One of downtown Wilmington’s favorite restaurants has found a new way to do business and it's catching on across the country. The restaurant is using an online scheduling system that makes things easier for employees, and the local company that wrote the software is getting national recognition. For a lot of businesses, scheduling staff can be a real pain. "With the trading shifts, and people trying to give away their shifts, there's notes everywhere and it was just a complete mess,” said Ryan Piraneo, manager at Elijah’s. Elijah's on the Riverfront in downtown Wilmington found a way to relieve that headache, a system called schedulefly.com. "You can just go online, and check your schedule and you don't have to have paper to carry around and if you lose the paper you don't have to call your manager and be like 'what time do I come in?' and they always get so frustrated and you're like ‘uhhh’; so you can just go online and check it out, so it's a lot easier,” said Blake Soules of Elijah’s. Employees can switch shifts and get manager's approval, all on the site; they can also sign up to receive text and e-mail alerts when a shift becomes available. A former restaurant worker, Wes Aiken of Wilmington wrote the software for schedulefly.com. He said it's catching on quick. "We have customers in 48 of the 50 states, we have every Canadian province, and actually a few in Europe." This system is also environmentally friendly. "From a carbon footprint standpoint, we're reducing a lot of driving, and not to mention the printing that restaurants were doing before they had it all online,” Aiken said. Piraneo explained, “Before Schedule Fly, it would take days to find people, cause you know everyone's not here everyday, but on Schedule Fly, they're checking it everyday and they see that there's a shift ready and they can just take it and it usually happens pretty quick and smooth." "It's pretty awesome, it makes my life a lot easier,” said Soules. Just last week, UNCW and the Greater Wilmington Business Journal awarded Schedule Fly the Coastal Entrepreneur Award for Emerging Company-of-the-Year. Restaurants that want to sign up for Schedule Fly get a 30-day free trial. If they're hooked, it costs from twenty to a couple hundred dollars a month to join, depending on the size of the company.
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