Monthly Archives: July 2014

6 Hurdles Hospitality Managers Commonly Face (And How To Overcome Them)

July, 2014

Make sure you invest time into hiring the right people for your hospitality business

I think it’s fair to say that the hospitality industry is one of the most dynamic, competitive, and thrilling industries around. Now I may be biased having previously worked in hospitality for so long, but recently I’ve noticed that never has another industry had to gratify such a tremendous variety of people. They’re the ones we rely on for a place to eat, somewhere to catch up with a friend or a place for us to pop down to for our Friday after work drinks.

Whilst to industry outsiders, it may seem that hospitality workers merely put together fancy dishes, pour wine, and provide a nice setting, they in fact do much more than just serve us day-time workers that 5 o’clock beer or wine we have been longing for all day!

Over the next three weeks I will be breaking down for you, six hurdles commonly faced by managers within the hospitality industry and why we ought to appreciate them for it. To all the industry managers out there, I’ve also provided some suggestions on how you may be able to overcome these onerous hurdles.


Employee turnover is notoriously high within the hospitality business. Some may say it’s the seasonal nature of the industry, or the poor compensation packages employees’ receive comparative to other industries. As a result of the appeal that the hospitality industry has to potential employees of all ages, you are in turn faced with a very broad pool of individuals to choose from. I think it’s safe to say that all of us, at least once in our lives have thought about how “cool” or “fun” it would be to work in a bar or to make cocktails.

So whilst some employees have a strong desire to make it their long term career and dream of working their way up to a managerial role of some sort – some simply use hospitality jobs as a way to pay the bills, usually whilst they are studying or at university. It’s hard for these people to fully commit and develop a real passion for their jobs when they know it’s not where they want to be long term. An employee’s passion too is a critical element in running a successful hospitality business. It’s a constant battle for managers to get a solid number of employees to commit to a job for more than just a few months. Finding the right balance between the career focused ones, and those who can only commit part time is hard, and it takes a lot of active top-down encouragement from managers to instil a sense of commitment within potential and current employees.

Solution: When hiring new staff, place an emphasis on the opportunities for internal promotion within the business. Staff appreciate knowing that their hard work will pay off and that there are incentives in place where they can be rewarded for their efforts. Quite often you will find people aren’t just after “the big bucks.” They want to know that there’s room to move up the occupational ladder. If you make the concept of internal promotion central to your hiring and management processes, whilst encouraging on the job training and upskilling exercises, this encourages employees to want to play a real part in your business. Looking forward, it also gives them something to aspire to.

Make sure you check back soon for our next blog post, where I’ll be talking about and providing solutions for Hurdle Number Two – Customer Loyalty. 

Want to take the next step towards becoming a manager that’s more in control of your business? Click here to start a free trial of goRoster, and see how rostering plays a crucial role in the success of your venue.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

July, 2014

Remember to communicate effectively with your employees.

Why communicate? Because an outcome of misinterpretation of rosters is regular “no-shows”.

When staff don’t turn up for shifts this puts stress on other staff members as they have to pick up the slack.  It may also require getting a replacement worker to come in on their day off.  This process not only puts pressure on other staff members, it also results in financial losses to the company. According to one of our customer’s calculations, it costs bars approximately $200 per “no-show” from various strains on resources.

Effective roster communication is about ‘shared understanding’.

Delivering rosters to staff successfully and making sure they’ve interpreted them correctly can often be a challenge.  However, by being able to send rosters via email and SMS and have employees confirm they have read and understood them using the same channel, makes rostering communication easy and efficient.  The larger and more complex your hospitality team, the more important this feature of rostering becomes.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here.


Eliminating Time and Space

July, 2014

The Mexico Group - eliminating geographics with the use of goRoster

The Mexico Group is a group of bars and restaurants providing a taste of authentic mexican across New Zealand. Currently operating from six locations and opening a seventh in July 2014, has certainly offered some unique challenges to the management team in regards to managing their staff who are spread across such a wide geographical location. But this is exactly the type of challenge that goRoster is made for. goRoster has been able to allow the Mexico Group to streamline their rostering processes easily and efficiently. All locations and departments can be managed through the dashboard enabling improved margins, tighter control over expenses and flexible budgeting and forecasting.

When we last spoke to the team they were well involved in setting up their newest location in Wellington and yet were still able to manage teams, rostering issues and expenses for their restaurants and bars across Auckland and Hamilton. They were using goRoster to remotely manage the sites already open, whilst preparing the new site and working out costing for the new location. The goRoster software gives the management team a top down view of the entire business. William, who works for Mexico in Operations and Data Admin, says goRoster gives him the ability to view and manage every site quickly and conveniently.

                    “The biggest benefit to me is the snapshot tracking. I can easily get a snapshot of all our locations every day to see exactly how the costs are tracking.”

William’s favourite aspect of goRoster is the costings functions and how simple and easy it is to use. The Mexico Group can now manage costings and rosters simultaneously, enabling them to adjust both in real time and in a quick and easy manner. The rest of the team enjoy the benefits too. The staff love receiving their rosters via text – they can then reply if those shifts work for them or not. This functionality allows the team to plan their other commitments such as study, family and socialising around their work. No more forgetting shifts and having to ring to check – the roster is stored on their phone and readily available whenever and wherever they are. The staff’s favourite benefit is the ability to be able to check rosters directly on their phones – no need to call in.

Managers are enjoying goRoster too – they now spend less time co-ordinating rosters, and replacing staff due to illness or other circumstances is a breeze. goRoster has reduced the time and resources spent on staff communication outside of rostered shifts and has the additional benefit of electronically storing all communications should they be required in the future. Implementing it was simple – after a short amount of time the system was up and running and paying dividends across all locations and the business as a whole. The entire system is found to be quick, easy and simple to use on a day to day basis.

