Takeaways and Trends from Shoptalk and Restaurant Leadership Conference 2017

Over the past month Cambeo hit the road exhibiting at their first major events ever– Shoptalk 2017 and the Restaurant Leadership Conference. In addition to Cambeo team members, Rudy Ruettiger from the famed “Rudy” movie, attended the events to help officially announce the launch of Cambeo’s new Frontline mobile app.

restaurant leadership conference 2017

The Restaurant Leadership Conference this year took place in Phoenix, Arizona and featured a who’s who of restaurants and leadership. We were privileged to demo the Frontline app and received great feedback from the likes of Wendy’s, Denny’s, Carl Jr.’s, Chili’s, and many more. The restaurant industry may not be as influx as retail, but one key difference is how the restaurant industry seems to want to come together to figure out how to keep innovating. Even if they’re not compelled to change, they know they must keep doing so to keep up with changes in customer behavior.

5 Key Takeaways from the Restaurant Leadership Conference 2017

  1. Keep Innovating…it’s “the right thing to do in the long term, even if it might not feel good in the short term.” In what area will restaurants need to hit the gas next? “The customer experience…the challenge will be finding ways to surprise and delight when diners today have so many options.”  – Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America
  2. Paying for convenience? Sure. For higher labor costs? No thanks.42% of consumers say they are fine with paying more for delivery orders…but only 27% are willing to pay more for restaurants to offer higher wages. -Patrick Noone, EVP of Technomic
  3. Understand culture! Yum Brands’ CEO Greg Creed, today’s challenge is to avoid feeling like a big, massive brand. Independent restaurants and emerging regional chains are gaining strength and outperforming the big brands, particularly among younger millennials and Gen Zers.“How do you make [a chain] feel really small to the customer?” By truly understanding culture.
  4. Pick an initiative and nail it! Five Guys is currently doing a big safety initiative by installing new produce wash stations that eliminate 99% of common food pathogens. Previously we’ve written about how doing one thing really well can actually change perception and culture while increasing revenue.
  5. Eliminate the retail mindset of retail being a dead end job. DavCo, a Wendy’s franchise group recently found that a young person with as little as 2-years of experience can find their way into management. It even created a brochure “A Career in the Restaurant Industry” and provides it to current employees and interviewees, as well as local high school guidance counselors. Love the proactive approach to a negative mindset and it shows the company is actually interested in its associates by providing a path to success.

shoptalk 2017 2017 brought out some of the biggest names in retail, and the Cambeo team was selected to participate in the event’s Tech Tours for In-Store Innovation. Companies who were interested in learning more about this type of technology tour the exhibit hall and get a five minute pitch from various exhibitors. Cambeo was able to demo its new mobile app in front of Walmart, Target and Charlotte Russe executives. Additionally, Cambeo was able to demo the new app in front of major retailers like Home Depot, Kohl’s, Express, Costco, Lowes Foods, Chanel, and so many more. Retail is no doubt under fire, and many at the show were there to find answers. Here are just a few trends we found at the show, as it also reconfirms that many retailers are still NOT interested in investing in their associates, but many are starting to recognize they must.

3 Key Trends from ShopTalk 2017

1. Target starting to focus on Brick and Mortar experience to influence digital growth:

Target is trying to reverse its three-quarter decline in comparable store sales by providing a better in-store experience. They also revealed they supply 55% of online orders through their brick and mortar stores and are now optimizing stores for the digital shopper. In addition, they’re re-designing 40 stores to serve omni-channel customers and those just running errands.  – Business Insider

2. eBay CEO Says Some Retailers Might Not Make it to the End of the Year

“I think the complete death of stores has been greatly exaggerated,” Wenig said. “The consumer wants stores. The entire world will not be online. But there are both capacity and utility issues in retail. People don’t like poor store experiences…If a store is not providing a great entertaining customer experience, if a store isn’t a mini distribution center in some way, I’m not really sure what its purpose is.”  – eBay CEO Devin Wenig on CNBC 

3. Why So Many Stores are Closing Now –

“It’s very hard to change from one form of retail, what boomers want, to what Gen Z consumers want. For a big organization, it’s almost impossible. It’s not the products, it’s the culture…Consumer product companies that are digitally native now have a big advantage over legacy retailers who have legacy approaches. One thing this means is that we’re going to see more store closings. ” –Richard Kestenbaum – Forbes

