Have you heard of the cloud?
Anyone who uses Apple products will have heard of the cloud and cloud based technology.
But I will admit, I have never owned an iPhone. Neither has Darin. We have been Android kind of people. But when looking at opening up a restaurant and what would work well for us we realized it would be really helpful to be able to look in on things from home, from the road, and not have to be in the office to do some of the work.
And so.... the cloud. And well, I really really have always loved doing my banking online and paying my taxes online through ufile and shopping online.... basically, anything I can do at home in my pj's makes me happy.
Plus, we really like to have some control over our menu and changing prices. And we had committed to this idea of daily updates on social media and blogging, so the idea of integrating some new technologies sounded like a good idea.
And then the amazing woman, Sara Rankin, who created our logo and designed our website introduced us to an accountant, Gerard Jones from BAGE Tax & Accounting. Gerard believes firmly in the use of integrated cloud based technology to get things done... and so then, the Lot 45 technology boom was created.
It all started with our accounting software....easy right? Just have your bank accounts and your credit cards "talk" to your software and be able to access your accounting software from any computer.
That seemed helpful. So we started there.
Then we realized that the POS system that came with the building wasn't going to satisfy our needs. So, we found a system that worked "in the cloud"... Oh, and it would talk to our accounting software. And we could access it from any computer.... sure. Let's try.
Then we realized that keeping track of the hours for the number of staff we had was not as easy as we thought. You guessed it, we found another cloud based software that talks to our POS system and works off the same ipads that the POS does so we don't need anything new with that.... and I can log on from home in my pj's.
Did I mention we also changed payroll so that our time clock system integrates with our payroll company? So the bonus was that instead of sitting in the office with a million interruptions trying to get payroll completed, I log into the time clock system we are using, approve all of the time sheets and import them into payroll and with a few clicks, get that done as well.
Darin, the poor fella, had been comfortable with using all of his usual technology to do accounting, time sheets, inputting data to payroll etc. And well, with the cloud we have everything integrating to each other so there is so little data entry and it makes life much easier. I've basically asked him to take everything he knows how to do and just do it . . . differently. And be able to do it in front of the TV at home in his pj's.
Now I won't lie. There have been headaches, and stresses, and wondering if this was the right decision and days we have wanted to walk away from the whole thing ... and days we've even just picked up paper and done it the old fashioned way. BUT we are getting used to it. And I find it exceedingly helpful as someone who has never worked in a restaurant to understand better how things work - because I do the inputting. I have that control. And I can do it when I am at home, relaxed, (and yes, in my pj's)
If you are curious, you can ask us anytime about the systems we use. And for a business starting up - the use of subscription based software and cloud based technology has made startup much more affordable.
Cheers - Linda