Monthly Archives: January 2017

goRoster helps The Pedal Pusher stay on track

January, 2017

“goRoster gives a truer representation of what our costs really are.”

Seth Hamilton, General Manager, The Pedal Pusher

The Pedal Pusher has been one of the success stories of Christchurch’s new hospitality scene.

Opening in 2012, it is now a favourite for locals wanting an escape from the rat race.

Seth Hamilton became its General Manager in 2015, after 20 years in hospitality. He had never used goRoster before starting at The Pedal Pusher. “My rostering system was a complicated spreadsheet that I sadly inherited from the last manager,” he says.

“The way I’ve done things in the past certainly had its drawbacks. My old rostering system, for example, never showed leave costs, holiday pay, ACC levies or Kiwisaver deductions as separate costs. That often threw our books out.”

Staying ahead of the pack

For Seth, one of the best features about goRoster is the ability to accurately estimate expected turnover for the week, over a holiday period, or for a specific event – like a major sporting event or concert at the nearby entertainment precinct.

“goRoster allows us to make notes on what’s coming up and refer to previous rosters to see what happened at similar times. It tells us the number of staff we require, front of house and kitchen costs, as well as estimated turnover. It means that we are always in control of things” says Seth.

Getting down to business

Seth says that goRoster gives a truer representation of what The Pedal Pusher’s costs actually are. “The system is customisable, which means we can calculate our turnover and business costs the way that works for us. Every business is different, so it’s great that goRoster helps us to run our business the way that works for us.”

Another Pedal Pusher will be opening in March and Seth says that goRoster will have a large part to play in its success. “We want to keep that consistency between venues and goRoster will help with that. The system makes it easy to share staff between sites – it’s easy to see who is working where or if there are staff clashes for example. It also allows us to use one cost-centre across the business.”

goRoster also allows relevant information to be exported straight into The Pedal Pusher’s payroll system, which has helped to streamline their pay processing. “Come March, when we open the new site, this will make our pay processing much more efficient,” Seth says.

Communicating to staff – not confusing them

Clearer communication with staff has been another benefit for Seth. “Staff get a text and an email with just their shift, so I know that everyone has received it.”

In Seth’s previous roles, a roster was printed and hung out the back, which was often a remedy for disaster. “If changes were made to the roster once it had been printed, it was really hard to communicate that to staff. But goRoster makes it easy to edit parts of the roster and resend to those staff who need it.”

“goRoster is just so effective in what it does. The interface is so simple, yet it offers so many features,” Seth says.


Why rostering templates are bad practice

January, 2017

Anyone who works in hospitality knows that no day is the same. Things can change as quickly as the seasons, but with far less predictably.

How busy you are depends on the weather; the time of year; what events are happening around town; what your competitors are doing that day; even if your local sports team is performing well that season.

Plus on any given week, one or more of your staff will be on holiday, away sick or have a family emergency they need to attend.

We’re continually surprised at how many businesses we find using the same roster template that they created months ago.

With so many fluctuations not just day to day, but shift to shift, rostering templates can become out of date as quickly as they are created. Your template roster might have worked last week, but this week you have three large functions, an international touring band in town, and half your staff are away with the flu.

That’s why we recommend using a four-step process when it comes to rostering: Plan, execute, review, repeat.

Make a roster that can change as your situation does. Have contingencies in place for when things don’t go to plan, and continually assess how things are tracking. Take notes on what did and didn’t work and make changes accordingly.

A system like goRoster allows managers to access all the relevant information needed to execute this four-step process effectively. This is the best practice for managing staff, and the one followed by the most successful businesses in the hospitality industry.

When are wage costs too low?

January, 2017

Working hard to maintain wage costs at a certain percentage of turnover is often the difference between a successful business and a not-so successful one. Which is why staff wages are one of the most controlled costs in the hospitality industry.

There are several systems available to help businesses monitor these costs, from spreadsheets to custom software – like the kind goRoster builds. Of course, some businesses are more efficient than others, when it comes to managing staff wage costs.

While a very low wage cost percentage may be a welcome sight for your accountant, it can be a tell-tale sign of being understaffed. And the one thing that results from a lack of staff is bad service.

We’ve all experienced long-wait times for meals, endless queues for drinks on a night-out, and obviously over-worked staff. Many of us have told our friends about it, posted on social media about the experience, or left a bad review online. Certainly, most of us never returned to endure the experience a second time.

The backlash from just a few disgruntled customers can be far costlier than hiring one or two extra staff for that shift. You may need to appease customers with complimentary meals or drinks to apologise for long wait times. You may have potential customers leave before they have a chance to spend any money. Or you may make a reputation for the business that deters customers before they’ve even walked through the door.

Penny pinching when it comes to staff costs may help the bottom line in the short term, but could affect the viability of your business in the long-term.


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