business

New year revolutions

January, 2018

Last year was very successful for goRoster. We grew our team; had lots of new customers jump on board; developed exciting new features; and talked to so many people in the hospitality and retail industry that we’ve lost count.

Now that 2018 is here, we’ve put our heads together and come up with some tips to help make it an even more productive and satisfying year.

Learn something new

From a personal standpoint, learning anything new is a great way to challenge yourself and kick your brain into overdrive. It could be learning a musical instrument, solving a rubix cube or mastering another language.

From a career point of view, adding a new skill to your CV is a great way to help make yourself indispensable. Consider taking a mixologist course, learn a new cooking technique, or become an expert in social media to help with your online marketing.

Be brave

Some of the most revolutionary ideas come from people and organisations that push the boundaries. Movies with sound, the telephone, computers – we can’t think of our lives without these, but when they were first proposed many people thought they were doomed to fail.

If you think you’ve got a great idea, be brave and talk to a business mentor. It might just be the next best thing! Watch this space for something we’ve been working on that we think will make a bit of a splash.

Delegate more

It’s only since our team has grown that we’ve begun to realise the importance of letting go of the reins. It’s as much about easing your load – whether at work or in your personal life – as it is about clearing your mental space.

If you continue trying to juggle a hundred tasks at once, eventually you’re going to drop some. Things will run smoother when you hand tasks over to someone you know and trust to do the job well. Plus, you’ll have more time for you, which is equally important.

If it isn’t working, fix it!

Even the most successful organisations have systems and processes that don’t work as well as well as they could. This might be an inefficient rostering system, clunky accounting software, or disorganised stocktaking processes. A new year is the perfect time to deal with them. Consult your staff, talk to industry experts, and come up with options that best suit your needs.

Stay customer focussed

At the end of the day, businesses only survive due to a strong customer following. It’s important to keep your faithful clientele happy and continue to entice new customers. Keep an eye on what is going well and what isn’t, and ask your customers what they think could be changed or improved. Even in 2018, the old adage of ‘the customer is always right’ still rings true.

Here’s to a successful year ahead! If you want to have a chat, get in touch with us – we’re only a click away.

Navigating the 2018 minimum wage increase

December, 2017

Minimum wages are set to rise to $20 an hour by 2021 under the new coalition government. With the New Year upon us, the first of a series of incremental increases has already been announced. While this is great for employees, it will have a significant impact on hospitality and retail businesses across the country.

So, how will your business survive in this new environment? Here’s three tips that could help you mitigate the impact of this change.

Create a good employer brand

With the rise in labour costs, you’ll really want to attract the best possible talent.

Make your business somewhere people want to work by creating a culture that isn’t just incentivised by a pay check.

Celebrate excellence by providing rewards to well performing staff, such as naming them employee of the month; organise regular activities for your team to socialise and bond as a team; and offer all employees the opportunity for growth in their role.

Focus on efficiency

The old adage ‘time is money’ will ring even more true with increased labour costs. Focus on making sure you’ve got efficient systems in place so that your outgoings are as low as possible.

Implement a solid rostering system that allows you to know who is working and what they will be doing. Develop procedures that help you to stay in control of the business on a day to day basis, from knowing what stock has been ordered, to seeing your daily, weekly and monthly profit. Create open communication channels between your employees and human resources team, to make sure any issues get ironed out quickly.

Test and measure your systems and procedures, and repeat until you have it down to a fine art. The more efficient your team, the healthier your books will be.

Training

 Keep your employees at the top of their game with regular training. Not only do well-trained staff work more productively and create less errors, they also help to entice repeat customers.

Whether it’s a video tutorial, accredited hospitality paper, or upskilling by a more experienced member of the team, training of any kind is an investment in the future of your business.

The new minimum wage will come into play before you know it, so start getting prepared now.

Four tips to help minimise disruption caused by employee leave

February, 2017

An efficient, hard-working and friendly team is often the making of a successful hospitality business. So it can be quite disruptive when employees need to take leave.

Here are four tips to help minimise the impact:

1: Communicate with employees

Absences due to illness can be particularly stressful for a manager, as you may only get a few hours to find a replacement. Research suggests that regular sick leave is commonly taken by employees who feel overworked or stressed in the workplace. Thinking about the welfare of your staff, and openly communicating with them about their workloads, can help mitigate the amount of sick leave taken. Ask staff how they are feeling, be empathetic to their responses, and listen to feedback on how to best help their situation.

2. Train your staff across multiple skills

Having staff who are competent across several roles can help ease the burden of employees being away. The ability to take your kitchen staff and put them front of house for a shift – or have your wait-staff serving at the bar – gives you the flexibility to change your roster at a moment’s notice. Teach staff these extra skills during quiet times, so that the training itself doesn’t become a disruption.

3: Have a system in place to record future leave

If employees are planning a holiday for later in the year, have been invited to a special event (like a wedding for example), or are planning to take advantage of the Easter or Christmas break, they will often book leave months in advance. Make a record of this so that you and other staff don’t get caught out when the time comes. Don’t use post-it-notes either – make sure it’s recorded somewhere reliable, in a system like goRoster, for example.

4: Ensure you have dependable backup

Unfortunately, leave can’t always be planned. Sickness and bereavement are part of life, so you always need to plan for them. Create a shortlist of dependable people that you can call on when you require staff at short notice. This will save you a lot of stress when you need to make quick rostering changes.

Timeframes for payroll much faster with goRoster – TANK Juice

February, 2017

Since its humble beginnings in 1996, TANK has grown to more than 70 stores nationwide. Famous for its juices made from real fruit and vegetables – and more recently expanding its menu to include salads and wraps – TANK has become a destination for kiwis looking for healthy, fresh and fast food.

