The Craft Embassy – Good Rostering for Work/Life Balance

April, 2019

Seth – Craft Embassy

Perched high above the Avon river in The Terrace Hospitality district is The Craft Embassy.

Since its opening in March of last year, the establishment has been making waves in the city for its fresh approach to hospitality. The venue is the winner of the 2018 Crombie Lockwood Central City establishment of the Year at The Christchurch Hospitality Awards, and received a 2018 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award.

The Craft Embassy is a loyal customer of goRoster and we sat down with the general manager Seth Hamilton to hear how he has used goRoster to keep the venue in ship shape.

Seth uses a number of handy software solutions to go “paper free” at The Craft Embassy.

Asked why he decided to use goRoster, Seth saw 3 key benefits; It is easy to use, quick for communication and  helps keep rosters consistent.

“It’s such an easy way to get a costed roster and for tracking forecast against actuals.”

“It’s great for communication and accountability – I know that if I need to get a message out to all employees I can easily do so.”

“I’m a true believer in work-life balance, and giving employees consistency in their rosters helps to make this possible. Being able to copy and adjust rosters week by week helps to ensure that they are fair and balanced between employees.”

With many years at the helm of some of Christchurch’s most loved restaurants, Seth has learnt a lot along the way. He offered some advice for those new to the trade:

“Be present, keep your eyes on the ball, especially with what is happening in the roster.  This allows you to identify where you are over rostered and gives you the space to make adjustments to suit. Also, I’ve found putting yourself in a position where you are visible is important. Take time to connect with the regulars, form relationships and find out how you are performing- It can be a lot of fun.”

Next time you are in Christchurch, pay a visit to the Craft Embassy. The exciting line of Craft Beer options and exceptional food will keep you warm and welcome.

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Improvements to Group Messages

March, 2019

Group messaging is now improved and includes new capabilities. You can now create group messages from within the roster designer. Employees with shifts in the roster are recipients. Filter recipients by status (Draft, Confirmed, Published Queried or Declined).

It’s also now easier to diagnose issues with sending a message. Get more detailed send information including status indicators and delivery warnings. Re-send messages to recipients who were missing contact info or a notification method.

Create a Group Message in the Roster Designer

Group messages can now be created from the roster designer. The roster filter is used send messages to groups of employees who are in the same state i.e. Draft, Published, Confirmed, Declined or Queried (see above).

Status Indicators for Messages

Status labels are more detailed and indicate the successful send count for each message.

Delivery Warnings

Employees who could not be sent a message are identified with delivery warnings. Each warning specifies what needs to be corrected to successfully send the message to that employee.

Re-Send Messages

If a message fails to send to an employee, there is now the option to correct the missing info and send the message again.

Keep an eye out for more updates in the coming months…

Guided Tours, Viewed Indicators and App Updates

February, 2019
The software team has been busy working on some handy new features. Employers can now see which employees have viewed the rosters. Roster responses are more detailed, and guided tours provide support to new users.

New Feature: Viewed Indicators

goRoster update- indicators

Employees who use mobile app or email will now show with an indicator beside their name in the roster.
Managers now have a way to identify which employees ignore or forget to check their rosters

App Update 4.66: Pending Rosters

goRoster update- mobile app
Mobile app update version 4.66, provides more detail to pending rosters. Each roster now remains in the pending screen after it has a response. The roster is now labelled with the employee response. Finally, rosters declined or queried by an employee display the date and time of the response.

Guided Tours

goRoster update- Guided Tours
The recently launched Help Centre provides a quick way to access support information. A collection of over 70 articles provide answers to common support questions.
We have also introduced a small number of interactive tours to provide help for new users. Tours are launched in goRoster using a new widget (black icon) at the bottom of the screen (see above).
Stay tuned for other exciting updates and features coming in the next few months!
goRoster – save time and get control of your wage costs

New Feature: Weekly Roster ‘Requirements’

September, 2018

goRoster users can now set ‘Requirements’ for their weekly rosters.

Requirements allow you to set the number of employees that need to be assigned to a particular role on any given day so that you can check to make sure you have your roles covered. This feature is one way to help design your roster to ensure you  maintain a high quality level of service and compliance in your chosen industry.

Create some Roles (if you haven’t already)

To use requirements, you first need to make sure you have created ‘Roles’ for your roster.

