How to digitise your restaurant operations: A step by step guide

If you've been putting off going digital, it's quicker and easier than you think.
Caroline Joyce
 • 
Jul 2021
6 min read


I often meet new customers who already have their operations laid out on paper, and it’s all working just fine. So why fix something that’s not broken?

Well, it’s a bit like at the beginning of lockdown when I resolved to continue working out from the confines of my home. I would shout the name of a move (“Pushups! Lunges!”) and then do that move for 10 seconds or so before moving onto the next. “This is good,” I thought. “This is definitely working,” I believed. Eventually my roommate convinced me to sign up for an online exercise program. As if by magic my workouts improved.

Similarly, digitising your restaurant paperwork will make your operations much more effective. The tricky part is knowing where to start, which is why I’ve put together this resource—a step-by-step guide to digitising your operations with Trail.

How to digitise your operations with Trail

  1. Get started with a free trial
  2. Add your tasks & assign them to the right people
  3. Set your business hours so tasks appear at the right time
  4. Set a date for your teams to start using Trail
  5. Get your devices ready
  6. Invite your team


1. Get started with a free trial

Assuming you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up. We offer three different plans so you can choose which one suits your business best:

  • Solo—for those of you with just one site looking to digitise your paperwork
  • Team–for small business owners who want more control & accountability
  • Standard—for larger operators maintaining consistently high standards

No matter which plan you choose, we offer a free 30-day trial. Just answer a few quick questions about your business, and you’ll be set up in no time.


Tip💡: Before you get started, review your existing tasks. This is the perfect time to cut any fat and streamline your tasks. When you introduce Trail to your team you want all the tasks to be relevant and useful.


2. Add your tasks & assign them to the right people

Fridge and freezer temperature checklist

Task Library

The name of the game is tasks, and the easiest way to create yours is to use the Task Library. You can use our best practise task templates as they are, or edit them to suit your business.

Create your own tasks

With any luck, you’ll have a healthy list of tasks from the library alone. But you can also create any task you like. There are four simple parts to creating your task:

  • Create your task's content – name your task, write a description, add checklists and record logs etc.
  • Schedule your task – decide when you want the task to be completed.
  • Assign your task to your sites– specify where you want the task to be seen.
  • Report – determine who needs to know when the task has been completed.

And you can make your tasks more powerful by:

  • Attaching a file or link, for example a video of how to do the task
  • Using mandatory photos for tasks that require visual checks.
  • Adding tags to organise tasks by role or department.
  • Setting tasks only Admins and Managers can view/action.
  • Setting completion notifications on key tasks.


3. Set your business hours so tasks appear at the right time

Now that you’ve created your tasks you’ll want to make sure that they show up for your teams at the right time. Not every site operates on the same schedule. You can update your business hours for either your whole organisation or a specific site.

4. Set a date for your teams to start using Trail

Calendar reminder

This part is easy. It’s the date your sites to start using Trail, we call it the Live date.

When a site is live, tasks are created, the results are saved, and the site is scored in reports. You can update live dates any time from the Sites page.


5. Get your devices ready

I’d hazard a guess that you already have a tablet or two lurking around your sites. Trail is a web application and will run on any modern browser—including tablets, mobile phones, ePOS systems and of course your trusty back-office PC.

We advise having two devices per site if teams are sharing. Team members can even use personal devices to access Trail.


6. Invite your team

Welcome to Trail message

As an Admin within Trail, you have the keys to the Kingdom—you can edit task content, update schedules etc. But you might not want the rest of your team to have those powers, so for that reason, we’ve created three levels of accounts; Team, Manager & Admin.

We recommend that you add at least one manager and team login at each site. You might choose to give each member of your team their own individual login (great for accountability!).

Say goodbye to paper for good!

And that’s it! Once you have sent your team invites, they can log in and begin completing tasks. You'll be streamlined, productive and running a more efficient and effective business in no time. It really is that simple.


McManus Pubs customer testimonial


What customers are saying

"Trail has given us realtime insight into every facility across our estate, so we can react to maintenance issues before they become large."
Scott Vernon
Chief Financial Officer
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"We rarely provide training to our guys, they just bought into the idea straight away. I love that I have a full visual of everyone's activity in front of me."
Katrin Toots
Compliance Manager
“Probably my favorite system. The uptake on it was so quick, and support has been great.”
Matt Pinchard
HR, Systems & Compliance Manager
“The EHO visited almost every site last year and every store was given a five star rating."
Jay Brown
Operations Chef

Rated 5/5 on