Technology

Tech in Hospitality – the keys to making good decisions.

February, 2017

There has been a massive boom in the last few years of online and cloud-based apps for the hospitality industry. These range from point of sale and payroll systems, to time and attendance monitoring apps.

While many of these apps are great, they are often introduced in a hurried fashion – without much thought about how they work together, or talk to existing systems.

Here are three things to consider before introducing digital changes in your business:

Look for ‘true’ integration

New apps will often claim to integrate with other systems but regularly over promise and under deliver.

Do your research. Talk to others in the industry, who have incorporated your proposed new system, to see what they do and don’t like about it. Ask tech experts what they think about it. Check out Google reviews.

It can be easy to be fooled by the glitz and glamour of a new product, so make sure you know exactly how it functions to allow you to make the right decisions for your business.

Evaluate the ‘true’ benefit of change

 The only reason you should introduce a new digital system is because it will be beneficial for your business. So, make sure you understand exactly how the new system will help your business run more efficiently.

Will it save time? Will it make your job easier as an owner-manager? Will it make your employees’ job easier? Will it mean less paperwork? Will it mean better communication with suppliers?

Whatever your reasons for making the change, you need to be sure your chosen system will deliver the right solution. If it doesn’t, it’s not right for you.

Look at what key information it delivers

One of the advantages of new software is that it will often deliver information that will help you to make critical decisions about the running of your business.

A product like goRoster, for example, gives you detailed information about the number of staff needed for each shift, front of house and kitchen costs, estimated turnover, and detailed staff costs – including PAYE, holiday pay, and ACC levies.

This information makes many decisions easier, such as how much stock to order, staff to roster and specials to run.

 

Three cloud-based apps you need right now

October, 2016

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As a business owner, you have access to hundreds of different apps that can really give your business a boost.

There are many apps that are free or give you excellent value for money, especially when you think about what was available even just five years ago.

If you’re after powerful roster software that is cost effective and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with goRoster. It allows you to spend less time on scheduling and more time on what’s important to you.

Once you’ve sorted your rosters out, you can turn to other areas of your business – and that’s where this little list comes in handy.

These are our three favourite cloud-based apps:

  • Xero – secure, reliable accounting software that has a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets, and integrates with 500+ third-party apps
  • Google Docs – you can write, edit and work on documents with other people from anywhere in the world
  • Trello – collaborate with your team on projects of any size, using boards, lists and cards. Stay organised and prioritise your work.

An easy way to keep your liquor licence up-to-date

September, 2016

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It may not win points for giving you better work stories, but regulatory compliance an important part of running a hospitality business within the law.

goRoster can make it easier for you to meet your responsibilities when it comes to keeping Licence Controller Qualifications or working holiday visas up-to-date.

When you’ve got so much on your plate, it can be hard to remember every single thing. That’s where you can rely on goRoster – with our software, you can receive a reminder alert 14 to 30 days before an employee’s Licence Controller Qualification expires, giving you plenty of time to renew it.

goRoster also prevents you from rostering employees to certain roles if their Licence Controller Qualification has expired. This ensures you’re only rostering people to roles that they are qualified for – though it doesn’t just apply to Licence Controller Qualifications.

Both functions can also be used for first aid certificates and working holiday visas, for example. Bonus!

The importance of seamless payroll integration

May, 2016

The importance of effective payroll integration Finding the right rostering software is not an easy task. Every business has its own set of integration requirements, but there seems to be one recurring issue across all businesses we talk to.

Employee payroll can be a time-consuming task.

It takes time and resources, often costing you significant amounts of money if done wrong. It can often slow a business down. The right rostering software can help you eliminate the pain associated with employee payroll.

Rostering in the hospitality and retail industries is dynamic. Shifts can change as well as the location and total number of employees required. Dynamic rostering requires software that can easily plug into your payroll so you don’t have to worry about any inaccuracies.

Simple payroll integration is imperative to the smooth running of your business. goRoster will let you export roster information directly to your chosen payroll software with the simple click of a button, alternatively you can export to Excel if you wish to dive deeper into further analysis.

goRoster integrates with Ace Payroll, MYOB, iPayroll, IMS, SmoothPay and Rocket Payroll. Manage your employee profiles more easily and process payroll with goRoster’s ability to send through all the information required for a seamless pay run.

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Payroll doesn’t have to be a time consuming nightmare. Save time and money by investing in seamless payroll integration.

Watch this space. We have more exciting integrations coming your way in the next few months!

Following these rostering tips will help drive business efficiency

April, 2016

Following these rostering tips will bring you guaranteed business efficienciesA robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.

