The successes and challenges of family owned businesses.

August, 2019
Image of Family Restaurant
Family businesses can be highly successful. Their cohesiveness and ability to make fast decisions helps determine this success.

As many as 70 percent of Australian businesses are family owned[1] . The hospitality industry is well known for its family restaurants, cafes and establishments.

Who better to trust when it comes to your bread and butter than your own kin. A 2016 survey of family businesses found they possessed some advantages. One key strength was the ability to make quick decisions. Family businesses also do well in the long term. Some 49% of family businesses have been around for between 20 and 49 years[2] .

At the same time there appears to be no shortage of stories of where family business have gone awry.

So, what works and what doesn’t? Here are some suggestions for family businesses:

· Create Space: 

Employing some staff from outside of the family might be beneficial. Another pair of eyes in certain positions may provide more less biases decision making.  This can help keep to ensure everyone is performing their rostered responsibilities. Good delegation can help management and create more space in the calendar for family.

· Be clear on the rules:

A 2015 survey found that only 28% of family businesses had a code of conduct, family charter or constitution[3] .   It’s important to keep professionalism between your family when you are at work. Make sure to sit down and clearly define each family member’s role and responsibility. 

If a conflict is going to occur. Keep family issues away from suppliers and customers. Left unchecked, this could be especially damaging to your business brand and reputation.

· Take time out to be a family

Time is a precious resource; remember at the end of the day you are still family. What you do when you get home matters for family and for the health of your business. A key source of conflict is the “Balancing the needs of the family vs. the needs of the business”[4] .

Some hospitality businesses have to stay open late and through the weekend. These long hours can leave little room for holidays, outings and time around the dinner table. It may not be possible to have the whole family off work together for one day a week. An alternative might be to alternate taking time off together to catch up for coffee or other activity.

· Communicate:

As with any business, good communication is essential.  Using clear, direct communication is important in a family business. This applies especially when discussing family work performance or applying discipline.

· Plan for the Future: 

What is your succession plan?  In 2016 only 51% of family businesses had a succession plan[5] . Who will take over each responsibility? Do you want to continue the family business? These questions are worth considering when planning the future of the family business.


In summary, family businesses can be high performing and successful. Their cohesiveness and ability to make fast decisions helps determine this success. There are also some challenges. Most challenges center around maintaining work and family life balance. Overcoming these challenges requires the ability to create space.  Establish clear rules and responsibilities. Schedule family time outside of work (if possible). Keep vocal with good communication. Finally, prepare for the future and establish some form of a succession plan.

Check out more of our business related tips. Head to our Business Blog .

Whitianga Hotel – Saving 4 hours a week using goRoster!

July, 2019
Whitianga Hotel - Saving 4 Hours a week using goRoster
The iconic Whitianga Hotel

The Whitianga Hotel will be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. This iconic four star waterside establishment overlooks Whitianga Bay and the marina. Its long history has led some people to believe it’s haunted. Sightings of the paranormal have reportedly occurred on ‘plenty of occasions’. But, the hotel staff seem less convinced that anything supernatural is at play. Perhaps the patrons might be enjoying a few too many drinks at the onsite bar… We will never know for sure.

Two on-site restaurants offer some excellent dining for guests. Salt boasts waterfront views and is especially proud of its lamb shoulder. The signature dish has attracted customers from as far as the Thames. The twice cooked and caramelized pork belly has also been very popular and worth stopping in for.

The hotel bistro and bar are well known for their weekend entertainment. Last summer the renovated garden bar played host to a reggae festival.  The Herbs, Sons of Zion, Tribal Connections and Ruff Copy all took the stage for an exciting evening.

Offering great customer service

Arron Bartrum is the Hotel Operations manager. He and his team have over “130 years experience” between them and keep the place running in top shape. Arron describes his team as more of a ‘family’. It is this cohesion that gets him up in the morning and ensures they can offer great customer service. 

It’s Arron’s opinion that great customer service is not as big of a challenge as you would think.

“It is simple, ensure the customer or client is satisfied with the product or service provided. Maintain this service across the whole purchasing process – not just parts of it. ”

Saving 4-hours a week on payroll

A few months ago he implemented goRoster at the hotel and two restaurants. He has already noticed tangible benefits:

“goRoster has been a vital tool for our business, allowing us to track the many departments daily, weekly and monthly income and their wage spend. By setting targets for the department managers and giving them incentives to hit that magic 30% for wage cost it has made my job a whole lot easier.”

“Also the integration with our payroll company means we simply export the weekly wages from goRoster and email them off. goRoster has cut the time of wages down from just over 4 hours to just a matter of minutes.”

If you are planning a trip to Whitianga  be sure to check out the Whitianga Hotel.  The iconic accommodation and outstanding cuisine won’t disappoint.

Not using goRoster yet at your business?

Sign up today for a no obligation free trial . 
No Credit Card Required.

Check out other businesses who have also saved time and money using goRoster. Head to our Customer Stories page

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.

Not using goRoster yet at your business?

Sign up today for a no obligation free trial .
No Credit Card Required.

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

Mobile Analytics goRoster is proudly built by Global Office