Here is a handy article showing you how to set up roles if you haven’t already Creating Roles

Requirements + Roles

Using Requirements in your Weekly Roster

Once you have your roles set up you can then enter requirements for the roster in the current week. In the Roster Designer > Menu 

To get started, click on the field that corresponds to the day you would like to set it for and click ‘up’ or ‘down’ to adjust the number of required roles.

Enter the Requirements

New! Requirements Indicators

When you have everything set up a ‘REQs’ indicator will display in the Roster Designer above the date in the roster. Green indicates you have assigned the correct number of employees for that role and date while Red indicates that you need to add more. If you need to add more employees to a role you can click on the indicator to edit the settings for your week.

Requirements Indicators

Who can use Requirements?

This new feature is now available to all goRoster users, including those on a free 30-day trial.

Not using goRoster yet at your business? Sign up today for a no obligation free trial.

New dashboard clearer, more useful

November, 2016

We have refreshed our dashboard, giving you a better looking, more functional, clearer view of all your roster information.

The new version supports all screen sizes too, so you can stay on track from anywhere and any device.

So, what’s new? Well, we have new ‘view modes’ so you can look at your rosters as tiles or lists and then dive into the financial side.

Tile view (replaces ‘Simple View’):


List view (replaces ‘Advanced View’):


Financial view (replaces ‘Detailed Financials’):


GET TO KNOW THE NEW DASHBOARD – here’s what’s changed;

picture4 picture5

Key Feature Notes
A Week Navigation
B Tile and List view modes
C Roster Navigation
D Roster Actions The new dashboard has these in the header “Cog” dropdown menu and also in the footer “More” dropdown menu
E Cost vs Revenue chart
F Revenue
G Employee Pay Costs
H Cost Budget
I Complete / Pending Flag
J Edit Roster
K Roster Employees/Hours
L Roster Status
M Financial View
N Unpublished Changes Warning

Another way to budget – introducing ‘maximum hours’

October, 2016

We have added another feature to our software – a ‘maximum hours’ function that lets you set limits for a roster and make sure employees are not over-worked.

Previously, customers have only been able to create rosters based on costs. Now, maximum hours can be entered for both rosters and employees. Alerts will pop up when you have gone over your hours, but won’t restrict what you can do.

This means you’ll be able to see your budget and stick to it, without knowing the pay rates/costs of each staff member. But if you want to, then you can also add in the expected and actual revenue to compare against the hours – just to make budgeting a little easier.

Users who have the permission to edit financial information will be able to enter the maximum weekly hours for employees. This new field can be found on the General tab when editing the Pay and Cost panel of an employee. Once entered, the maximum hours will show against the employee in the roster designer. A warning will be displayed if a person is rostered for more hours than their maximum.

Users who have the permission to edit rosters and roles will be able to enter the maximum weekly hours for rosters. This new field can be found in the Edit window of a roster. Once entered, the maximum hours will show in the footer of the roster designer. A warning will also be displayed if the total rostered hours exceeds the maximum.

You can enter maximum weekly hours for each roster:


You can also add maximum weekly hours for each employee:


An alert will pop up in the roster designer when you have exceeded your roster’s maximum hours. To switch between hours and costs in the pie chart in the bottom right corner, click on ‘By Hours’ or ‘By Costs’.



Introducing goRoster for iPad (and tablet!)

May, 2015

Introducing goRoster for iPad (and tablet!)I suppose that title was a bit biased wasn’t it – shoving poor tablets into a pair of brackets at the end.

They weren’t an afterthought. I promise. iPad usage amongst goRoster clients is considerably higher than that of tablets, but don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten you lovely tablet users. goRoster is now compatible with both the iPad range, as well as on most tablets.

We understand that older style laptops are now considered clunky and heavy. If you’re like us – you’ve downsized to a more mobile and portable device. You will have noticed that most service based technologies have been adapted to now be compatible with iPad and tablets. And we’ve decided to follow suit! This is to ensure that we can provide you with what you need, whenever and wherever you may need it. All the typical goRoster features you experience on your desktop or laptop – you can now have on your smaller devices.

We understand that the way you do business is changing, and we understand that you’re pushed for time.

So now you can take your rosters with you everywhere! Because, if you’re like us – you love your rosters.

If you’re after any information on the latest updates made to the brand new roster designer, check out this blog post.

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.

For more information go to

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.

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