2019 National Restaurant Association Show

We’re excited to announce that ExpandShare will be attending the National Restaurant Association Show this month in Chicago, IL! The show, celebrating its 100th anniversary, takes place May 18-21 at the McCormick Place.

As an exhibitor, we will:

  • Conduct live demos so you can see our solution live and in action

  • Roll out new app features such as Spot-checks and Standards

  • Showcase our custom content development services

  • Offer an exclusive AirPods 2 giveaway 

If you’ll also be in attendance, we’d love to chat! Stop by Booth #11630 in the Lakeside Ballroom to learn more about our platform and its employee training capabilities. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Update: Security Investigation

We previously announced a security incident on ExpandShare and wanted to provide an update. Upon further investigation, we have now determined no information was compromised. To protect our users while conducting a thorough investigation, we proceeded with an abundance of caution in reaching out to you and encouraging a password reset. Your privacy is extremely important to us, which is why we acted quickly in alerting you.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact ExpandShare Support at https://support.expandshare.com or by sending an email directly to support@expandshare.com. Thank you for your patience during this investigation.

Security Update

Today, April 17, 2019, our Internal Security Team detected an incident affecting a small number of ExpandShare users that may have resulted in unauthorized access of a very small number of account information (email address and password). A compromised third-party library was used to gather login credentials for a short period of time. In our security investigation, we found no evidence of unauthorized access to financial and/or credit card information.

As an added precaution, we have reset the password for those ExpandShare accounts. Affected users should go to https://app.expandshare.com/account/password_reset/ and enter their email address to trigger a password reset email for their app.expandshare.com account.

We regret any disruption this may have caused and appreciate your immediate attention. We have taken steps to remedy the issue and to prevent it from happening again in the future


If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact ExpandShare Support at https://support.expandshare.com or by sending email directly to support@expandshare.com.

Why You Need an Employee Training Program

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Successful restaurant chains like Chick-FIl-A® and The Cheesecake Factory® create their exceptional culture and service through structured training programs. So do the best-in-category restaurants everywhere.

Structured training, designed specifically for your restaurant, increases quality, efficiency and profitability within your organization.

Here are some of the reasons why implementing a training program should be a top priority at your restaurant:

Increasing Sales and Reducing Turnover

Training of servers, counter service bartenders, and other front of house staff can increase sales up to 144%. A well-trained employee is 3x more likely to stay, which reduces employee attrition rates and promotes retention.

Creating Consistency

New and existing employees need guidance. Creating a repeatable training process allows you to train staff the same way over time and without “winging it.” Scalability made easier.

Improving Quality

A well-designed training program helps mitigate risk for food safety issues and bad customer experience reviews.

Promoting Accountability

Through training, managers and employees can effectively ensure they are meeting company standards and policies.

Interested in implementing an exceptional training program at your organization?
Schedule a demo with us to learn more!

How to Shoot Good Product Video on Your Phone

Shooting with your phone is the easiest way to capture product or process video to use in ExpandShare.  Here is a quick guide to getting the most of your phone’s video capabilities.

Shoot Horizontal

First -- when shooting video with a phone, make sure you hold your phone horizontally. This will ensure that your video has a higher resolution and will display properly on TVs and computer monitors.

Stabilization

Next, use a tripod or some other method to stabilize your phone to reduce camera shake. Camera shake can be distracting and lowers the quality of video. There are adaptors for attaching an iPhone to a tripod. However, if you don’t have a tripod -- don’t worry -- handheld footage will work. Just make sure to:

  • Use your body to move the phone instead of just moving your hand or arm -- this will help avoid shake, and

  • Keep the phone close to your body.

  • Or, rest your elbows on a hard surface to capture smooth movements.

Lighting/Background

Be aware of what’s in the background -- you want to make sure it goes along with your product. And, make sure the area is clean and not too busy so the product stands out from the background and doesn’t get lost in it.

Make sure your product is well lit -- this will help keep your video from looking grainy. If you don’t have access to expensive lights, find a room with natural lighting, like near a window. Or, use a desk lamp to provide more light.

Then, use the phone to make small lighting fixes. Tap on the screen to select your focal point and adjust the brightness. If you tap and hold, it locks the focus and brightness which keeps it from automatically refocusing due to natural lighting changes.

