Founded in 1989, Weir Catering has earned a reputation as a leading caterer in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. From wine country down to Monterey, Weir has catered dinners, cocktail parties, conferences, weddings and more.
Over the years, as they’ve taken on more clients and catered larger events, one issue kept coming up — scheduling.
“It’s a full-time job to do scheduling,” says Samantha Bryer, Managing Partner at Weir Catering. Like most caterers, they used spreadsheets and emails to schedule their staff for various events. Samantha had actually trained someone on their team to do that but when that person left, it fell back on her.
But when you’re catering multiple events in a week, sometimes up to 5 a day, the spreadsheets become extremely complicated and emailing staff for different events is a nightmare.
That’s why they decided to start using the new Scheduler app by Instawork.
“The way I was doing it was becoming time-consuming. We were doing it by email which is slow because I would have to wait for responses.”
You’ve felt this pain too, and it only gets worse as you cater more events. Even at a low volume it’s inefficient. You email your staff to see if they’re available on a certain day to cater an event. Then you have to wait for their responses. If some decline, you have to repeat the emailing with more people. Since events are dynamic, communicating any changes to check-in instructions, attire, or timelines can create a lot of extra work and confusion as well.
The Scheduler app eliminates all of this work. What takes hours can now be reduced to minutes. In just a few clicks, you can set up an event inside Instawork, select who you want to invite to cater the event, and let the software handle the rest. Let us explain how:
The first step is to create an event by selecting the location. You can add details like how your staff can get to the location, where they can check-in, and everything else they need to know. Right off the bat, this cuts out all the confusion and back-and-forth that might ensue if you were emailing them.
Next, you build out your staff by creating open positions and inviting your staff to fill them. From Servers to Prep Cooks, you can add new positions by selecting them from the drop-down. You can then create shifts for those positions, select how many people you need, and then pick staff to send invites to.
Finally, you can add more instructions for your team, like attire and accessories, before you confirm and send the invites. All these instructions are communicated to your staff via text messages, and they instantly get notified when you change something.
Positions get filled much faster using Scheduler. Once your event is created, Scheduler sends out a text message and email to the people you select. They’ll get the notification instantly and can accept or decline with a click, and you can see in real-time how many positions are filled.
Samantha estimates she saves a day of work every week just by using Scheduler. Her staff also prefer the text mode of communication. For example, when they receive location instructions, they get a Google Maps link which allows them to plan exactly how to get to the venue. It’s also easier for them to manage invites with their phone calendars.
“For the staff, they’re given much more information which they like to have before they show up for their shift.”
Today, with Scheduler, Weir Catering can handle more clients and larger events without needing to hire a full-time person to manage shifts and schedules.
If you’re in a position where you’re taking on more clients for your catering business but the scheduling is getting cumbersome, take a look at our Scheduler app. You can start for free to see how easy it is to use!