Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Update!

We would like to thank all of you who have made 2012 a tremendous success for Your Next Seven. Thanks to your feedback, Your Next Seven has added a ton of incredible new features over the past 12 months. Our software is even more intuitive now and considered by many to be the best choice for online employee scheduling! We want to thank you for your support by offering you “Grandfathered-in” pricing.

Here’s the deal: As of January 1st, 2013, The standard monthly price for Your Next Seven will increase from $27 per location, per month, to $37 per location*, per month. However, we will continue to honor the $27 pricing for those of you currently using our product and for anyone who signs up before the end of 2012. This means that for thelife of your relationship with us, your price will never go up. It’s our way of thanking you, our founding clients, for believing in us.

If you haven’t made the move to online scheduling yet, give us a call and we will get you set up in minutes. Anyone set up before 1/1/2013 (including trials) will be Grandfathered-in.

*Discount available for multi-location businesses. Call for details.
In case you’re wondering what we’ve been up to, here is a list of some of our new features:

  • Overviewer Account - Allows an administrator to view all data.
  • Added Visual Enhancements - More color and better division between employee grouping. That was the request, and we delivered.
  • Secured File Storage - Gives employers a secure way to keep track of when employees open and read documents.
  • Salaries and Usernames - Grants non-email-using employees access to our software and simplifies the reporting for salaried employees.
     
- Last, but far from least -

We are proud to announce that our new mobile version is launching at the start of the new year as well. From yn7.co, you will be able to send alerts, add/edit/delete shifts and access all of the great features that make Your Next Seven tick from any smartphone.
Mobile Employee Scheduling Preview
See the full overview of what the new mobile version will offer.


John
President / Lead Developer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Archived Employee Schedules...

Here we are again, always striving to make your employee scheduling easier and more intuitive. Got a call from a manager about an hour ago with the question of viewing archived employees on the schedule still for weeks past. Why didn't we think of that? Typically once an employee is archived, although their cost is still factored in to our reporting, their name is removed from the weekly schedule list, but not any more. If they have hours input for a week in the past the employee will magically show back up where they were positioned and all.

An archived employee will show up faded out so you know they're archived.

Just a quick update for you today as you go about making your employees happy by bringing their schedule online.

John
President / Lead Developer

Monday, December 17, 2012

Goose's Acre Review, The Woodlands, TX

Well, it's been a long time since a review has been written and it's time to get back on the horse, or goose in this case. Located right off of the beautiful waterway in The Woodlands, Goose's Acre holds a very special place in my families heart and stomach. Here's why...

Happy Parents are Happy Customers
looking at the boats passing by Goose's AcreOne thing you might not know from reading this blog is I'm a proud husband and father of 4 little ones 5 and under. Going out to eat is something of an adventure in our family, but we gladly do it every Sunday because of the long booths, huge windows over-looking the water and free kids meals. From what we understand it's 2 kids meals per adult entree, so the numbers work perfect right now, but even without that we'd still frequent this spot as our kiddos love coloring the menus and watching the boats pass by.


The food, oh wow, the food
Seriously, our family has been there countless times and I have tried just about everything on the menu from salads and appetizers to fish-n-chips and burgers. The only thing that ever threw me off slightly was a powdered sugar smothered sandwich of some sort (I can't find it on their menu anymore), but even that was AMAZING once I gave it a shot. Let me talk for a minute about the love of my taste buds though, the burger.

Now, if you've read my previous MooYah review you will remember that I categorize burgers into 2 main groups, Gourmet and Goooood. Here's a quick summary:
  1. Type 1: Gourmet.Usually on some sort of heaven-sent bun without a single pickle out of place, these burgers are stupendous. I typically prefer one of these guys with avocado or possible some finely sliced pineapple. If this burger were a human, it would wear a top hat.
  2. Type 2: Goooood.
    One thing I've found holds true in most food experiences is the messier something is, the better it is. For this burger title to work you would have to say it in the voice of Bruce Almighty, "It's goooood.". These burgers have a ton of amazing toppings that, if not careful, will fall all over your shirt with the slightest movement.
Back to the actual review. Their burgers are great, the meat is always cooked and the lettuce, tomato and pickles are fresh as can be. That, combined with their various toppings (namely the bleu cheese and bacon) make it a fantastic gourmet burger. Now, with my burger classification, what make this a gourmet burger you ask? The bun. The bun that graces either side of this is nothing short of amazing. Fluffy, light and full of flavor. For the love, just go try it. This is what you'll be looking for...

