Bloomin’ Brands Isn’t Just Blooming, It’s Booming with the Help of ServiceChannel – NewsChannel, February

Bloomin’ Brands Isn’t Just Blooming, It’s Booming with the Help of ServiceChannel – NewsChannel, February

Customer Spotlight

Bloomin’ Brands Isn’t Just Blooming, It’s Booming.

Over 30 years, the Tampa-headquartered company has grown to become one of the world’s largest casual dining companies with approximately 100,000 team members and close to 1,500 restaurants throughout 48 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 22 countries. Bloomin’ Brands started out with Outback Steakhouse and has expanded to include Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.  As Director of Facilities, Jon Ahrendt is responsible for repair and maintenance, reactive capex, and energy use.

Jon describes his role as making sure the restaurants have “fully functioning equipment, competent repairs, and operators who are confident that we are here to help them operate better proactively and there for them when they need us.” Sounds challenging? Now add to that continuously delivering improved results while also balancing day-to-day emergencies. But perhaps the most challenging part of Jon’s job is communication. Jon says, “As anyone who has worked in facilities management understands, generally issues stem from a lack of communication.  It is critical that our restaurant partners, service providers, and facilities team are on the same page.” To that end, Jon espouses being honest with contractors… even if the truth is sometimes not what they want to hear.  “It creates credibility and trust, and trust is the most valuable currency.  A close second is invoice payment: ‘Fast pay makes fast friends.’”

Bloomin’ Brands is a big believer in ServiceChannel technology. “It’s integrated into everything we do on the facilities side from tracking our emergencies and costs to identifying future initiatives. We are still finding new ways to use it,” says Jon. “It allows us to support our restaurant partners.  We are moving from reactive to proactive in a meaningful way.”

Training is a daily commitment at Bloomin’ Brands. The facilities team has created hand guides, videos, and live training sessions, and uses ServiceChannel’s LeaningChannel online training on a regular basis to learn about improvements and incorporate them into the company’s processes.  

Looking forward into 2017, Jon would like to see streamlined equipment ordering, approval, and installation. “Our goal is to get critical equipment installed within 24 hours.”

When away from Bloomin’ Brands Jon likes to spend time with family and friends. For him being present in the moment is more important than wherever he is— it could be on the golf course, at a music venue or, this being Tampa, on the beach watching the sun set over the Gulf. 

Mark Your Calendar!

March 5-7, 2017: Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA) 2017 Conference

If you plan on attending the RFMA conference in Orlando, Florida, make sure to listen to the education session featuring Jon Ahrendt and Sid Shetty, You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure: How Bloomin’ Brands Changed the Way They Manage Their Restaurant Facilities Management Program. 

Employee Spotlight

Carl Bubeck Has Always Been a Jack-of-All-Trades

Carl has worked in jewelry, textiles, telecommunications, and construction.  He’s owned retail locations and an eBay business selling close-out goods.  He’s had management roles, sales roles, and training roles. “In every industry that I have been in I was able to learn what helps drive people toward success. It is always the relationships and connections that you build,” says Carl. And that’s how he came to ServiceChannel.  “I was invited to come by a longtime friend and colleague.  His recommendation of the company and where it was going fit what I was looking for and have always liked: the opportunity to building something up,” recalls Carl.

Carl has been at ServiceChannel for about five years. As Project Manager, Carl works with both new and existing clients to help them understand the ServiceChannel system and everything that it can do for their origination. Having been a part of building change in so many industries and in so many roles gives Carl a unique perspective to understand people. “I know the pains and benefits that can come with changes so I am able to help customers prepare for them and ‘soften the blow.’”

So what’s the most satisfying part of his job at ServiceChannel? “Seeing the light turn on. When clients are able to move from using the system to being able to teach others how to use the system,” says Carl. This Project Manager is working on his Masters of Science in Project Management and a certification Successful and Negotiation from the University of Michigan must be doing a lot of things right. This past year he was presented with the ServiceChannel Annual Excellence Award.

Just like his professional life, Carl has quite a varied personal life. He’s an avid snowboarder and has been to five of the seven Olympic mountains in North America. And to make us all just a little envious, he’s been to Hawaii eight times— and three of those trips were free!

He’s also the proud owner of a Harley FXCW that he loves to work on as much as ride. But the proudest achievement for Carl is being a dad to his three young children.

Featured Product

Invoice Manager Gets An Update

In the fall of 2016, ServiceChannel released the New & Enhanced User Experience for Invoice Manager and since then we have received substantial and valuable feedback that has helped us further refine the user interface. ServiceChannel will be sunsetting the old user interface so we may focus on enhancing and supporting the new one. This is currently planned to take place the week of February 13th.

The new updated Invoice Manager experience includes new features such as:

  • A cleaner and more flexible user interface
  • Real-time filtering, sorting and searching of invoices
  • The ability to create your own filters or use pre-set filters  
  • Bulk actions on invoices
  • Calculated invoice amounts in real time for all or selected invoices

Visit SCU to get learn more about the New & Enhanced User Experience for Invoice Manager.

Tip of the Month

Identify Warranty Issues Before They Cost You Money

If your company has new or remodeled stores that are under warranty be sure to talk to your Client Success Manager about setting up a New Store Warranty Override. This will save you money by identifying possible warranty issues that should not go to your regular maintenance providers.

For You, About You

¿Hablas Español? 

ServiceChannel is a proud sponsor of the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association PRSM International Retail Exchange, being held on February 23, 2017, in Mexico City, Mexico. This unique event is dedicated to multisite facilities management professionals throughout the globe. Jake Rehmann, Regional Sales Manager, will be attending on ServiceChannel’s behalf, and meeting with global customers in Mexico. Check out our ServiceChannel spanish overview video.

Calendar: Upcoming Events

February 23 – PRSM International Retail Exchange, Mexico City, Mexico

March 5-7 – RFMA 2017 Conference, Orlando, Florida

March 6 – ServiceChannel Cocktail Hour at RFMA 2017, Orlando, Florida 

March 7 – RFMA 2017: Sid Shetty and Jon Ahrendt Present, You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure

March 7 – NFMT 2017: Priya Ramachandran Presents, No More Gut Decisions: Business Analytics Made Easy

Check out our Events Page for more local events near you!


LearningChannel is composed of interactive courses led by expert instructors on ServiceChannel products. These courses are perfect for when you need a refresher, when you have a new employee onboarding, or when you want to learn best practices to get the most out of our products. Each course lists the skill level necessary (from beginner to advanced) and the target audience, so you can mix and match courses based on your needs.

Available Courses

Feb. 2 – A Day in the Life of a Facility Manager: Work Order Creation and Management

Feb. 7 – Dashboard 101: How to Use the Service Request Dashboard

Feb. 8 – Fixxbook for Contractors: Best Practices in Profile & Account Mgmt

Feb. 9 – Invoicing and Invoice Reports

Feb. 14 – The Power of Analytics

Feb. 14 – RFPs, Proposals, and QuickView

Feb. 16 – PMs (Planned Maintenance) Module: An Overview