Local Restaurant Owner Launches Service Worker Training App

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Shifty is a mobile training software app designed to help make training service workers more efficient. // Courtesy of Shifty
Shifty is a mobile training software app designed to help make training service workers more efficient. // Courtesy of Shifty

Beth Hussey, co-owner of Hazel’s in Birmingham and developer of 16 full-service restaurants from early stages to operation, has created Shifty, a mobile training software app designed to ease the burden of training service workers.

“Most restaurants, especially today, are stuck in a cycle of hiring, firing and training staff — an expense that costs owners on average $5,684 per employee,” says Hussey.  “This constant cycle leaves little to no time going towards improving those processes to better prepare them for their shifts which will help retain existing servers and bartenders. Shifty helps reduce the burden of that cycle through a proven approach that is placed at the fingertips of your employees.”

The app works by providing preparation notes, in-training checklists, and after-training study tools to prepare servers. The study tools accumulate with each shift and culminates in a final exam at the end of the training experience.

It goes beyond a server’s first shifts with continued training and announcement notifications. Shifty also includes an interactive menu filter that allows servers and bartenders to filter the menu based on meal type, allergy, and dietary restrictions.

Hussey recently completed an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round that closed at $220,000. The next round of funding will take place in 2022.

“As a local investor with several successful restaurant/tech exits, I have never been more excited about investing in a start-up than Shifty,” says David Tessler, an early stage investor in the app. “The launch of their app is perfectly timed. Shifty solves a real problem and stands to bring tremendous value to restaurant operators.”

It is currently in beta testing with a number of local and Midwest restaurants and bars, including The Hub Stadium in Auburn Hulls and its new location in Novi, Imperial in Ferndale, Hazel’s, One Hospitality in Columbus, and more. Hussey intends to launch the full Subscription-as-a-Service (SaaS) model this year.

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