Oh, the fries at Goose's Acre. You've got to be kidding me. They must have fallen from heaven.












 
Wrapping it up
If you haven't been to Gooses, get there. I hear they're having a celebration for their new balcony coming up too! Sadly it was rained out last time we went (yesterday), but I'm sure it'll be nothing but sunshine when you go :)

John
President / Lead Developer

Monday, December 10, 2012

Employee Functionality Update

Calculating Salaries

As you know, we're always wanting to help our managers schedule as easy as possible. We've heard a few talk to us about calculating hours with their salaried employees and we decided to do something about it. Starting today you will be able to enter in a weekly payrate for an employee that is not calculated by the hours you input. These payrates will show in the weekly calculations as a flat rate, not effected by hours. Here's how it works...

When you're adding or editing an employee, change the drop-down next to the Pay Rate to "/wk" instead of "/hr". Shew, that was a long hard explanation (kidding.) Here's a screenshot of the new feature:


The great thing about this is in the reporting. When you're creating your schedule the weekly payrate will show regardless of how many hours that employee is working.

So, lets pretend we have Dave Matthews scheduled to play every Friday-Sunday for $1000.00 (you're lucky by the way), all you have to do is set him up as a salaried employee and you'll be set. Here's what the scheduled calculations will look like when he's on it:


Simple as that! Now, go book Dave Matthews and let me know when he's playing :)


Usernames

In this day and age it's hard to imagine somebody not having an email address, but not everyone is connected all the time. We've seen this problem time and time again with our restaurants and their employees have to do 1 of 2 things... sign up for some random email account that they'll never check or lose the ability to access Your Next Seven's wonderful scheduling features.

As a solution to this problem we've created an alternative "username" field when you register an employee. As a manager scheduling your staff you can now add in an employee by username and assign them a password. The employee will lose the ability to receive email alerts and reset their own password through email, but we felt that was a small price to pay for giving someone access to their account.



Log in to your account to check it out!

John
Your Next Seven - intuitive online employee scheduling
Founder / Lead Developer

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Hitting Close to Home

Hey all, this is going to be a slightly different post than my normal "this is why online scheduling is awesome" posts. As a life-long Texan living right next to the Gulf I have become accustomed and even numb to the threat and damage that hurricanes can cause. I can't count the number of times my family has gone without power and has gone around helping pick up debris from yet another beating from the Gulf. Watching Sandy on the news as it battered the East Coast with high winds and floods, all I could think about was how weird it was seeing arguably the greatest city in the world without power and helpless.

Hurricane Sandy Flooding Avenue C 2012
Photo by David Shankbone
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/8139664029/)
Then it dawned on me, we have customers out there that are crippled. Not only do they have restaurants they need to keep running, but those employees have lives they have to put back together. I remember all too well as a college student having to take unpaid days off of work because we simply didn't have power or even worse, gas to get there. After talking with one of our restaurant managers in New Jersey and hearing first hand all of the devastation that still lingered even 2 weeks after the storm hit, we knew we had to do something as a company.

Those that know Sergio and myself know we're not just starting up this company for a paycheck. We both have a heart for giving back what we have been blessed with. At $27/mo closing out our second year of business we're happy with the progress we've made and want to help with the recovery efforts happening on the East Coast. From the month of November through January we will be donating 25% from every monthly account we have to the American Red Cross and we encourage others to donate as well. On the homepage of our website we will also run a banner emphasizing the need for donations as the rebuilding continues.

We hope you'll take a moment to consider donating--even just a few bucks--to help our fellow restaurateurs out.

Donate to the American Red Cross here.

Thank you,
John
Your Next Seven - intuitive online employee scheduling
Founder / Lead Developer / Hurricane Survivor

Friday, July 20, 2012

Employee Schedule Updates

In an effort to always listen to our managers and make their time scheduling employees easier, we're proud to announce our latest improvement to our scheduling software.