Extra Tips/DOs and DON’Ts

  • Don’t use the pinch zoom function on your phone. It creates grainy, and lower quality footage. Instead, physically move your camera closer to the subject when you need close up shots.

  • Make sure the lens is clean by using a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints or dirt that may make the footage appear blurry.

  • Have an extra hand to help show the use of the product so the viewer can better understand it, and last,

  • Quality footage can make your product stand out from the rest.

 

The Easiest Way to Create a Simple Restaurant Menu Training

Training on your menu does not have to be complicated. All the tools you need are right on your phone.  Check out this video on how to do it.

 

Tools needed

  • An iPhone with iMovie installed
  • Your menu item
  • Talking points or a quick script

Steps

  • Take a picture (or video) of your item
  • Write your script
  • Open the image in iMovie
  • Record the voiceover
  • Adjust the image to match the video lenght
  • Publish to your Files
  • Upload to ExpandShare to share with your team

 

The Finished Product

Learn more about how ExpandShare RestaurantReady can help you train your team and make  you successful.

How to Make Restaurant Training Videos: A Beginner's Guide

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Why Video?

Video is the best medium for restaurant training, hands-down. It's engaging and informative. It can teach fundamental concepts, cultural beliefs and it's the next best thing to live training for showing hands-on skills. Think cooking show.  

Using video as part of your training can help increase your employees’ retention of new information by more than 50%.  And 98% of companies surveyed in a recent study said they plan to use video as a key component of their online training.

But many owners and managers are intimidated by video. Beginners say, "I can't be on-screen, it will look terrible! I don't want to embarrass myself in front of my staff"  Or, "I don't have the right equipment and software to make it look professional."

Never fear, intrepid reader.  There are easy ways to create videos without the worry.  

Voice-Over PowerPoint

Did you know that you can create videos without a camera?  It's true.  You can create voiced-over slide presentations right from PowerPoint and Keynote using the built in microphone on your laptop or desktop computer.  With this technique you can create basic training programs that incorporate text and pictures on screen with you narrating and explaining the content. This is an easy to way to teach fundamentals.  But, it's not terribly engaging.

Video Capture: The One Tool You Need

If you're looking to shoot some video to show people or action, then you need a camera. But with the quality of today's built-in cameras, your phone is the only thing you really need. YouTube is full of great looking videos shot with nothing more than a phone.  You can do it too.  

There are some other nice-to-haves, and we'll mention those as we go.  But first, let's talk about the three types of quick-start videos you might want to create.

Hosted Narration

Tools needed:  Phone, Teleprompter phone app (optional)

Think news anchor. In this style of video the host is looking at the camera and speaking directly to the audience. In the professional world, they are often using a teleprompter.  And you can too!  There are a bunch of phone teleprompter apps that will allow you to read from the screen while capturing yourself from the selfie camera on your phone.  

Use hosted narration for videos where you want a personal connection to your audience.  For example, a welcome video, or a video that discusses your company culture.

Narrated Point-of-View (POV) Video

Tools needed: Phone, Earbuds (optional), Basic Editing Software (optional)

In this style of video, narration is voiced over a video showing something happening on screen.  

In the world of professional training videos, the narration is captured first and then the video is timed to the narration in the video editing software.  However, you can shoot this type of video and narrate as you go, OR you can shoot the clip and add the voice-over after the fact in a basic editing software.  If you can, use the earbuds and microphone that came with your phone for better sound quality.

Acted Scene with Voiceover

Tools needed: Phone, Basic Editing Software, External Microphone (optional)

In this type of video, actors act out a scene as  you capture it.  This is the most sophisticated type of video to create and requires extra levels of professionalism, especially if you are trying to act out real-world conversations.  

If you need to show an interaction between people, it's often easier to capture the video of the people performing the tasks and then replace the sound track with a "Voice of God" narration over the video describing what the actors are doing.  For example, a server greeting a table would have the narrator explaining what is happening and how the process should work.

Where are you going to get your actors and actresses?  They're right there on your staff!

Some Basic Investments in Video Tools

If you are getting better at creating videos and want to take the next step in quality,  there are a few not-that-expensive tools to consider investing in.

A Teleprompter App

As we mentioned earlier, a good phone teleprompter app will make it easier to do narration-style videos.

An LED light

A basic LED field light costs less than $50 and can really help you improve the lighting of all three types of videos.  

