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Set Up Guide for a Food And Beverage Company (Communications Hub)
Set Up Guide for a Food And Beverage Company (Communications Hub)
Roy Peri avatar
Written by Roy Peri
Updated over a week ago

At Connecteam, we want your setup to be swift and clean. 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 an F&B company your size. Like Connecteam, this guide works as an all-in-one solution to your Operations Hub setup. While there are many other articles found here on our Help Center we have designed this guide, particularly for F&B 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:

💡Customer Success Managers 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. Custom fields are a smart way to identify and group your workforce, allowing you to customize what information is important to your company in order to organize its users. Examples of custom fields can be Position, Department, Birthday, Uniform Size, and 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 over 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!

👤 Add 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 - hand 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, updates, knowledge base, 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 follow 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.

Want to return to the table of contents? Click here

☎️ Communications Hub:

This hub consists of 6 features, but for F&B companies, we find the Chat, Updates, Directory, and Knowledge base to be most beneficial. Below we will go over how to set up and utilize the capabilities in each feature that we find most F&B companies use.

💬 Chat: Improve Your Team's communication.

Connecteam’s chat is your way to create an efficient communication center with your employees, Plus it's easy and instant! The chat allows users to effortlessly share media and files and it’s connected to almost any feature in the system making it easy to chat with anyone anywhere!

Using Connecteam's chat feature you will be able to limit communication, keep all the data in-house, control who can chat with whom, segment into departments, work-life separation, and more! In this section we will go over the:

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

User Experience

The chat keeps all your employee communication happening in one place. It's simple and easy for employees to use, and they can participate in any team chat they are assigned to or start personal chats with other employees.

Now that you see how convenient it is for your employees to use Connecteam's chats, let's get started in setting it up and customizing it to your company's needs.

How to Activate the Chat

To activate the chat enter launchpad, go to the left sidebar, to the Company Chat feature, and activate the chat.

Type of Chats

Now that you have activated the chat, let's go over how to open a new chat.

To open a new chat, simply navigate to the Add New Button and add the relevant chat. There are 3 types of chats you can create depending on your needs. These are New Chat, New Team, and New Channel.

4 Chat Tips to Get Started:

  1. Creating team chats: You can create a new team chat for certain users by choosing select users, or you can use smart groups. Great for communicating with your team on game-day shifts, or simply keeping the kitchen team posted!

    Team chats allow you to create groups and share relevant information with each other. Team members can send messages and a variety of attachments to communicate with ease. All team members that are a part of the team chat will have the ability to see and respond to the messages.

  2. New Chat: This one-on-one chat allows you to communicate with a single user or admin. Share information instantly, or clarify shifts by immediately chatting with a user or admin.

    In an individual chat, both people can communicate and write in the chat.

  3. New Channel: A channel is a one-way communication with your employees. If you want to communicate a message to a group of users without anyone being able to respond then this option is for you. A channel ensures you can effectively communicate with your users without the chat becoming flooded. Just like Team Chats, Channels can also be assigned to Smart Groups or Individual Users.

  4. Using smart groups: If you want to create a Team Chat for a group of employees like "Kitchen Team Chat", Smart Groups will be your choice. The Team Chat will be available to current and future users that match the group's rules set.

How to Use the Chat: Starting a Chat from Anywhere on the Platform

Now that you have learned how to create chats let's talk about how to start a chat from anywhere on the platform. At the top of the screen, the chat icon can always be seen from anywhere inside the platform.

Simply click on it and the chat will open on the right.

Chat Settings

The Chat Settings allow you to decide how users can connect on the chat and guarantee that you stay on top of your main communication tool like never before.

To navigate to the Chat Settings. Enter the Chat, to the options tab, and select Settings.

Once inside the settings, there are categories of settings such as Chat Permissions and Sharing Permissions which have different options inside.

Let's go over these different options!

Chat Permissions: All User's Permissions

The All users permissions allow admins to choose whether mobile users are able to create chats, or not, or whether they can only start chats with other users who meet specific criteria. Below we will go over the different options.

  • Users can start a chat conversation with anyone: This allows mobile users to start a chat with anyone.

  • Users can't start chat conversations with other users: by choosing this option, a mobile user will not be able to start a chat with anyone, or unless the user meets certain criteria. Here you have two options:

    • Option 1: Unless they have the same - Here you can choose from the dropdown criteria that the other user needs to match in order for them to be able to chat, for example, position. This corresponds to the Custom fields selected in their user profile. When using this option users will only be allowed to chat with those who have the same custom fields that do.

    For example, Food and Beverage companies that have a restaurant with positions such as waiters, hostesses, cooks, etc. might use these chat settings to enable only waiters to chat with other waiters, hostesses with other hostesses, cooks with other cooks, and nobody else. Take a look at how this looks below.

    • Option 2: Unless those other users are - Here you can choose not to allow your users to chat with anyone except select users that you choose.

    For example, you may choose to allow them to start chats only with the person who is their manager. Take a look at how this looks below

  • Users can never start a conversation with: This option allows you to Select Users who users will never be able to start conversations with. For example, this might be the restaurant owner, payroll manager, or anyone else with who you don't want employees to start chats.