Many of our customers are familiar with our tasks, allowing you to assign specific jobs and responsibilities to your staff. You have always been able to assign color schemes to your tasks for quick visual reference, but with the font being small some of the colors still got lost... we went on a hunt to find and rescue those beautiful colors you've set up. To the left is a side-by-side comparison of what the new update shows. We've added a small line to the bottom of the shift emphasizing the color of the task. Doesn't seem like much with the few shifts shown in the image, but on a full schedule, it turns into a beautiful result.

- To introduce our new feature, let me "divide" this page. -

In all of my blog postings where I want to convey more than one message, I'll typically separate the paragraphs with a nice little divider of some sort. Well, why not do that with your schedule? Sure, you might have different schedules set up for your FOH, BOH, bar or any separate department, but what about dividing your employees within a particular schedule? This is the problem we set out to solve.

Now, when you click the drop down next to "Employees (hours)" on the "Employee Layout" you have the option to click "Add a Divider". This will automatically add a divider to your schedule allowing you to set a custom name for the divider and move it wherever you feel fit. 

The end result of being able to quickly reference who on your schedule is under a certain division of labor is priceless (or at least worth 27 bucks a month.) Here's what it looks like:


For more information on the scheduler updates or if you just like videos more than text, check out this quick demonstration:



John
Your Next Seven, Inc - Intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Overviewer Account to View Schedules and Reports

We've had several requests for a new account that will allow an outside person to overview the activity of a Your Next Seven account. Well, we've done just that and made it nice and easy for you to use.

All you have to do is head over to your "Employees" page and "Add an Employee". For the employee type drop down select "Overviewer". You'll then see a simplified way of adding the employee that requires a name and email address.


This is a really nifty feature if you have a corporate office that would like to see what is happening with the scheduling or reporting, but does not need access to notifications or editing capabilities. What the user will essentially get is a stripped down administrator access. Check out this quick demo below for full information on what to expect when using this account type:



That's it for today! We hope you enjoy the new feature and look for a lot more coming throughout the week.

John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Employee Scheduling New Feature for File Storage


Do you ever need to get documents to your employees or other management staff, but need to make sure they've read it somehow? Never fear, Your Next Seven is here. With this release, inside of your messages, you have the option to attach a file or use a previously uploaded file all within our software.

Why Attach Files In Your Next Seven?
Think about the last time you needed to distribute the weekly special or some sort of memo. You send off an email or post a piece of paper with the information you need to distribute, but there's no way to tell if anyone has looked at it and you're limited to text. With this new feature you'll be able to add attachments to your messages allowing you to track who downloaded the file and at what time.

 - For example, let's talk pizza. - 



Yes, pizza. One of our newest clients has the best pizza in The Woodlands where we're headquartered. Every month they feature a new and different pizza. Instead of the manager just telling the employees what the pizza is, what if they broadcast a message from Your Next Seven and included an image of the latest masterpiece. Suddenly you have more than just a description of this month's special. You've got pictures that give your staff the ability to describe with intimate detail what they're selling.

 - Time stamped file signatures. - 



Pizza won't always be on the menu, we know that sometimes you need to get through to an employee with written documentation. If there's a need to issue a write-up or, on a cheerier note, if there's a new hire. Simply attach the form to a message directly to the employee. Because an employee has to sign in to view the document using a username and password only they know, when the employee downloads the attachment the time stamp can act as a digital record for your files.

There are countless ways you can use this in your everyday management needs and I'll go over a few others in the video overview, but I need to talk a minute about the cost of this new feature. We do allow you to host up to 7 files for free, however, we have to break our long standing rule to not charge for new features and here's why:

Hosting files significantly increases the hit on our servers, where-as most other Add-Ons have little to no effect. For that reason, if you need to host more than the free 7 file limit we offer, we do need to charge a bit. You are always free to host your files on another server and link to them in a message.

John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Friday, June 15, 2012

Employee Scheduling Update That's Just Pretty

I was chatting with one of our managers the other day and got into a conversation about visiually representing what time of day an employee has requested off.

Now, for some background here, we aleady show managers when their employees need off with a yellow or red background on the schedule. If an employee has a weekly conflict it will show up on the schedule as a yellow background with a note on mouse over telling the manager what time they can't work.

If they have an irregular request that has been approved, like a vacation or something along those lines, it shows as a red background with a note on mouse over like the weekly conflict.

