Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, Let's Fry Some Birds

Wowzers, this time of year always seems to sneak up on us, but I'm glad when it does. Thanksgiving is here at last and like any good Texan we'll be spending this time with family, friends and a deep fried turkey.

Why Deep Fry a Turkey?

Short Answer:
Why not?

Long Answer:

Cook time

Deep frying a turkey has a much shorter cook time than the conventional oven. The time is figured to about 4 minutes per pound of turkey. When you stick a turkey in the oven typically you're starting early in the morning with a constant day of basking and basking to make sure it doesn't look like a Christmas Vacation turkey.



Kitchen mess & stereotypes

Although sometimes the stereotype is broken, more than likely a combination of good ol' Grandma, Mom, the Mother-In-Law that we all love :), aunts, sisters, and a wife/girlfriend will be dominating that kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. There will be pots and pans, mixers, bowls, spatchulas and a ton of other miselaneous things I don't know what to call everywhere. Who needs another gigantor pot sloshing around with turkey juices?

Not to mention the men in the house breaking away from the football game to come and graze the kitchen like cows in the pasture. Give them something to fry!


Taste

Come on now. History has proven that frying anything is better than the un-fried counterpart. A fried turkey produces a moist, succulent meat wrapped in a crispy edible skin that rivals the best potato chip. Even the white meat is good on a fried turkey (I'm a dark meat guy.)


How to keep your eyebrows, house and grass not on fire.

Follow the instructions below. Seriously. You do not want to over-fill your frying pot or drop in a non-defrosted turkey. It is extremely dangerous as illustrated by this awesome firefighter...

Watch the full video at http://youtu.be/ETBD0EqQGoU

How to Fry the Bird.

First things first... get your supplies.

You will need a fryer, fryer stand, lots of cooking oil (canola, peanut or safflower), a seasoning and injector (I recommend Tony Chachere's) and a propane tank. You can pick all of this up at your local sports store and some grocery stores. Oh, and a turkey. Get a turkey.

Next up.. preparation.

Take that turkey out of the freezer a day or two before and give it plenty of time to COMPLETELY thaw out. This is the first of two very important steps into not killing yourself or burning your house down this Thanksgiving.

Finally... fry the bird.

You'll fill your fryer with the appropriate amount of oil so it does not overflow when the turkey is put in. This right here is the second step to keeping your eyebrows and house in tact. Make sure the temp has reached 350 °F (175 °C) before you drop Gobbles in. (I just named my turkey Gobbles.)

Pro Tip: Get the oil a bit hotter than 350 °F (175 °C). The temp will drop once you put Gobbles in.

So, do yourself a nice little Google search like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+fry+a+turkey and get to frying this Thanksgiving! Shoot us some pictures of your masterpiece when you're done :)

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Employee Scheduling - Back to Basics

Where We Came From

It's been 2.5 years since I first launched Your Next Seven with the goal of bringing online employee scheduling into the modern era of the web. So many software companies seemed to be stuck in the past, making scheduling more difficult than the traditional pen and paper or Excel method. So why were restaurants and retailers switching to online scheduling?

Over the past years of talking to owners, managers and employees, the number one answer I came across was communication. Having a digital record of schedules, messages and shift swaps, not to mention the text and email messages of the employee's schedule that goes out, were all key for the managers and employees. With communication taken care of, the main focus on Your Next Seven's future development has always been making the scheduling process as painless as possible.

Boxes

One of the main focuses with employee scheduling software is using boxes to accomplish entering shifts. A typical process for adding a shift looks like this:

  1. Click an empty box
  2. Another box pops up
  3. Either click a pre-defined shift box or...
  4. Click a box for the start time
  5. Click a box for the end time
  6. Click a box for the task or position
  7. Click a box to confirm
I'll stop at 7 because that's our favorite number, but that list can grow if you add notes, breaks, additional shifts, etc. Your Next Seven isn't excluded from this process. It's actually a pretty standard one when it comes to doing most anything online. I would love nothing more than to escape the box though. Make employee scheduling more intuitive, faster and familiar. With the key focus being on faster schedule development. The majority of managers we talk to wouldn't leave online scheduling for anything, but loved their Excel spreadsheet with the speed and ease of editing text it offered. No boxes after boxes after boxes to enter one shift.

Finally, Back to the Basics

The newest scheduling option for Your Next Seven isn't flashy, it doesn't have boxes and won't involve multiple steps to enter a shift.

Introducing, the Pro Layout


Click on an empty cell and type "8a-4:15p", then click away or tab to the next cell and it's saved. Your hours are calculated, it's sent across all of our scheduling layouts and it's ready to send to the employees. With the Pro Layout you can easily build a schedule from scratch, copy and paste multiple shifts, add break times, and update current shifts.

Adding  Break Time
If you would like to add a 30 minute break to the shift, simply type "8a-4:15p/30".

Adding a Second Shift
To add a second, third or forth shift, type: "8a-12p/30, 12:30p-5p".

The Pro Layout will use the employee's default task as the task for the shift. If one is not defined, you can do so in the employee edit screen or add one in with another view.

Already have a full staff and previous schedules? Use the "Auto-Assign" feature to assign each employee's most used task to your entire staff. This feature is found under "Employees" > "Default Tasks".

More options are coming soon, such as adding notes and customized tasks. Don't worry though, we'll let you know when a new feature is released!

If you have any questions about the online scheduling software, please feel free to contact me personally at (281) 401-9321 or email john@yournextseven.com.

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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Employee Scheduling for Mobile Devices

A sneak peek from our new campaign coming out.

As seen from our online scheduling software, we at Your Next Seven like to make things clean, beautiful and above all, intuitive. Our new mobile employee scheduling web-app has been out for a couple of months now and is one of our crowning achievements as we grow into the best solution for scheduling your employees.

From the first screen when you're prompted to login you will see the difference in style and simplicity. Once you're logged in, you can quickly approve or decline employee shift change or time-off requests as well as respond to any new employee messages. That's all handy, but the real butter is in the new scheduling feature. Now, from your phone, you can add, edit or delete shifts for any day, any schedule and any employee. True freedom to manage your employees from anywhere.

As always, here's a full video overview of how our mobile scheduling solution works.

If you have any questions about our online scheduling software, please feel free to contact us or call (866) 952-7775.

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