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R365's Jeanine Jackson on the Autonomy of Restaurant Technology

R365's Jeanine Jackson on the Autonomy of Restaurant Technology

Shane Houston
Shane Houston

This month, we are highlighting R365’s Product Manager and resident foodie, Jeanine Jackson, as she shares how her taste for life got her to where she is today.

Introduction

The words “seasoned professional” are barely adequate to describe R365 Product Manager, Jeanine Jackson.  

In this interview, we sat down with Jeanine to delve into her passion for food, the experiences that shaped her career, and the pivotal role she plays in revolutionizing the restaurant industry. As the owner of Restaurant365’s manager log, forecasting, and scheduling products, Jeanine’s insights into the impact of technology on restaurant operations offers valuable guidance for those seeking to carve their path in the dynamic hospitality sector.  

Read on for the story behind Jeanine’s journey with R365 and explore the intersection of her love for food and her commitment to helping restaurants thrive. 

A Taste for the World

What’s your favorite food? 

Picking a favorite food is like choosing a favorite child! How could you possibly pick one?  My mom is an excellent cook and we grew up eating food from a lot of different ethnic groups. Needless to say, my tastes are varied and I am willing to try almost anything once. 

If I had to choose, the short list would include kalbi beef, beef chow fun (Hong Kong style – dry), lomo saltado, and beef pad see ew. I guess my favorite food is anything with beef! 

 

What’s your favorite restaurant?  

These questions are way too difficult! Although, I will say the first one that comes to mind is a place that I used to eat at almost every single week when I lived in Los Angeles. It’s a Cuban spot named Versailles – they have a couple of locations, but I frequented the one on Washington Blvd. Whenever I am in town, I make a point of stopping there with my mom. Let me paint you a picture: lechon asado and ropa vieja with rice swimming in mojo sauce and black beans mixed in between bites of fresh cut onion.  Me huelo tan fuerte de cebolla per no hay mejor alternativo.  

 

How long have you worked at Restaurant365?  

My anniversary is coming up! It will be two years this coming Monday, November 27th. 

Finding Her Sweet Spot

Tell us about your time working in a restaurant. 

I worked at California Pizza Kitchen straight out of college and again in my early thirties. I started as host and became a server soon after. But I would pick up any shifts I could and eventually was trained as a prep cook. I learned very quickly I am a terrible prep cook: too slow and way too many trips back to the walk-in for ingredients I forgot to grab. But I really loved hospitality and serving. I loved meeting new people and engaging with them to whatever extent they were comfortable. It was in the restaurant I learned that great customer service is different for everyone and how important it is to read the “room” so you can learn when to just give people their space. 

 

How did your career path lead you to Restaurant365?  

Before R365, I actually worked for a competitor. I started in front line customer service answering phones and closing support tickets, which quickly led me to becoming director of support. After many other responsibilities were added and removed, I eventually became the company’s first product manager. It was challenging to define success in a role that had not existed before.  But I absolutely felt like this was the role that best suited my strengths. When I saw a Product Management role open with R365, I was excited to have an opportunity to work within a more established product department to really refine my skills and deliver great products for our customers. 

 

How does your daily work impact our business and the industry?  

I own the manager log, forecasting and scheduling product areas. With labor costs increasing across the industry, providing easy to use tools to help managers make better decisions quickly is the main outcome we hope to drive. To this end, we are starting at the beginning of the workflow with forecasting. We will have some exciting updates to announce in the new year. We hope that enhancements in this area and in scheduling over the upcoming year will not only minimize how much time managers are at the computer, but also improve their labor planning processes to drive increased productivity and profitability. 

Working Girl Meets Weekend Warrior

Join our community of amazing individuals and start shaping the future of the restaurant industry with us

What do you like most about working for Restaurant365?  

The people! I have truly great coworkers. I get to work with professionals who genuinely care about the quality of their work and how it benefits our customers. In my role, I get to interact with people from virtually every department, and consistently I am met with a smile and “how can we get his done” mentality.  I have also met some people who I have made genuine connections with. Even though I may not have met them in person yet since we are remote, I look forward to finding ways to meet up in person. 

 

What impact can restaurant technology have on the operation of a successful restaurant? 

When technology is applied to restaurants, managers can spend more time interacting with guests and employees. This means better customer service interactions, more consistent employee coaching, and more consistent experiences across restaurant locations within a brand—and yes, ultimately improved unit economics. But the more impactful piece to me is the ability for restaurant operators to spend more time outside of the restaurant. They no longer have to be within their store’s four walls to have a pulse of what’s going on. This is especially true when managers use mobile apps to their full extent. This allows managers to be home with their loved one more frequently, and re-charge their batteries so they can continue to be in top form. 

 

What advice do you have for current restaurant industry workers looking to grow their careers?  

Check out our careers page! Being able to learn our software and teach others how to use it is one thing, but being able to empathize with our customers and relate to their challenges is much easier when you come from the industry. There are a lot of transferrable skills from restaurant management to software support.  It’s just the matter of translating that smile and radiant energy in a virtual interaction.  And there is something to be said for having your weekends and late nights back. Like… every weekend!   

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