Employee Scheduling Conflicts - The Old Way
Old way of showing scheduling conflicts. 

We figured the mouse over wastes way too much time... so we're proud to introduce a smarter, faster, prettier schedule.

Now if an employee needs an entire day off the whole background for that day will be yellow. If they request am or pm, only half of the background will show as yellow with am covering the top half and pm covering the bottom half. Check it our with the side by side comparison and let us know what you think! Our goal is to make building your staff's schedule more intuitive than ever.

Employee Scheduling Conflicts - The New Way
New way of showing scheduling conflicts.
Here's a quick video overview of the new features, plus on extra little gift.



John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Employee Scheduling Add-On Giving More Control

We quietly released a new Add-On today that gives managers even more control over their accounts. This Add-On we're dubbing "Limit Functionality" will give you as a manager the ability to turn off Shift Swaps, Time Off Requests and the ability to Release Shifts.

Managers still have the ability to put in Time Off for their employees on the Employee Edit Screen so you still have the notifications within the scheduling software. We've got more Add-Ons in the queue that will be released in the coming days and we will keep you notified of everything we're doing to make your scheduling tasks easier.

John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MOOYAH Review, The Woodlands, TX

So, it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. Where there's a new burger joint, I am not too far behind looking in search for the perfect cow. These guys are close and I look forward to more combinations in the future. Here it is:

Let's start with the menu:
A simple one it is. You grab on of the cut up pieces of paper and get to circling while you are quickly herded through the line (sorry for that) on your way to ordering. My masterpiece consisted of a Mooyah Burger on a white bun with pepper jack cheese, oh and every free topping I could load on it. For the little ones they have a mini-menu. Prices are great on that and with a side of applesauce, our little cafes even ate somewhat healthy :)

Of course, the milkshake evened things out.

- ON TO THE BURGER! -

What a fantastic burger it was. A little background here... in my opinion you have two types of burgers:
  1. Type 1: Gourmet.Usually on some sort of heaven-sent bun without a single pickle out of place, these burgers are stupendous. I typically prefer one of these guys with avocado or possible some finely sliced pineapple. If this burger were a human, it would wear a top hat.
  2. Type 2: Goooood.
    One thing I've found holds true in most food experiences is the messier something is, the better it is. For this burger title to work you would have to say it in the voice of Bruce Almighty, "It's goooood.". These burgers have a ton of amazing toppings that, if not careful, will fall all over your shirt with the slightest movement.
Now, this burger. This burger was Goooooooooood. I told you what I had ordered in the second paragraph and I was even being a bit shy with the toppings that night leaving behind the optional bacon, avocado and fried onion strings.

The thing is, when I opened this burger, to my shock, there were 2 patties! "How could this have happened?", I asked myself. Did I order an additional patty without knowing? No. It turns out this wonder of a burger establishment just knows how to make their customers happy. When the employee came around to ask how things were and if we needed a refill I asked how I could have acquired this extra patty. Then the answer came... that's how all of these incredibly goooooooooood  burgers are designed. That's right, at no extra cost they throw another patty on to satisfy one's desire for the red, ground up meet that is the modern day hamburger. These people are saints.

The Extras
Once I had my fill of this -don't put me down or I'll fall apart- burger, I was then able to partake in a perfect take on fries in a cup, both regular and sweet potato. Also, as a throw down to the days of my youth, I had to indulge in the Oreo Shake to top off the evening.


- All in All -

I have to say that this place knows how to properly cook a goooooooooood ol' fashioned burger and make it's customers happy with a double patty, great fries and a variety of shakes to top it off. MOOYAH, my hats off to you and I look forward to our next encounter.


John
President / Lead Developer

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crust Pizza Co. Review, The Woodands, TX


After watching the Texas Iron Man race a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were craving some pizza. The thousands of spectators caused all the restaurants in the immediate vicinity to have 90+ minute waits, so we checked our Google Maps to find a pizza place nearby. Crust Pizza Co. was on our way home and had some decent reviews, so we decided to give it a shot.

My gosh am I glad that we did. As we pulled into the Panther Creek shopping center on Woodlands Parkway, the first thing we noticed about Crust was that the outdoor patio was packed. We figured that was a good sign. The guy who took our order just happened to be the owner of the company. We ordered a wheat crust with pineapple, Canadian bacon, and mushrooms--a variation of the Hawaiian pizza which is our favorite.