A Quality Microphone

Grab a microphone that can plug right into the headphone jack of your camera and your laptop.  You can also spend a bit more and get a desktop mic to use for narration.

A Tripod and Steady Grip for your Phone

For the best results with your Phone cameras, get a tripod and/or steady grip accessory.  One that allows you to mount a basic external mic and a light is a bonus!

Simple Video Editing Software

You’re going to need some editing tools to make your training masterpiece look professional level.  Free software is included with most computers nowadays, tools like iMovie allow you to do basic editing, text on screen and editing of the audio tracks.  Work your way up to more professional tools as you get better.

Good luck on your video journey! And don't get intimidated. With a little practice, your videos will be effective and look great!  

You'll need a place to share your videos with your team and, if you're doing training, track their progress.  ExpandShare Restaurant Ready is the easy way to do that!

Remember if you're already an customer, our concierge team is standing to help you get your videos in top notch shape for your staff.

 

Teach to your Menu: Creating Product Training in ExpandShare

Product knowledge is key to selling in any industry, but it's particularly important in food service.  It might seem like a huge challenge to create effective training for your staff on your own, but it's really pretty darn easy.  

The goal is to create a collection of valuable content that you can send to your team. The key to accomplishing this is to keep it simple. Start with one menu item — like today’s featured appetizer.  You don't have to create your whole collection at once!

Make a sample of the feature appetizer. Make sure they pay close attention to plate presentation and making it look appealing.

Take a Photo

Now, using your smartphone, take a picture of the product.  This will be used as the preview that users see. 

Here are some tips for achieving the best results:

  • Use landscape mode
  • Make sure there's enough light
  • Choose the right angle:
    • 3/4 Angle: If it's important to see both the side and top view
    • Straight On: Where you want to show all the ingredients in a stack, like a burger or pancakes
    • Overhead: To show a visual of what's on a plate

Make a Disposable Video

Next, you’re going to make what we call a disposable video. This is a short, simple video that will give an overview of the dish. It should be no more than 2 minutes long. Again, keep it simple. Do it in a single take, or at most, two takes. No tripod needed and it does not have to be perfect. No edits. No post-production. These videos are for consumption on smartphones. Your audience will be used to seeing this type of video on YouTube and other media channels.=

To prepare, you need to know what you want to say about the product. Do you want to highlight portion size, plate presentation, special preparations or flavor? You don’t want to read directly from a script, but you do want to know this information before you start.

Next, what type of video do you want to make? There are two types to consider. You can do a selfie video where you talk about the product and then cut to showing the dish.  Or, you can do a product focus video where the product is shown the entire time, as you talk about the product.

Most smartphones have both selfie cameras and snapshot cameras included.

Talk about the product as if you’re telling your team about it. It’s okay to if it's not perfect!  A natural, conversational tone is fine.   And there's no need to find an actor to do the talking. However, if you do have someone in-house who likes to be on camera, by all means, use them as your on-screen talent.

Here are some best practices and tips for achieving the best results for shooting video with your smartphone:

Tips for Android:

https://www.androidpit.com/10-tips-for-shooting-better-video-on-android

Tips for iPhone:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/make-iphone-video

For selfie videos: Don’t angle from above. Instead, get closer to your phone and tilt your head slightly. Smile and use exaggerated expressions — smartphone videos do not pick up subtle expressions very well.

For product focused videos: Get close to the product. Choose either an overhead view, 3/4 angle view, or straight on view depending on the product.

Remember, the most important thing is to get a collection of useful content that you can share with your team, so let it roll. Do it in chunks. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
 

Share your Video

Now it's time to share your video with your team.  You could post it to YouTube or another video sharing site, but they are public and if there is proprietary information in there, you might not want to do that.  Besides, you want to track completion for each of your team members.

Another option is to build it into a course using one of the standard eLearning tools like Articulate or Captivate.  You can then upload it to a standard Learning Management System and track the results.  Of course, you may not have an LMS …

So (our favorite option) you could Instant Assign it to your team using ExpandShare. It’s super easy to do and does not require any additional software.  And you can also construct courses using the online course builder which will allow you to do quizzes and knowledge reviews as well.

You can even drip out your content and courses over time using the campaign tools.  But I digress.

In the end, the important thing is to get the content out to your users instead of inside your own head.  It’s not doing any good there.  And it won’t do much good sitting on your phone either.  So make it, and then share it!