Overall, goRoster enables the management team to run all locations no matter where they physically are – Britomart, Takapuna, Ponsonby, Ellerslie, Hamilton, New Plymouth or Wellington. The goRoster team wish the Mexico Group all the best with the opening of the Wellington location – we can’t wait to try it out.

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Getting The Right Mix

July, 2014

Get the right employee mix with smart rostering

It’s always important to strategically think about the mix of people you’re rostering on together. Just like a Cosmopolitan requires the perfect balance of vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec and lime juice, your team requires a certain mix of abilities to make the night a success.

What are your staff’s strengths and weaknesses?  For each shift you’ll need a strong team of people with mixed expertise.  On any given night you may need a few expert cocktail makers, waiters/waitresses with excellent order recall, someone who knows what to do if the till breaks down and a confident supervisor to keep everyone in order.

Create the perfect mix of staff with smart rostering. It is so much easier to have a system that’s able to record employee skills and talents when building your rosters. You should be able to tag all staff with their default roles as well as any specialty skills that are relevant.

The risk, especially with a large crew, is that the roster manager has all of this knowledge in their head, but as soon as they are sick or on holiday you have a problem. You wouldn’t just have one person in your whole bar who knew how to make cocktails.  Likewise, your rostering approach should be smart enough to not rely on one person, and to help you understand what mix of skills is needed.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here. 

Happiness as a marketing tool

July, 2014

Smart rostering will help you use happiness as a marketing tool

Keeping your staff happy is not only a moral responsibility, but also a business opportunity.

Would you return to a place where you’d previously encountered grumpy, rude or unhelpful staff?  Probably not.  And if you’d had a truly unpleasant service experience, you may even feel compelled to write a bad review about it online.  The thing with online reviews is that most people take the time to write one if a) they had an exceptionally awesome experience OR b) they had an exceptionally awful experience.  Satisfactory service generally goes unreported.

So you can see why keeping staff in high spirits is essential to ensuring people not only return to your establishment, but promote it to friends, family and the online community.

Get your rostering balance right to increase staff satisfaction. Although you can’t protect your staff from everything that could affect their happiness, you can control some aspects of their work life.  Use your rostering system to ensure that staff are getting enough hours to satisfy their income needs but not so many hours that it’s affecting their stress or sleep levels.

Obtaining this balance for all staff members is difficult but necessary to influencing staff’s happiness and therefore your patron’s service satisfaction.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here.

Avoiding Hangovers

July, 2014

Smart rostering is crucial in taking control of your costs and, helping avoid those financial hangovers.

You know those nights where your bar is full of people laughing, dancing and generally having a good time, and the contagious atmosphere leaves you and your colleagues enjoying themselves too?  But then morning comes and it’s time to count up the costs vs turnover and you realise that it wasn’t such a great night after all?  Take back control and avoid these financial ‘hangovers’ by tracking actual costs vs. turnover using an automated system that doesn’t leave you with a headache.

Rostering is the key to controlling staff costs.

The biggest chunk of cost to run a bar comes from paying staff.  This is why getting your rostering right is pivotal to optimising cost control and maximising profits.  Make sure you have access to the information you need to see ‘hidden’ staff costs such as public holiday pay (time and a half), extra taxation and long-service leave. Don’t be left with a ‘hangover’ after what you thought was a great night.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here.

Quality Ingredients

July, 2014

In order to make successful rostering decisions you must first have access to quality information. 


There are many factors that can affect your patron volume. Major sporting events may result in a huge influx of patrons to your sports bar if you are playing the game on the big screen.  And on the flip-side, your night club might not pick up until after the game has finished.

Summer holiday periods usually mean more people have the opportunity to get out and enjoy themselves so bars and restaurants often employ summer staff to keep up with this demand.

Memory of past events is not enough to successfully plan a roster.

Although you may have a rough idea of how many extra staff you’ll need to work on rugby finals night, it’s impossible to predict the optimum balance of staff costs vs. sales when you manage rostering with a rolling spreadsheet.  This is why having information about how different scenarios have historically impacted patronage is so important when planning rosters.

Having the information to forecast how certain events will affect patronage allows you to make smart rostering decisions. It’s imperative to recognise the costs of any staffing decisions you make. Even saving 1% a night on staffing costs can make a big difference to your yearly profits.

You need the best quality ingredients to create an award winning meal – just like you need the best quality information to run a successful hospitality business.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here 

Do What You Love

July, 2014

Don't let bad rostering take you away from doing what you love

There are many things to love about working in hospitality: the fast-paced thrill of serving a throng of patrons; the contagiously joyful atmosphere; the knowledge that you’ve contributed to making everyone’s night a great one; and the friendships you form with both co-workers and patrons.

But then there are the obligations that also come with managing a successful business: cost management, product ordering, building maintenance and, to top it all off, the weekly laborious and frustrating task of rostering. If you wanted to be stuck out the back in an office you would have become an accountant, right? We believe that hospitality managers are most valuable when they’re in amongst the action.

Although there will always be a bit of ‘paperwork’ involved in managing a hospitality business, there are excellent alternatives to slogging over Excel spreadsheets. Rostering automation tools give you the power to quickly set staff costs targets, measure them, allocate staff to shifts and deliver rosters via email and SMS. This transparent and time-effective method allows you to quickly and efficiently complete necessary staff rostering so you can spend more time doing what you love – mentoring employees and delighting customers.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here.

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