July 13, 2016 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA, GA – In a forward-thinking move designed to streamline café operations and improve hospitality and training of all crew members, Tropical Smoothie Café® recently unveiled details of an innovative new paperless restaurant ops system called Jolt. Designed to be implemented on two hand-held iPad devices with a small label-only printer, the Jolt system, and mobile app delivers efficient training updates, scheduling, and app-centric crew-member communication as part of a suite that saves time, money, and paper resources.
“We found we were going through nearly 5 million sheets of copy paper every 12 months, just at the corporate Franchisee Support Center,” Tropical Smoothie Café Operations Support Manager, Joe Sowerby, explained about the change to Jolt. “When you add that to whatever paper usage each of our franchisees were also using, the switch to Jolt has the potential to save thousands of trees each year.” Besides paper and printing costs, Sowerby explained that franchisees, managers and crew leaders will save dozens of hours each month thanks to the efficiency and ease of the Jolt mobile app.
“Our initial estimates show a savings of close to 30 hours per month, per location, just from using Jolt,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “While there are labor cost savings associated with that, the impact of 30 additional hours on any business is substantial. Franchisee owners can use that time to support marketing, complete financial tasks, or do any other work they feel will contribute to their bottom-line success.”
A cornerstone of the Jolt system’s speed, efficiency, and reduced waste is the use of mobile platform technology – in this case, iPad compatible modules. Crew members may download the Jolt mobile app interface for their smartphones to check their schedule, trade shifts, request time off and set preferred work times. Currently, Tropical Smoothie Café has 192 users live on the app with a goal of 250 users by the end of the year. Crew members may use one of two suggested iPads per location for personalized training, printing FIFO labels, and completing shift checklists. Crew leaders, managers, and franchise owners will then be able to see training progress, schedule forecasts, and other café operational information in real-time, without sifting through stacks of paperwork and emails. The only printing performed in the cafés is the small stick-on FIFO labels, slightly larger than postage stamps. The labels ensure consistent labeling of all products and eliminate any food safety mistakes.
Test cafés for Tropical Smoothie Café have all reported excellent satisfaction with the Jolt platform, with 100% of test users recommending the system to other franchisees. “I love the customization,” said Steven Seiter, the General Manager for NY-13. “There are so many options of what you can do.” Jen Moore, the Franchisee at VA-007 agrees. “The date codes and the amount of information is amazing,” she said. “Works for this generation, they prefer technology and adapt to it better,” was the feedback from Austin Coffey, the General Manager of VA-109. Look for more positive feedback to come from across the country as the whole system makes the switch over to Jolt.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 500 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Café serves smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked in Entrepreneur's 2015 Franchise 500, Nation's Restaurant News' 2015 Top 200, number five in the 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, and CEO Mike Rotondo in 2016 Fast Casual Top 25 Executives.Tropical Smoothie Café is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, among others. For more information, visit www.TropicalSmoothieFranchise.com.
SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Café