On the contrary, building rosters inefficiently can be a real time-waster. So, how do you get maximum results from your roster?

Here’s five quick tips you can easily incorporate into your rostering practice today. 

Utilize “Role Rostering”

First you need to work out what shifts and roles you need to fill, then costing out this plan against your employee’s hourly wages. Then, simply add the names of those staff member you wish to fill each role. Role rostering is great as is focuses on what’s best for your business. Perhaps there’s a special event in town and you anticipate being busier than usual. You need your senior employees on that can handle the pressure, but always be weary of overstaffing.

Share the top shifts

For wait and restaurant staff, certain shifts are always better than others in terms of stress and potantial for tips. These are the shifts that need the most careful management – you need to share these around fairly to ensure all staff members get their turn.

Automate rostering tasks

The more rostering tasks you automate, the more management time you free up for sorting out issues and, well, managing the business. This is where the benefits of cloud technology come into play. Modern rostering tools can provide costing models at the click of a button and can be updated in real time and sent out to employees via email or SMS.

Enable staff to plan in advance

Everyone has a busy life these days, and the more advance notice staff have of their shifts, the more you reduce unexpected absences and last-minute changes. Focus on automating your rostering system as much as possible so you can advise staff of rosters 4 weeks in advance. This will leave you with happy employees, and allowing them the opportunity to request leave early means there’s no chance of you rostering staff on when they’re not available!

Allow staff to check the roster without calling in

With a cloud-based rostering system, you can prepare the roster from anywhere. You can send a most up-to-date roster  straight to an employees smart phone as an SMS or an email. They can check this and keep it on record – no more calling in to check when their shift starts! The more of your rostering tasks that can be handled in this way, the more time you free up for other tasks.

Using these simple tips will help you implement efficient rostering strategies. If you’re looking for a cloud-based rostering tool that can automatically update employees about shift changes, then send us an email at support@goroster.com and find out what goRoster can do for you!

Reaching employees on the go

March, 2016

Reaching employees on the go - goRoster

Being more ‘mobile’ these days is essentially a prerequisite for retail and hospitality industries alike. The ability to reach employees ‘on the go’, brings indisputable benefits for both you as a business, and for your employees.

It’s not an easy task getting ahead of your competition. Often it can feel like a constant battle just to keep up with new developing trends within your industry.

goRoster was initially developed for the hospitality industry but has widened its scope to meet the needs of the retail, health and stadia industries. Why? Because all these industries face a similar challenge.

Reaching employees.

TQM - Employee goRosterCreating rosters is a uniquely complex task. Managers need to have a level of certainty that their employees are going to receive their rosters, and acknowledge them in return. With goRoster’s sleek and intuitive design, managers are able to quickly send out employee rosters via SMS or email, and accept back ‘confirmations’ or ‘queries’ regarding their roster. These responses are then automatically logged in goRoster, updating the schedule in real time.

Of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones in use 1.08 billion are smartphones, and a whopping 3.05 billion are SMS enabled. (1)

It is undeniable the effect that mobile devices are having on communication. As a hospitality or retail business, you can’t ask for a more effective method of sending rosters out – when you can simply get one sent straight to the employees pocket.

Placing some of the responsibility back on the employee encourages involvement from both management and staff. With this comes a number of benefits. Not only do employees feel more actively engaged, but they’re given permission to communicate via mediums that play a significant role in their daily lives.

Reaching employees on the go promotes active involvement from both parties, and encourages a shared understanding about the importance of rostering. Stay in front of your competition and get ‘mobile’ now.

 

(1) http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/2011-mobile-statistics-stats-facts-marketing-infographic/

I got 99 problems but my rosters ain’t one

November, 2015

Untitled design (2)Rostering doesn’t need to be difficult.

Some businesses still so firmly believe that, in order to keep absolute control over their rosters, they must continue to tediously do them by hand and dish them out to employees in those dreadful dated brown envelopes.

Dare I compare it to “snail mail?”

And let’s be honest – it’s more than likely that your local post office has recently had to make staffing cutbacks due to the lack of people using postal services now, as a result of the considerable time it takes for hard copy mail to reach people.

Same principle applies to rostering. Why would you continue with the old way of doing things when the benefits of the new clearly outweigh the old.

We’ve painted this picture in the hope that you will be able to recognise the importance of keeping pace with key developments in the area of employee management. Rostering companies have done the hard work and figured it out for you. They hold the golden ticket to your one way route towards better, more efficient rostering.

