and “Working on it”.

Once you have accessed the form settings and navigated to the manager fields tab you can add more statuses or edit the existing ones.

To add more statuses, click the add status button:

To edit a status, hover your cursor over the status and a pencil will appear. Click the pencil to edit the status. You can also edit the name of the column following the same process.

How Can I add a New Column?

To add a new column, meaning a new manager field, enter the form settings, go to the manager fields tab, and click on add column. In the example below you can see we currently have two manager fields - note and status.

What Type of Columns Can I add?

They are many types of columns you can add these include:

  • Status column: Create an approval system or ticketing system. Edit the status to match your progress.

  • Notes column: Add internal notes. Your managers can leave notes regarding the entries for a specific Form.

  • Person column: Assign an entry to the relevant manager to increase accountability.

  • Date column: Keep track of the dates the managers have checked the Forms

  • Signature column: Add internal digital signing for the managers. Make sure the managers go over and sign the Forms.

  • File column: Add a relevant file to be attached to the Form.

How do I use the Manager Fields columns?

As an admin, you can change the status of a Form, leave a note, add a signature, and more by accessing the entries.

Depending on your settings, your mobile users (employees) will be able to check the entry's Managers Fields. To notify your employees about a change in a Manager field, keep the mobile users able to see this status in the app.

Employees (mobile users) will be notified of a status change as shown in the image below. To find the entries history, employees should access the Profile tab > My entries history:

💡 Customer Success Manager Tip: We highly encourage adding Manager Fields to provide feedback to your users. From our experience, providing feedback acts as positive reinforcement and leads to higher Form submission rates.

A Real-World Example: The company we mentioned above created daily reports for the Start/End of shifts per position. They are using the notes field for the shift managers to add important notes from the shift. They also use the signature field so the shift manager can confirm that he reviewed the entry and the status to mark the form as completed.

Form Share Options

After you have finished creating your Form you might want to configure your settings so that the Form entries can be shared with the correct stakeholders.

Food and beverage companies like to use the form share options as a handoff for the next shift with the relevant information.

To configure the sharing options, let's head into the Form settings and to the share options tab:

To begin with, at the top of the sharing options you are able to choose if the receiver should receive Form entries over the email as a direct attachment or as a link to download the entry.

After you have set that up, you have three Form sharing options to choose from to ensure that the right person will always receive the Form information:

  1. Share every entry automatically with the following

  2. Entry will be shared according to the user's selection from a list

  3. Allow users to add an email address manually

Let's go over each option below!

Option 1: Share every entry automatically with the following:

The first option allows each Form entry to be shared with any user within your account or an external email address.

This is a great option to choose from to ensure that you are on top of every single entry and typically includes restaurant and shift managers.

Option 2: Entry will be shared according to the user's selection from a list:

The second option is great to choose when you might want to have the Form entry shared with a specific person depending on a specific situation.

For example, you might have several teams fill out the same incident report, but each team has a different manager who should be receiving the Form. This is when option two really comes in handy.

Another example would be when you have a Form that should go to different departments. Then you can fill out the right column with the different departments to make sure the right department gets the entry.

Below you can see how these options will look for your employees when they submit the Form:

Option 3: Allow users to add an email address manually:

There will be times when you will want your users to share a Form entry with someone, but you yourself do not know their email.

For food and beverage companies an example could be when the kitchen staff fills the inventory checklists and needs to order more supplies and send the report to the supplier.

That is when option 3 comes in handy which allows your users to select and add any email that they want, ensuring that they also receive the Form entry.

How a Shared Entry Will Look:

If a manager was selected during the sharing process, they will be able to view the Form entry within the Connecteam app by going to profile > shared with me:

If you selected a manager that has an email address within their custom fields or if you just added an email address to share the entry with, they will also receive it in their email which will look like this:

With a downloadable link

With an attachment

A Real World Example: The company we have mentioned above is using the option of selecting the contact from a list when they are switching shifts after they fill in the end-of-shift report, they are choosing the next shift manager to handoff the relevant information and keep everyone aligned with the important information that needs to be delivered to the next shift.

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In this article, we went over everything you would need as a food and beverage company to get Connecteam set up and customized to meet your company's needs. While setting up and adapting to a new system might bring challenges and periods of adjustment for you and your employees here at Connecteam we are always here to help.

You can always reach out to our LIVE support team 🙋 (at the bottom right corner of your screen). They reply in under 5 mins to ANY question!

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