Rudy Ruettiger- Chief Motivating Officer

Retail employs the most people in the United States, yet is finding itself under extreme scrutiny because some of the biggest brands are closing hundreds of stores, and some are going out of business completely. Cambeo partnered with Rudy Ruettiger, of “Rudy” the movie fame, because of what he represents, the underdog. When Rudy accompanied us, we had no idea the experience he would provide for so many. From meeting and greeting anyone and everyone, to making a phone call to a Notre Dame Football fan’s uncle dying of cancer-Rudy made those around him feel special. A great lesson about the power of people and about creating experiences for anyone we meet!

Cambeo Announces New Frontline App

At Shoptalk and the Restaurant Leadership Conference, Cambeo announced the launch of it’s new mobile app, Frontline. Obviously, the app was made with frontline employees in mind, but it’s biggest feature allows management the visibility they need to know what is happening in their stores down to a specific employee or task. The true magic of the app is the way it brings mobile to frontline employees and aggregates actionable data. This just means that the better the data, the clearer the picture for managers/management to know what is or isn’t being done. Management can also obtain attitudinal information through quick surveys on store effectiveness, team culture, and employee engagement. Managers can know if their employees are not only engaged in their work, but if they’re actually happy. When we combine that data with financial results, it also allows us to predict what tasks and even employees produce a favorable return.

You mean, the Cambeo tool can show retailers how their stores are doing financially, culturally AND how productive they are?

Frontline for Store Associates

Frontline was built simply to help frontline associates to do their job better and to measure their productivity. It does this in several ways.

cambeo frontline mobile productivity app Cambeo Frontline Employee Engagement app

Associates can:

  • see a concise list of tasks for the day
  • easily receive details and instructions on tasks to accomplish, including pictures
  • instantly check off tasks as they complete them from their phone
  • be automatically notified of tasks that need to be accomplished
  • complete short surveys on store effectiveness, team culture, and employee engagement
  • complete simple training from their phone
  • see a personal profile that includes productivity to know how they’re performing

Frontline for Management

Cambeo Frontline Management console

For management, Frontline brings unprecedented visibility of all stores and employees. Management instantly can see just how a store or region is performing on culture, productivity and revenue. If a store is struggling, they simply can touch their screen and dive deeper into what is happening in that store. It’s extremely powerful to identify your star performers and to then dive deeper into why they are stars. They can further investigate and find out why particular stores perform better than others, they can then quickly diagnose those successes and inform other stores to try to replicate those same results. Managers can quickly diagnose what employees are being unproductive, and quickly assign appropriate training. Managers can then see if that training has actually helped their productivity.

“You mean to tell me, that management can quickly identify our best stores based on productivity-and/or culture and/or revenue and not only that, I can quickly see what is happening in those stores and if poor performing employees are receiving training AND monitor those needing training to see if they improve?”

Here’s a breakdown of more Frontline features for management:

Managers can: 

  • perform quick employee reviews
  • complete short surveys on store effectiveness and team culture
  • create and assign tasks
  • set tasks to repeat
  • track task completion and validate completion of work with photo verification
  • more effectively and efficiently communicate with team members
  • assign training content from a mobile device to individual or all team members
  • track training results down to individual team members

Executives and Regional Managers can:

  • track real time task completion for all stores and employees
  • see exactly what store managers see
  • see financial results of multiple stores
  • monitor employee engagement and team culture of all stores (or region) on their mobile device
  • communicate more effectively to regional or store managers

To find out more about Cambeo’s Frontline click here: http://cambeo.io/platform/solutions-operations

Mike Jensen
Mike Jensen is the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media for Cambeo. He's previously worked on Blendtec's famous "Will it Blend?" YouTube channel and successfully marketed products such as New York Times Best-seller, "The Romney Family Table" by Ann Romney, NBA Hall-of-Famer John Stockton's autobiography, and Gladys Knight albums. In his spare time he enjoys eating cold cereal late at night, terrorizing his wife and 5 children with 80s music, and a nice cold Vanilla Coke.

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