Two things we noticed while placing our order:

1) The prices here were incredible. A largepizza was only ten bucks and our three toppings were only $1.50 each. Of equal importance, a bottle of wine was only TEN dollars. That's ten bucks for a bottle of wine. And it was awesome. I actually spoke to the owner about this and he mentioned that they had originally planned on making it a BYOB restaurant but decided instead to offer quality house-wines at razor-thin margins so that everyone could enjoy a little wine with their meal.

2) The environment was top-notch. Beautiful, classy, but not pretentious. A young couple was sharing a private dinner in a booth while twenty feet away a family of six was enjoying a couple of extra large pizzas. Young and old, casual and well-dressed, single folks and families. Everyone felt comfortable here.

On to the food.

We received our bottle of wine immediately and were surprised at how good this ten dollar bottle of wine was. Granted, it was a little smaller than your usual bottle of wine, but it was still more than we could finish. 

The Natural on Whole Wheat
Alfredo Sauce, Baby Spinach, Roma Tomatoes,
Fresh Garlic, Virgin Olive Oil, Feta & Mozzarella Cheese
Then the pizza came. As we pulled our slices onto our plates, we noticed there was ZERO grease under the crust. This blew me away. I detest a couple pizza chains whose pizzas seem to be grilled in a pan full of butter. Crust's pizza dough was fresh and fluffy and the toppings were off the hook. We were in love.

Since that day, we have taken my in-laws there and it is now their favorite place. We also took my sister-in-law and her fiance and it is now their favorite place. In three weeks we have tried their Hawaiian (AMAZING), Tuscany, Veggie, and a couple random pizzas. My wife ordered the Hawaiian expecting it to just be Canadian bacon and pineapple, like most places. We were a little nervous when the pizza arrived with dried cranberries and roasted cashews...but that is now my favorite pizza on the planet.

Hawaiian
Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, Roasted Cashews,
Sun-dried Cranberries, Mozzarella & Cheddar Cheese

If I were on death row and I had to request my last meal, the Hawaiian Pizza from Crust Pizza Co would be on the table in front of me. I'd also have some turkey and mashed potatoes...maybe some chocolate cake and milk, too, but now I'm way off topic.


Bottom line: If you want to eat a spectacular, flavorful, pizza in a great environment for less than you normally spend on delivery, go to Crust Pizza Co.


Margherita
Roma Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese,
Fresh Chopped Basil, Crushed Garlic & Parmesan

Pepperoni Supreme
Double Pepperoni, Mushrooms,
Tomatoes & Smoked Mozzarella


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Employee Scheduling Quick Shifts Add-on

So, our scheduling software is fast. Imagine if you will a race between Flash and say, a snail. We pride ourselves in the ability to get you up and going on building your first schedule as quickly as possible. Now, to make that even faster, we've added our Quick Shifts Add-on. This will allow you to pre-define set shifts instead of manually selecting start and end times, breaks, and tasks for each employee. Here's how:

Activate the Add-on through your "Add-Ons" page under "My Account". It will look like this:


Once the Add-On is activated, you can either "Configure Add-On" from there or any time through the drop-down menu on the main schedule. When you are adding new shifts to use on your schedule, input at least a name, start and end time. Adding specific breaks or tasks to a shift is optional.



Once you have added your Quick Shifts, navigate to your schedule and click to add or edit any shift like you normally would. When you click the first "start" time option you will notice your shifts to the left of the time selector. Select which shift you would like to use and, vioala, your Quick Shift's information automatically fills into the current shift. You can then either add hours, or edit the shift slightly before you add the hours.


Would you rather watch the movie than read the book? Here you go...


John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Open Shifts" for your weekly schedule! Yeah, they're pretty cool.

Life just gets easier and easier over here at Your Next Seven. Since launching in January '11 we've always given our employees and managers the ability to swap, release and pick-up shifts. One thing we've heard a few times from our managers though is the request to give the ability to put in "Open Shifts". These shifts are set up to allow management the ability to plug in some extra shifts and allow their staff the opportunity to pick them up! Well, today we're releasing the "Open Shifts Add-on".

