Google Sheets Powers My Restaurant & Jazz Club

Six years ago I did probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done.  I bought a restaurant and started a jazz club. What’s crazier is that I started this club in the small town of North Bend Washington. Never heard of it?  Well, Twin Peaks was filmed here.  That’s probably our claim to fame.  Plus now, Boxleys is rated one of the Best Jazz Clubs in the World by Downbeat Magazine, 5 years in a row.

So here is the deal.  I have a full time job.  This jazz club thing is both a hobby and a passion for me, sharing the music that love along with some great food and wine. People ask me all the time, “why did you start a Jazz club here”.  My answer is simple,  “I live here”.  

Now six years into this endeavor our restaurant is community owned by a non-profit organization called the Boxley Music Fund. That’s pretty cool. But what I think is really awesome is that our venue is managed almost entirely by part time staff using Google Spreadsheets and Cloudward CloudSnippets.  That’s correct. Let me run down the list of things that Boxleys uses Google Spreadsheets for.

Who’s playing at Boxley’s Tonight?

If you visit Boxleys website, the first thing you are greeted by is who’s playing tonight.  This is a rotating banner starting with today and goes through the next couple weeks. If you click on any image, you can make  a reservation for that night.

This banner is a Google Sheet powered Cloud Snippet. (Maybe I should say that the other way around).

Clicking on the banner takes to you reservations for that night.

This content is all managed by a Google Spreadsheet that a part time assistant updates 1 to 2 times a month.  The Spreadsheet looks like this.

schedule.png

All the content is in the sheet.  The images usually come from the musicians website and she just pastes the URL in the right column for them.  The start and end dates determine when the banners show up.

Scrolling through the Month

Visitors on our website can see descriptions of everyone thats coming, on the Music Tab. This is the same format for the data, but in list format not a rotating banner.  Just scroll down the page and see.

Here it is:

http://www.boxleysplace.com/web/music.espx

The cool thing is that my assistant updates 1 spreadsheet and the content is updated in multiple places using Cloud Snippets. Yay!

What’s for Dinner?

Want to know what’s for dinner? Our chef updates the menu every day and he uses a Google Sheet to do that.  

Here is the spreadsheet.

menu-spreadsheet.png

But wait… it get’s cooler.

Our point of sale system is Web Based. Servers carry iPad’s around the restaurant and take orders at the table.  The same menu is loaded into the POS via a snippet we customized.  

Chef updates menu, goes on website and into the point of sale.

Cloud Snippets and Sheets in action. This is Nancy taking an order on her iPad.

Printed Menu’s?

You guessed it.  We made another snippet that outputs the same spreadsheet data so we can print menus.

Awesome? Yeah!

More Snippets… More Sheets!

Other ways we use snippets and sheets.

  • Our Time Clock
  • The staff timeclock is a snippet that saves data to a Google Sheet.
  • Sending payroll to PayChex is a snap!
  • Scheduling
  • The floor manager uses Google Sheets to do staff schedules
  • Special Events
  • Special event requests are a Cloud Snippet that saves to a Google Sheet and sends an email to the special events manager and a confirmation to the requestor
  • Sponsors
  • We are a non-profit and our sponsors banners and advertisements are displayed using Sheets and Snippets just like the upcoming musicians
  • More?
  • Any interim thing that I need done or managed – I use a Cloud Snippet and a Sheet

What Does Dinner Look Like?

So our latest addition is a photo gallery powered by Cloud Snippets and a Google Sheet.  I may change that to just use one of the Google Drive Cloudward Snippets. Regardless, it’s cool.

How Cool is That?

The ability to use Google Sheets and Cloud Snippets makes it so we can have several people manage different content when it’s convenient for them.  These are real time saving and super practical solutions.  Just one example is updating the Point of Sale.  It used to take lots of time. Now it’s only minutes. And the same sheet updates the website, printed menu’s and the point of sale.  Really awesome!

Check out Boxleys here.

www.boxleys.club

Also, here are some of the snippets I use from Cloudward.

Using Google Docs to manage web pages is just about the coolest thing… ever!

Why I absolutely love how practical this is; using Google Docs to manage web page content.

I keep saying to myself;  “How cool is this? I update a Google Doc and my website is updated…”   It’s absolutely great! And here is why…

#1 – Simple changes are super fast

Need to make a minor change to your website?  If you are using a Cloud Snippet all you need to do is go to Google Docs and update the doc. Bam! Done. Super fast.  

#2 – You want someone else to do it

Suppose you run a small business and you don’t have time to do everything.  So you get a part time assistant that you want to update a page on your website.  And suppose that person isn’t the most savvy when it comes to learning how to use tools to update a website. Use a Cloudward Cloud Snippet to publish a specific Google Doc to a specific page, and share it with your assistant.  Awesome!

#3 – You want someone to update a webpage but you don’t want to give them your passwords

Perhaps you barely know your new assistant, or perhaps your assistant is your mother.  Bottom line is that you don’t want to share your password.  In either case, the solution is the same as above.  Use a Cloud Snippet and share the doc.  Bam!

#4 – You want to delegate

Suppose you run a small business and you don’t have time to do everything.  

Same solution.

#5 – The shoe is on the other foot

You are involved in a local non profit and they want you to update a few pages on their website.  Last thing you need is to remember more passwords and stuff.  You can create a Cloud Snippet in your account, with your Google Doc to update the content; and send them the Snippet Code to paste on the pages you are supposed to update.  From that point on, just update the Google Doc and Bam!

#6 – A group of people need to update the same website

Same scenario but more people involved?  Let’s say you are part of a non profit with different committees.  And each committee has a page on the website that needs to get updated.  Create a snippet for each page and a corresponding Google Doc.  Share those Docs with the correct person, and BAM!  How cool is that?  Everyone updates what they need to and not everyone needs access to the web admin tools.

#7 – Sharing the doc and getting help

I’m writing this very blog post in Google Docs.  Thats cool.  And I am going to post it on a blog that’s a snippet.  Cool as well.  After I do my draft, I will share my Google Doc with someone else to help me proof read the post – then make it public.  All in Google Docs and Sheets.  

#8 – Going Mobile?

Google Docs already has mobile editors for Android and iOS devices.  You can update your doc on the fly or start a new blog post.  Just like I’m editing this post right now.

#9 – My mom can do it

My mom uses Google Docs.

#10 – One doc many pages

If you need to publish the same content on many web pages or websites you can use a Cloud Snippet to syndicate that doc and keep it up to date everywhere.  You can paste your snippet code on as many pages as you want and it works.  Awesome yet again!

#11 – Even YouTube!

I can even embed YouTube videos into my Google Docs and Cloudward Snippets will process them.  I just take the embed code from YouTube and add a Cloudward EASE Tag # youtube where the / iframe is.

Here is the embed code:

Change the tags like this…


And it works… like so!

The bottom line

This is so easy, anyone can manage it.  

For myself I used to blog a lot.  But I fell off the bandwagon years ago because I hated logging on to the website tools to post the blog.  I had ideas to share, but I just wasn’t that motivated to go through the extra steps.  So I would write and write… usually in Google Docs, but stopped publishing. This is so much easier.

For me, using Cloud Snippets and Google docs to manage web pages is just about the coolest thing ever!

Check them out here:

Publish Google Doc by ID with Cloud Snippets

-d