Jill Burke: An Empowering People Leader

Jill Burke | Restaurant365: An Empowering People Leader | The Enterprise World

In the dynamic landscape of modern businesses, the role of Human Resources has evolved significantly. HR leaders are no longer confined to traditional administrative tasks; they are now instrumental in shaping organizational culture, fostering innovation, and nurturing talent. In this era of rapid change, one HR leader stands out as a beacon of inspiration and excellence, demonstrating exceptional qualities that set the bar high for others in the field.

Meet Jill Burke

Jill Burke is an established people leader committed to helping organizations build and scale companies focused on creating an exceptional workplace experience.

In her current role, Jill Burke is the heart of Restaurant365, she stands tall as a true visionary and empathetic HR leader. With a profound understanding of both the human aspect and the business dynamics, she has been a driving force behind the company’s success. Jill exemplifies the qualities that define a stellar HR leader.

She is a passionate and results-driven people leader who has successfully developed and directed successful HR programs in high-growth organizations. She is committed to connecting people to a purpose, progressive recruitment, change management, and creating a culture of innovation, accountability, and trust.

A Philosophy centered on ‘People’

 As an HR leader, Jill Burke’s focus is on the business layered with strong emphasis on its people, developing positive employee experiences through a fresh and balanced perspective. “Education, certifications, and mock situations can get you far, however, the genuine connection with people has always been my guiding light,” she says. Jill believes caring for employees with a genuine sense of fairness, empathy, and consistency provides a trusted partner for employees and the business. She cherishes building a team with unique strengths, talents, and a business mindset. 

Jill Burke is known for building strong relationships with her employees by working together. Her strategic thinking and analytical skills help her make positive changes that lead to great results. She strongly advocates for simplification of complex business transformations by translating strategy into execution. Presently, as the Senior Vice President, People at Restaurant365, Jill is leveraging her expertise to make a difference for its employees.  

Jill Burke has spent her career passionately advocating on behalf of employees, designing people-centric programs, operations, and infrastructure, and leading organizations with a lens toward employee centric programs while building impactful teams.  She brings her background in conflict resolution and human resources to the table to increase organizational performance and employee engagement. Her approach is informed by her knowledge, skills, and academic & professional experiences ranging from community leadership roles, and learning about the true power of partnership throughout her corporate experience.  

Jill Burke has discovered her passion as a strategic people leader for high-growth tech start-ups like Restaurant365, where she has served as the Senior Vice President, People for the past 4.5 years, responsible for People Operations, Talent Acquisition, Business Partnerships, Enrichment & Development and Employee Experience.  She has scaled the company from 150 employees to over 800 resources supporting rapid growth, 2 acquisitions, secured funding and being an active part of company growth, which has now crossed $100M in revenue and $1B in value.  

During her tenure, R365 has been named an employer of choice through multiple organizations, and Jill received the HR Hero Award in 2022, honoring her compassion for employees from an external source.  Jill truly believes in building unique cultures, aligned wellness programs and overall people initiatives critical to its success and identity. In past experiences, Jill has co-led acquisitions driving the talent strategy, spearheading the due diligence process, and managing an empathetic integration of teams.

Jill Burke’s dedicated passion shines through when she is actively building strong People organizations, developing and defining company culture, establishing policies and procedures, and creating compliant people and operational strategies. Her areas of expertise include: developing talent management programs, conducting empathetic employee reductions, inclusion programs, and establishing workplace operations that bring distributed workforces together.  

Jill Burke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Conflict Resolution and Family Relations, with double minors in Psychology and Human Resources from California State University, Chico, a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution multiple HR certifications, and a certification in Mediation.  She lives in South Orange County with her husband and adorable dog, and both of her children are attending out of state Universities.  When she’s not creating communities of togetherness, Jill is actively involved with her kids’ schools, and sporting events or being a home body while planning the family’s next adventure. 

Making a Difference to the Restaurant Industry

Established in 2011, Restaurant365 (R365) is the leader in restaurant enterprise management, transforming the industry for restaurant concepts nationwide. The company pioneered the Restaurant Enterprise Management (REM) category when it brought key financial, operational, and team-based processes together into a single, cloud-based technology. R365’s solution has become the gold standard in the restaurant industry, with over 40,000 locations depending on R365 to drive their success. 

R365’s cloud-based software provides a unique, all-in-one accounting, store operations, and workforce solution for restaurants. The company is passionate about the restaurant industry and is dedicated to facilitating optimal productivity and profitability for restaurants every day. Since its first release in 2012, it has helped thousands of restaurants do away with their generic ERP and move to a platform built for them. With R365, restaurants can manage back-office productivity from a single platform. Seamless integration with POS, banks, vendors, etc. results in less time spent on manual tasks and improved visibility and control of the bottom line. 

Portfolio of Industry-leading Products:

R365 offers a wide array of cutting-edge products that include,

R365 Accounting:

R365 Accounting is an industry-leading restaurant accounting software that helps improve margins and scale without adding overhead costs. This is achieved because of its frictionless POS integration, direct general ledger connection, accounts payable automation, and real-time reporting. 

