Fixing hospitality ops — one step at a time

Wil Grace
Oct 2020
3 min read
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Justin, General Manager

“I spend 4 hours in the back office every day. My email is overwhelming, the software is confusing and temperamental, and our most important processes are still on paper.”

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Mike, Operations Manager

“I don’t know how my teams are getting on. Some are underperforming but I can’t see who or why, critical processes are missed and we can’t train staff as fast as we’re losing them.”

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Sarah, Head of Ops

“I can’t scale the operations reliably. I don’t have enough good managers, consistency and standards are falling behind and my reports don’t paint a complete picture.

The Magic Bullet

There isn’t one. No single ‘Enterprise Solution’ will fix your woes — in fact, you’re more likely to be locked in to the wrong one for years.

Instead, create your ideal operations through a family of modern, well-connected, well designed apps — each of which does one thing well.

One area that’s so difficult to get right at an expanding business is compliance & consistency. Here are some tips:

1. Demolish the back office

Not literally (yet), but get your best people out of there. The tools used every day should work on any device — including personal mobiles. Millenials expect beautiful, fast and incredibly simple apps — give them tools they’ll want to use every day. Oh, and paper is so last century.

2. Trust your team (within reason)

Micromanagement doesn’t work, it makes people sad :( But what about new hires? And critical processes? Try allocating windows of time — start & end — within which to complete tasks. So long as it’s done by the deadline then all’s good, right? And the autonomy makes people happy :)

3. The right tools at the right time

An inbox full of email has a cognitive load each time you open it. Same with a long checklist, especially if most can’t be completed now. Teams should be given just the tasks, information and tools at the point they’re needed. And if there’s nothing to do? Inbox Zero!

4. Connected, automated

In the old days (2005), websites and software were like lonely islands of valuable information. Now, APIs provide bridges between the islands. The best tools take information from all those islands and translates it into new, automated workflows — often removing the task altogether.

5. It’s all bad news

A nice green graph is lovely, but what good is a positive report without actions? Focus on exceptions & actions and soon you won’t need the report at all. This is where context is key

Context puts the onus on the product to deliver information that is relevant within a user’s workflow.

Enter Trail

Those stories at the start? They’re real people. We’ve spent hours on the floor with overwhelmed teams and frustrated managers — we know their pain.

So we built Trail. A super simple timeline of tasks for teams to follow through the day, which answers “What do I need to do now?”. Connect other apps and you have a single destination for all your processes.

It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s fast. It’s easy to roll out with no training. It plays nicely with all your other systems. And it does one thing extremely well — it keeps your teams on track.

So how to fix hospitality ops? Just follow the Trail

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If you’re struggling with growing sites, departments or teams, we can help!
Drop us an email at and we’ll show you how.

What customers are saying

"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"Trail is making it easier for our teams to ensure our food and safety practices are upheld."
– Trail is making it easier for them to ensure our food and safety practices are upheld."
Tracey Colbert
Risk & Compliance Director
"Our teams love it, it gives our managers of all levels absolute clarity on what they need to achieve every day."
James Brown
Operations Director
"Trail was so easy to set up and the pubs love it"
Simon Swann
Regional Manger
"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
"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

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