Chat Permissions: Admins Permissions

The Admins permissions will allow the Owner to control whether admins will be allowed to chat with anyone in the company or just the smart groups they are in charge of.

  • Admins can start conversations with anyone: this allows the admins to be able to start a chat with anyone from the company, whether they are part of their smart group or not.

  • Admins can start a conversation with only the users as part of their smart group: This allows the admins to be able to get in contact with only the users who they are admins for.

Chat Permissions: Team Chat Permissions

The mobile users' teams options allow admins to decide whether or not users can create team chats, or to specify exceptions to the general rule they choose to set.

  • Users Can Create Teams: This allows users to create teams, except for select users that you choose who can not. In the example below you call see I allow all my users but one to create teams.

  • Users Can Not Create Teams: This option will not all users to create a team except for the select users you set.

    In the example below you can see that no users can create teams, except one.

Sharing Permissions

The default sharing permissions enables you as an admin to set limitations on if users are able to share images and videos from one chat to another inside the company app, or if users can share content to other platforms (for example Facebook or Whatsapp).

Food and beverage companies with a high turnover rate might use these sharing options to prevent cooks or bartenders who leave the company to download and share existing company information such as recipes with them.

The default settings are:

  • Users can forward messages and file attachments to other group chats and private conversations within the app: this means users can share content from one team chat to another one inside the app.

  • Users can share file attachments outside the app: this means that users can share content from the platform with other apps, for example, WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail, etc.

  • Users can download and save images shared in chat conversations: which means that users will be able to download and save the images that are shared onto their devices.

If you do not want users to share content with other teams inside the chat, or share content outside of your app, you can toggle off these settings. You can see how this looks below:

💡Real-life example: A Florida-based local Mexican-food chain with 3 locations, uses Chat permissions to manage different team chats by location and position, having a separate team chat for branch managers and the office team. Employees in each branch can start a chat with their colleagues from the same location only, yet managers from different locations can communicate with each other for inventory coordination, knowledge sharing, and more! Take a look at how their exact chat settings look below:

Want to return to the table of contents? Click here

🗣 Updates: Increase your employees' engagement.

Updates are a great way to engage employees and interact with them. Think of the Update Feature as your social wall. These will allow you to communicate with and involve your employees in your company's day-to-day.

In this section we will go over:

Now, let's Begin!

When Should I Use the Updates Feature?

  • Company or Day-2-day news

  • Birthdays and anniversaries

  • Employee benefits

  • New employees

  • Weather updates

  • Employee recognition

  • Send files

  • Share locations of meetings, celebrations, etc.

If you wish to send out a message to the team, in 99% of the cases it's better to do so with an update, here is why:

  1. Updates are trackable: you will know exactly who saw them and who didn't.

  2. You can follow up on an update: if someone didn't read your message, you can easily follow up with them.

  3. Updates are more personalized: you can create a dedicated push notification, and customize the information, including images/links videos, etc.

  4. Unlike text messages, with updates, you know the message went through. Text messages don't always make it to the end user.

  5. Updates don't cost you money.

How to Create an Update Step by Step:

Now that you see how important using the updates feature is, let's learn how to create some updates.

Below you can find all the steps discussed in the video and an example:

  1. Click Updates on your sidebar.

  2. Click Add New.

  3. You can choose from one of our templates or create your own

  4. Type your update. You can choose different backgrounds.

  5. Choose an object. You can upload one object per update except for the Image and video objects. You can upload an image and a GIF to the same update.

  6. Click next.

  7. Assign the content to smart groups or select employees.

  8. Create a custom notification and click send.

  9. Done!

When using the Update feature, you must know about these 5 "killer" capabilities that can take your team to the next level:

  1. Live poll - Live polls are a great way to keep your team engaged at all times while getting live results! Gathering authentic feedback about new dishes on the menu, or what should be the next team night-out.

  2. Schedule publication - With the schedule publication capability, you can create pre-published updates while settings the publication date and time you see fit, saving the manager much time and effort - Great for publishing a new competition among the waiters or about the artist that will perform live in your bar tonight!

  3. Recurring updates - The Repeat Update option will allow you to send out recurring updates to your employees. You can set updates to repeat daily, weekly, or monthly, making sure that they are always on top of the most important announcements - great as a reminder for tip records submission, and more.

  4. Pin post - You as managers always want to be in control of the data presented to your team and the order in which it is presented.

    Pin posting updates and other content is key for manager control.

  5. Shortcuts - When it comes to managing your team, making the content easy to find is key! With our shortcut capability, you can send internal links through the update feature sending the users directly to the relevant content with a click of a button - bar opening checklist, link to your new wine list in the Knowledge base, and more.

Pop-up Updates

Connecteam’s pop-up updates capability gives you peace of mind, allowing you to set an update to include a pop-up with a confirmation button. These updates will be the first thing your users see when entering the platform, and the added confirmation button ensures that no information is missed.

For example, it is time to submit the I-9 tax form, an important update is the best tool to ensure all of the staff will see and update their federal forms.