We believe  the most important  things to consider are:

  • You need to be online
  • You need to be storing HR and financial data in the cloud
  • You need to be involving your employees in this process

So perhaps it’s time for you to get in the game. Businesses come with a multitude of problems. Highs, lows, and everything in between.

If one area of your businesses isn’t keeping pace with the other, you’ll lose the race.

Why?

Because, just like you, all great hospitality businesses have 99 problems.

But I can tell you now, their rosters ain’t one.

Why Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch Is A Good Idea

September, 2015

Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch“Counting your chickens before they hatch” is an idiom that’s thrown around a lot in day to day conversation. Little do people realise its relevance to business strategy. In a nutshell, it means to ‘plan how you’re going to utilize the good results of something, before those results have actually occurred.’

A University study was done in July this year on the failure rate across multiple business industries and the attributed reasons leading to them failing. The number one cause of failure for 46% of those businesses surveyed, was found to be incompetence as a result of lack of planning. This figure certainly should be ringing some alarm bells. (1)

In the graph below you will notice that 55% of service businesses were still operating after four years. Whilst this isn’t the highest statistic, it certainly sheds some light on how easy it is to steer your business down the wrong avenue if your susceptible to leaving your business ‘planning’ to the last minute.

Any uncertainty about your business should be backed up with data and statistics that help you to define and measure what it is you’re uncertain about. As a result, this enables you to make more accurate decisions; and managerial decision making can then utilise this statistical insight to steer your business in the right direction.

You should be making basic plans in advance all the time. Reviewing and refining them on a regular basis will ensure you are as prepared as possible for future success.

If you haven’t already you should be thinking about investing in business planning software. goRoster gives you access to all your past roster data and financial information in order to help you streamline those important business plans. Check out some of the financial features goRoster has to offer over on the features page. 

(1) Business Failure Rate By Industry – www.statisbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Business – Part 4

September, 2015

Metric #4 – Wage Cost vs Turnover

The final metric in our series is the Wage Cost vs Turnover which is often expressed as a percentage (the Wage Cost Percentage).

photo-1431499012454-31a9601150c9Most hospitality operators are aware of this measure and, more often than not do take note of it, although this is more commonly examined after the game has been played.

We’ve spoken previously about how important we think it is to examine the Wage Cost Percentage not only after a week has been worked (a lag measure) but also before the rostered week has begun (a forward measure).

However no matter how you arrive at your number, there is one vital factor that we often find some operators fail to understand;

What happens when your Wage Cost Percentage is too low?

Whilst it’s a fantastic achievement to get your costs down, the fact is that if your wage costs are far below industry norms it likely means that your business is providing bad service.  In many cases very low wage cost percentages can indicate that your staff are simply not able to cope with the workload.  It also means that some of your customers may not return.

So we recommend working hard on planning and efficiencies to keep your Wage Cost Percentage down low… but not too low!

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses – Part 2

August, 2015

Metric #2 – TurnoverMetric #2 - Turnover

Part two in our series on Key metrics for successful Hospitality business: click here if you missed Part 1: Wage Cost.

Turnover – “The total gross sales for a given period”

Experienced Hospitality operators understand that the day to day turnover figure is extremely difficult to predict.

We’ve spoken with thousands of hospitality organisations over the years and have noticed that whilst many operators simply accept the fluctuations and simply try to be reactive to them, the more successful ventures understand that there are huge benefits to developing a discipline and strategy around estimating potential turnover.

When such a strategy is implemented, practiced repeatedly and adjusted accordingly, these businesses are in a great position to make truly educated guesses surrounding their future financial performance. There’s no doubt that this is a somewhat difficult practice to master, however our experience has shown us that the rewards are truly worth it.

Here are some things to consider when your hospitality business is considering its future turnover:

  •  Past performance – what do we normally turnover this time of year?
  • Trends – are we trending consistently up or down against the same period last year?
  • Local Events – what is happening at the local stadium?  And will the local team likely win that rugby game?
  • Changes in competition – are there new operators in our area competing with us?
  • What is the weather forecast – how much do we normally drop in turnover on a wet day to a sunny day?
  • Promotions – Are we offering a two for one deal tonight?
  • General economic conditions – are people feeling confident about spending money
  • Holidays – is there a public holiday?  Is there one coming up that people may save money for?
  • Pricing – has our pricing changed?

live-costingAs you can well imagine, this list can become very extensive.  It’s vital to understand that each individual location will have its own list of influencing factors.

So why not get started building your list?  Once mastered, your hospitality business can only benefit from it!

Employee rostering plays a crucial role in the success of any hospitality business. If you’re interested in more information about how the right tools can help determine your turnover – jump on over to the technology section of the blog.

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