As with our full suite of Add-ons you can head over to "My Account > Add-Ons" to activate this. Once activated you'll notice a new row on your schedule (currently only employee view.) It will look like this:


Just click "Add Shift" and you're good to go with the normal hours dialogue box you're used to when adding shifts. It's that simple. As if that wasn't cool enough, when an employee offers to pick up a shift you as a manager get the same awesome details that you would get when approving normal shift change requests. These details will include if the employee is already scheduled for that day and will let you know how many hours it will put them at if they picked up the shift. Check it out:


In case you're still curious as to how everything works, or you just can't wait to see it in action! This video walk-through is for you.



Just as a final FYI. This Add-on came at the request of our management staff who is actively using our scheduling services and we're here for them. If you have any requests or features you would like to see added in, just shoot me an email.

John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Messages System Improvements to Help with Employee Scheduling Communication

We know that on of the big draws to online scheduling is communication with your staff and always having that access at your fingertips. In the past Your Next Seven has had an "Alerts" window that allowed you as the manager to send out a SMS Text and Email to all of your employees with the push of a button. Now, even though that was awesome, we decided to make it awesomer (I think I'm going to coin that word.)


Introducing... Messages. Wait, messages? We've had that since the beginning. Not like this though, with our new Messages section you can now send out an email and/or a SMS Text to all or some of your employees. With advanced options available to both management and employees alike, communication is easier than ever. Here, enjoy some screenshots of the Messages goodness:



Dashboard View
On your Dashboard you will now see the messages (formerly alerts) widget. This will show the latest three messages that were sent out  as well as give you the ability to quickly navigate to your inbox and send a new message. Click on any of the previews to view the full message.


- So, we know that Dashboard View is pretty awesome. Now, on to the full view -


Yes, we're aware this is just simply beautiful. Feel free to leave any comments you'd like below. Now, for some substance let's walk through viewing messages from employees. You get a preview of the message left (100 characters to be exact) as well as the last time a message was added to the thread. What's a thread you ask? It's something like this:


The Thread
The message thread will allow all of your managers or employees that are tagged on the message to openly communicate. Need to discuss the upcoming meeting with your management staff? Planing a surprise birthday party? Need to put a message down for history letting your GM know what the last deposit was? Create a message and start a thread. It's really extremely simple to do and is always stored in history for your convenience.




- How do I create one of these magical "messages" you keep talking about? -

The best place to start when creating a new message is pushing the button that says "New Message" either from your Dashboard or your Messages page. (We like to keep things intuitive.) It's the features you want to know about. The features are something to behold for sure. Let's break down that page section by section.
  1. This shows your name. You know, in case you forgot.
  2. Quick and easy sending options. Send a message instantly to all of the management and employees by clicking their respective checkboxes, or drill down to specific recipients by clicking "Select Employees".
  3. Enter a subject line so the message content is easily recognized.
  4. Your message is what will be shown both in the "Messages" section and when the email is sent out. There is no limit to the amount of characters you can write.
  5. Easily copy your message to the optional SMS Text that will send to your employees. It automagically truncates your message to 140 characters.
  6. Optionally send out an SMS Text with your messages (up to 140 characters.) This can be the same or different than the original message written.
  7. Send it off! If the SMS section is filled out it will send an email and SMS to all of the employees tagged on the message. This will then create a message thread that employees can comment on. Ah... communication is great isn't it?

Well, that's all I have for you today folks. As always if you have any questions, comments or suggestions I'm always available to answer. Enjoy the new messaging features as we continue to make online scheduling easier than ever!

Feel free to watch our video on the new messaging features as well:



John
Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers Review, The Woodands, TX

Hello blogosphere. So, I've had this blog for awhile and it's great for pushing out notices of updates and what not, but there's only so many ways you can improve an already amazing software. That's when I started thinking again (which is dangerous) I visit a lot of restaurants on a weekly basis and tend to try out the different foods at each of them. Sure I'm eating out a lot, but it's all to make sure the restaurants using Your Next Seven are quality right?

After looking at all my restaurant visits, that's when I decided.

I have to start reviewing these places.

Restaurant goers like to read reviews, but so many of them don't include the necessary awesomeness that is needed to really get a feel of where you're going to be eating.