Jess Dempsey, Human Resources Manager for TANK Juice, says that goRoster was initially introduced by the company to help with staff management. With hundreds of employees, TANK required a system that would make the job of managing them all a simple one.

Out with the old, in with goRoster

Before goRoster, TANK’s systems were all paper-based. “We used excel spreadsheets to organise things like rostering, staff costs, and turnover. It was time consuming and prone to errors,” Jess says.

goRoster replaced this system with an automated, online one that was much simpler and quicker to use. “We now have visibility of all of our staff all in one package, which makes it much easier to prepare rosters, track times, calculate leave, and forecast staff costs,” Jess says.

Integration with payroll a plus

The seamless integration between goRoster and TANK’s existing systems – such as payroll – was a huge benefit for Jess.  “The timeframes for payroll are so much faster now – and with a lot less margin for error. Running reports for things like public holidays – which are different every year – are also really easy to do.” 

When TANK moved to a new payroll provider in 2016, the compatibility of the new system with goRoster was of high importance. “goRoster works so well for us, we needed to make sure that it integrated well with whatever payroll provider we used,” Jess says.

The company is also looking to upgrade its Point of Sale system soon. “And when we do, that decision too will be influenced by the way it integrates with goRoster,” Jess says.

Tech makes things easy

Creating a cloud-based system for TANK has allowed Jess and her team to access important information from anywhere at any time. “As things can change so quickly, having the freedom to access the system whenever we need it is a real-life saver.”

The mobile-app has also made communicating with staff a cinch. “Every team member is connected in real-time, so if anything changes, they know about it straight away,” Jess says.

“What I love about working with the goRoster team is that they really listen to what we want, and then implement changes suit the way our business works,” Jess says.

Burnt-out staff are a burden on your business

December, 2016

Busy waiter and waitresses working at bar night

The Christmas period is always a busy one for those in the retail and hospitality industries. Staff are working longer hours, later nights and dealing with throngs of people every day. If not managed correctly, this can lead to unhappy and burnt-out staff, which will be a lag on your business and can result in huge costs.

Here are three tips to stop staff burnout:

Talk to them

You and your staff may have different definitions of being ‘overworked’, so it needs to be clearly defined. Communication is key. You may want to ask your staff what their expectations are, how much they would like to work and what they would see as an ideal role.

Rotate the workload

Keeping staff fresh and enthused can be as simple as rotating roles. If someone is spending most of their time in the kitchen, switch up their role by putting them front of house for example. As the saying goes, a change is as good as a holiday.

Have tight systems in place

Have systems in place that give you the information you need to identify when staff are starting to work long hours.

There are rostering systems available – like the one goRoster has developed – that will alert you when someone has worked too many hours. A staff member may not approach you if they are unhappy with the number of hours they are working, so it’s good to be proactive.

Ensuring staff aren’t overworked is key to maintaining a happy team, and ultimately happy customers!

 

Keeping track of staff easier with goRoster

November, 2016

syncrostaff

A Christchurch recruitment company is using goRoster to keep track of candidates’ jobs and availability.

SyncroStaff Managing Director Jason Seaward says the company has been using goRoster for almost a month.

Specialising in transport and logistic jobs, SyncroStaff has more than 40 employees on medium to long term placements. They place truck and van drivers, forklift operators and labourers, as well as staff in office, administration and warehousing positions.

Earlier this year, the company had started using a customer relationship management (CRM) system but found that it was not able to show where candidates were working and when they would next be available.

“It was great for storing information, like candidates’ licences and certificates. But we needed a system that our recruitment staff could use to see where people were,” Jason says.

The company’s next step is to integrate goRoster with its payroll system.

“We love the intuitiveness of goRoster. The CRM we used never felt intuitive. We like the way goRoster operates, and its features. Being able to copy and paste the rosters each week means less data entry for our staff.”

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’):

picture1

List view (replaces ‘Advanced View’):

picture2

Financial view (replaces ‘Detailed Financials’):

picture3

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

Make plans now to save time later

September, 2016

Hungry hipsters = great profit margins!

Everyone makes a plan at some point in their life. Whether it’s for their wedding, family, business – or even just the weekend. Spontaneity is fun when it comes to road trips and skinny dips, but successful businesses need to think about the future and how to work smarter, not harder.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As a business owner, do you make plans for next week? What about the week after, or the one after that?

In the hospitality trade, a busy day can quickly become slow depending on the weather or who won the rugby, so a bit of planning can help you control your biggest cost – staffing.

It doesn’t have to take much time. An hour this week looking through your roster records could save you a headache next week. Look at what events are coming up, what bookings you already have, whether any employees are going to be on leave and how much you spent on wages last month. Even checking the weather forecast could be helpful!

Having a plan for next week that supports your overall business plan will motivate you to achieve your goals.

So, what’s your plan?

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein

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

September, 2016

bar

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!

Not enough vs too many staff – get the right balance

July, 2016

Coffee

We’ve been in the roster software business for eight years now and have worked with a lot of hospitality businesses in both NZ and Australia. One thing we’ve learnt is that having the right number of employees is crucial to success.

Having too many staff will cut into your profit and leave workers standing around with nothing to do. Staff wages are one of the three largest expenses of a hospitality business and the only one that you can control, so keep a close eye on those costs.

Even more important is to have enough staff, otherwise your team will become stressed from working in an under resourced environment and customers will grow tired of waiting 25 minutes for a latte. That will lead to a bad reputation and, eventually, failure. Understaffing is the most common reason for hospitality businesses going under.

One way to find the right staffing balance for your business is to keep tabs on wages. Being able to see how much is being spent each day, week and month will help you determine whether you have the right number in your team.

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