R365 Store Operations:

With R365 Store Operations, restaurants can seamlessly connect their back office to the front-of-house to drive margins with real-time inventory management, automated purchasing, forecasting, food costing controls, data-driven scheduling, and seamless shift-to-shift communication. 

R365 Workforce:

With 365 Workforce, restaurants can improve productivity and modernize the employee lifecycle. The software delivers industry-leading hiring, onboarding, scheduling, payroll, and benefits tools. 

R365 Intelligence:

R365 Intelligence helps restaurants effortlessly visualize, blend, and understand internal and third-party data so that they spend less time digging for answers and more time on improving operations and driving growth.

R365 provides these products to small businesses, franchise brands, multi-location groups, accounting firms, as well as enterprises. These products are useful for different kinds of restaurants including QSRs, fast casual restaurants, casual dining, and fine dining. 

Happy Customer Testimonials

Client satisfaction is at the front and center of R365’s approach, which is evident from the feedback it receives from them. Some of these valuable testimonials are:

“The ability to manage all operating metrics, like the prime costs of food and labor, will make it easier for us to provide benchmarking and support to our franchisees. They can see immediately how their results compare to other franchisees and the company performance.”

– Brian Daniels (CFO, Sbarro). 

“I’ve been in this business for forty years, and R365 changed the work I do for better—more than any single thing I’ve ever done.”

– Michael Forte (Operating Partner, Blaze Pizza)

Maximizing the Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak took a heavy toll on a majority of businesses across the globe. However, despite its consequences, the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise for R365. During the crisis, its product became imperative for restaurant survival as its all-in-one solution was necessary for restaurants to thrive. “Although at the time of the crisis, the overarching lasting effects were unknown, however, we were confident our product solution would be a high priority for restaurant survival,” says Jill Burke.  

During the crisis, the company remained financially stable, focused on its employees, and prioritized its culture. Thanks to this strong foundation and dedication to its product, customers, and employees, R365 secured consistent strategic funding. This helped the company to move forward and expand its service base.   

A Multifaceted Approach

“Foreseeably, individuals are seeking the ideal job, driven by their genuine motivations, within a suitable environment, complemented by the right package, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and aligned with the right culture. And as employers, it is our responsibility to ensure the right alignment.” says Jill Burke. She adds that people holistically want to be valued, acknowledged, and supported throughout all aspects of their lives and work is just a part of that. The unprecedented impacts of the pandemic offered an odd sense of solace and reflection, and for many, putting their holistic self-first rose on the top. 

Jill Burke believes that employers need to lean into this concept and invest in the whole person, through a nurturing nature. She adds that if employers ignore this trend, the entire employee lifecycle will have a negative impact. Acknowledging this, R365 has introduced a multifaceted approach such as rich wellbeing and a benefits bundle and offering, creating employee engagement activities and a huge emphasis on personal and professional enrichment and development. 

A Culture of Learning!

Addressing employee needs on an individual level is important to help create a positive working culture and environment. Moreover, creativity is also essential as employees crave stability, familiarity, and a sense of security. Here, a well-thought-out communication strategy can help employees understand key business priorities, and team dynamics, and become more efficient because of the intentional interactions. “Because of this shift, employees will get a deep sense of business acumen by comprehending business complexity and dependencies,” mentions Jill Burke. 

R365 lives its core values, they Solve Problems, (THIS IS OUR CORE VALUE AND THE COMMA NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED)  Together in their quest to Relentlessly Seek Greatness.  R365 has a robust enrichment and development team focused on employee learning. The company offers tools and individualized programs such as Manager Bootcamp, Leadership series, Micro learnings, management mixers, guest speakers, and book clubs that focus on advancement. 

R365 provides a culture of learning through seminars, conferences, internal training, educational reimbursement, etc. R365 has a robust enrichment and development team focused on employee learning. The company offers tools and individualized programs such as Manager Bootcamp, Leadership series, Micro learnings, management mixers, guest speakers, and book clubs that focus on advancement. 

R365 fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. “We have a Community Resource Group focused on diversity. The team meets on a monthly basis and all employees are invited to share openly in a safe space,” adds Jill Burke. 

Achievements and Future Vision

Some of her major achievements are,

  • Leading a ‘culture of excellence’ initiative that increased employee engagement. R365 has been  recognized as a ‘Top Places to Work’ for 3 consecutive years. 
  • Crossed $100M in revenue and $1B in value.   
  • Defining and implementing people strategies, cultural initiatives, and structural changes to support rapid growth. 
  • Reducing turnover by building culture, growing leaders, and bringing cultural values to life.

Talking about the future, Jill Burke mentions that HR is an ever-changing business and should continue to grow and evolve as business complexity increases and people dynamics shift. “Technology will drive data analytics to feed factors into a decision, which should be overlayed with people elements,” she concludes.

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