In addition to the food (with pictures of course) I'll be looking at what else makes the restaurant great. The staff, environment, little knick-knacks here and there. All I hope for is that you'll see how great all of these places around The Woodlands and Houston are. Whether they use our software or not, they still have great food and that's what I'm into.

Now, for the first review...
Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers

Holy cow! (I apologize for the cheesy pun, it had to be said.) This place is amazing in all aspects of what a burger joint is supposed to be and then some. It starts when you walk through the door, which is typically held open by one of their many outstanding employees. Then you start the zig-zag through the line. Typically this would be pretty boring, but when you're surrounded by mounds of lemons, avocados and other fresh goodness it reminds you that this place strives for freshness. In fact, they even sport a "Partners" page on their website that emphasizes their commitment to working with local farmers and businesses. While supporting local business is great and all I know the real reason you're reading this is for the food. So here it is...

The Burger
Made from the leanest of cows, softest of buns and tastiest of homemade sauces. This burger is the perfect combination of everything you need, yes, need in a burger. I'm a burger guy myself and would eat one for every meal if my wife would let me (love you girl), and if I could do that I'd be eating a Jerry Built.
Outside of the normal awesomeness you'd expect in a great burger, they have these sauces and toppings that push it over the edge. Their Ernie’s Sauce and Chili compliment the burger well enough, but if you're feeling a bit like doing the tango on your tongue you would have to go with the Jalapeno Cream Cheese. In case you're wondering what that is, it's fresh jalapeno mixed with cream cheese. I also think they throw in a bit of "I have to eat more of this when's the next time I can come back" sauce, but that is yet to be confirmed.
The crinkle fries you see pictured are the perfect side item for this burger from heaven, and if you're looking for something a little different they have the option of sweet potato fries (also crinkled.)

The Drinks
After stuffing your face with all of this cow, jalapeno, potato amazingness you'll probably be ready to quench your thirst. Sure, you could go anywhere else and be satisfied with a coke or even a shake that comes out of some metal box, but why would you want to limit your taste buds? At Jerry Bulit I would typically get a fresh shake from Texas' own Blue Bell Icecream and farm fresh berries.
Not in the mood for the nostalgia of a burger and shake?
Grab a cup and head over to the future of the soft drink industry with Coca-Cola's Freestyle®. Coca-Cola's what!?! This machine of the future makes you the soft drink king. Mix and match a plethora of flavors and try to explode every one of your taste buds. Pro-tip: only fill your cup up half way each time and refill often with different combinations.

Goofing Off
As if the experience wasn't great enough, these guys had to go in and add one of the greatest hand washing machines ever developed. Basically you stick your hands in these two circles, Indiana Jones style, and instead of getting trapped they get cleaned. Water appears and spins like magic and presto! Just watch the demo below and you'll get the point. It brings pure joy to children and adults alike...



Honestly, this thing was just a genius idea considering the entire left side of the restaurant is a chalkboard for the kiddos (and some adultos) to draw on. Chalk dust cleans right off of little hands with this modern marvel.

Speaking of the chalkboard. Need a quick getaway from the little ones and don't want to fork out for a babysitter? Our boys ate, then quickly ran to the nearby chalkboard to practice their Van Gogh skills. Just don't forget to take them when you leave!

Wrapping it Up
All in all, this place is a stroke of pure genius with it's perfect mesh of amazing food, overly-friendly staff and little gadgets to make the entire trip an experience. Whether you're going on a date or bringing the clan, Jerry Built is the new place to be in The Woodlands or check out their original location off of Holcombe Blvd. in Houston. Highly, highly recommended. They've turned me into a life long customer.

John
Your Next Seven, Inc - online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Friday, April 27, 2012

Improved Time Selections and Breaks Add-on

Again, with making our software easier to use and just plain beautiful.


We were presented with the challenge of adding a breaks option to the schedule so that when a manager assigns breaks to the employee, it will remove that block of time from their scheduled hours. We said, "Not a problem!" and in the process decided to make everything a bit cleaner and add more features that will help you as the manager schedule easier.


Check out our video below for a detailed walk through of the new breaks add-on and our new and improved way of adding hours to the schedule.






Oh, and just because we love our customers, we made the days-of-the-week header stick to the top of the "Schedule" page when you start scrolling down. That way you don't lose track of what day you're currently on. Here's what you'll see when you scroll down the page:






John
President / Lead Developer