Whats app-ening?: the apps restaurateurs love

23 March, 2017 by Madeline Woolway

Chefs and restaurateurs have a plethora of apps at their fingertips, all promising to make their lives easier and their businesses more productive. But which ones are really worth a go?

Glenn Flood, food support manager at ALH Group

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1. As part of your day to day work, which app do you use the most?
There are two main ones I use: Google Plus and Instagram

2. How does it work?
Google Plus is a social media platform. I have set up a page just for my chefs, and we have around 550 members. I use this as a communication tool to send out updates, share trends, recipes, relevant articles and links to upcoming events. It’s also a brilliant way for my chefs to share ideas and dishes they are serving, plus we use it to celebrate competition wins, business wins and anything else staff find assists with their daily workload. Setting up a community is free and easy to do.

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Instagram is a great visual way to keep in touch with the greater international industry. I love images, so scanning through a platform like this give me constant ideas and inspiration.

3. Why do you find it valuable?
In regards to Google Plus, we have a brigade of around 1,100 chefs and I find Google Plus is a great way to give the team a voice, open communication and collaborate, irrespective of their location. As it’s an app, they can access it and post at any time; it’s convenient. Plus it creates a digital timeline that flows through the seasons.

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Instagram is quick and easy to use and I believe ‘a picture says a thousand words’

4. What impact has it had on your business?
Google Plus has allowed us to communicate more easily with some of the team who have been unable to collaborate in the past. Being part of a large organisation, it’s easy to forget there are dozens of others out there facing the same challenges. After all, we are all chasing the same customer base.

Instagram is a double edged sword – sometimes it propels me to achieve more and lift standards. At other times the information is saturating and leads to inactivity. It’s about knowing when to engage and when to trust your instinct. Having lots of followers does not always mean there is a commercial business activity behind it. Some of the best operators I know are extremely quiet on social media.

5. How much is it?
They’re both free

spiritlevel.jpgImage: Google Play

Joe Vargetto, owner of Mister Bianco and Massi, Melbourne

1. As part of your day to day work, which app do you use the most?
I use a few great apps – they give me that little extra help I require sometimes. The ones I find most useful are the apps for levelling tables so they don't wobble, and the weather app so you know which specials to put on the next day, or even just the simple food cost app. My favourite is the table leveller app, called Spirit Level.

2. How does it work?
You lay your iPhone down on the table and you can level and straighten tables to perfection.

3. Why do you find it valuable?
Diners hate being seated at a wobbly table, it annoys the hell out of them. It's little things like this that are so important in the day to day operations of a restaurant.

4. What impact has it had on your business?
The app is easy to use and helps the front of house staff get the tables exactly right, and it decreases frustrations amongst diners.

5. How much is it?
Free

Alexei Bondar, owner of Thirsty Wolf, Sydney

1. As part of your day to day work, which app do you use the most?
We use Spotify Premium the most.

2. How does it work?
It is a paid subscription music service that streams an unlimited amount of music from all around the world straight to your speakers. We use it for creating playlists for the venue for day to day use.

3. Why do you find it valuable?
It is convenient, easy to use, reliable and has an incredible amount of music available. It can be controlled across multiple devices – I can change the music in the whole venue from my smartphone anywhere, anytime.

4. What impact has it had on your business?
It made our lives a lot easier by giving us one less thing to worry about.

5. How much is it?
It is $11.99 a month. There is a free version of the app available, but it runs ads after every song.

dropbox-1.jpgImage: Business Insider

Paul Tyas, head chef at Grosvenor Hotel, St Kilda East

1. As part of your day to day work, which app do you use the most?
Dropbox

2. How does it work?
Essentially it’s cloud-based storage that allows my team and I to access documents at any time from any location.

3. Why do you find it valuable?
I have all my standardised recipes on there to share with the team. It also allows me to edit documents and images at home which is helpful, especially considering the file size with raw imagery.

4. What impact has it had on your business?
It saves my team having to scribble recipes down and allows them to catalogue each one on their smartphones. It also allows us to achieve consistency because everyone has the same recipes.

5. How much is it?
Free. There is a bit of time involved in setting it up, but it’s well worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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