How To Create a Pop-Up Update?

To create and send a pop-up update, all you have to do is enter the "Updates" feature on the left sidebar. Click Add New, create the update, choose who to assign it to, and continue until you reach the settings page. On this page, you can enable the pop-up by checking the pop-up upon launching the app and requiring a confirmation option. Take a look at how this looks below.

Here you can define two things:

  • Confirmation Button Text - Here you can set up a confirmation button that users will need to click to advance to the main page of the app. This button can be customized and you can select the appropriate text for the update, such as "I understood", "Approve" and more. In the example below you can see I created a confirmation button with the text “Read and Understood.”

  • Stop Pop-Up After- Selecting this option defines when to stop showing the pop-up attached to the update when the application is opened. Here you can select the options of 1, 3, 7, 14, or 30 days. Please note that even after the pop-up stops the update can still be viewed on your company's feed.

💡Real-life example: An Italian restaurant based in Arizona, uses the Updates feature to notify all the waiters working together in the same shift of its wine offering competition. They attach a new wine list menu in the Update, and also attached a Connecteam Form asking each waiter to fill in the wine they most sold that night!

☎️ Directory: Your company’s phone book

Use the Directory feature to add people that do not belong to your company's app as well as have all your company contacts available for everyone!

This is also the place to add more work contacts that are not app users, like vendors, emergency contacts, and more! It's important to note that a work contact doesn’t have access to the app.

In this section we will go over the following:

Activating the Directory

To activate the Directory, click Directory on your sidebar and click activate directory.

💡Customer Success Managers Tip: Keep in mind that all the users regardless of their Smart Groups will be able to access the Directory on their smartphones once it is activated in the dashboard. What users see however can be managed through the Directory Settings.

How To Add a Work Contact:

To add people that do not belong to your company's app such as vendors, maintenance service providers, and important contacts to your Directory, use the work contacts tab.

  1. Click Directory on your sidebar.

  2. Click the Work Contacts tab.

  3. Click add a contact.

  4. Complete the contact's details.

  5. Click save contact.

The Directory Settings

The Directory Settings allow you to decide how your users will use the directory and to which information they will have access. To get to the settings tab, enter the directory and navigate to the options tab, and select settings.

Once inside the setting there are three options, to display users in the mobile app, Mobile Users Viewing Permissions, and Information Visibility. Let's go over these below!

💡Real-life example: A Pizza restaurant based in NYC, uses the directory feature to have all the vendors available for the shift management team. Gone are the days when the owner would have to call the vendor and coordinate with the shift manager - now they can communicate directly!

Knowledge Base: Use the Knowledge Base to Keep All Your Company’s Information in One Place.

Connecteam’s Knowledge Base feature allows you easily connect your employees with information by creating custom libraries for policies, vendors, guides, and so much more! In the Knowledge base, you can create separate sections for each operating tutorial, or topic with each containing folders, text, links, or documents. This gives you complete control when organizing all the information inside your Knowledge Base.

In this section we will go over:

Now let's take a look at how to use the knowledge base!

Step by Step: Activating the Knowledge Base

Step 1: Navigate to the left sidebar and to the add new feature button

Step 2: Add a Knowledge Base

Step 3: Name the Knowledge Base

Step 4 Save Changes

Take a look at how this looks below for purpose of our example I named the knowledge base “Company Knowledge,” however you can name your Knowledge base anything you would like.

Step by Step: Adding a Section Folder

Once you have activated the Knowledge Base you will want to add Section Folders. These will serve as the base to which you will then add SubFolders. We recommend spending some time planning how you envision your knowledge base looking prior to setting it up. This will help to get things organized exactly how you want.

To add a Section folder navigate to the bottom left corner to the + add folder button. Then, add and name the folder. In the example below I added a section called “Company Information”

Step by Step: Adding a Folder to a Section

Once you have added all your section folders you need to add subfolders. This allows you to keep things extra organized. Later on, you will add all the information or knowledge you want into these subfolders.

To add a folder to a section select the section, and then click on the blue + Add button to the right and select add folder. In our example below I added two folders called Company Policies and Company Documents to the Section folder named Company Information.

How to Add Text, Links, Files, or Folders to a Subsection Folder

Once you have added Sections and Subsection folders, it's time to add in your information. This can be done in the form of text, links, files, or even additional folders (to which you can add text links and files)

To add any of these enter the folder you wish to add them to and select the blue + Add Button and select which type of information you want to add.

💡Customer Success Managers Tip: Note only can you keep all the information in one place, but you can also create as many knowledge bases as you need. If you are part of a larger company with different departments you could even create a knowledge base for each department.

Real-Life Example: Great example of utilizing the knowledge base does a bar in Montreal. They have created an employee handbook for all of their beer and beverage dispensers, open/end shift instructions, service policy, and more! Now whenever they have a new staff member or someone that is not experienced, the employee can simply access the Knowledge base and read the instructions on how to operate!

See, with Connecteam's Knowledge base you really can organize and store all your information however you would like all in one place!


In this article, we went over everything you would need as a food and beverage company to get Connecteam communication hub 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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