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Managing chaos during the silly season

December, 2016

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The Christmas period is always a hectic time for anyone working in hospitality. With Christmas celebrations and client functions galore, it should be the busiest time of the year for you and your staff.

So how do you stay on top of things through the mad rush?

Don’t get stressed – get systematic.

When things are busy, you need to have tight processes in place to stay in control.

Make sure your systems for rostering, ordering stock, customer bookings and payroll are all as streamlined as possible. If you need assistance with putting them in place, goRoster can certainly help.

Fight chaos with communication

Keeping the communication lines open is key to maintaining a calm workplace. Make sure your staff know exactly what is happening – who is working what shift, how many people are in for dinner and any private functions that are booked for example.

Clear communication to your staff will make them feel confident and happy in what they are doing. And the positive vibes will no doubt rub off on your customers!

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

Overstaffed or understaffed? Here are the signs

March, 2016

Understaffed or overstaffed? When it comes to building rosters you want to be as accurate as possible when forecasting future staffing requirements. Time again, we’ve seen rosters being created based on instinct and manager experience.

Negligence can lead to a substantial increase in costs for your business.

Often you’ll hear your employees say, “you just missed the big rush!” only to find later on that your sales figures prove otherwise. Trying to find a happy medium to combat the chance of employees standing around doing nothing, versus being completely rushed off their feet is no easy task.

Here’s a few things to watch out for:

  • Employee burnout

Typically, if you’re understaffed you’ll find your employees are burnt out. Being consistently rushed off their feet will most likely lead them to end up resenting the job.

  • A drop in service levels

Often as a direct result of being burnt out, when you’re understaffed your employees won’t be able to match the activity level happening within your business. Bad service can lead to unhappy customers – and you don’t want that! It’s important to keep your customers happy – they’re your biggest source of revenue.

  • Financial impact

Do you think that if you checked at the end of each day, you would find that the rostered hours of your employees would match the same percentages of activity level each day? It’s important to make sure that you’re optimally scheduling your staff against the variations and fluctuations in demand.

Mistakes are costly. Taking more care in building your rosters will see increases in overall service levels and efficiency. The result? A reduction in labour costs, an increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in overall profit.

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Is Revenue A True Predictor Of Success?

June, 2015

Is revenue a true predictor of success?

“Success.”

Typically defined as: ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ (1)

Success means a lot of different things to different people. Success may mean wealth, or it may mean happiness. It may mean fame, and for others it may mean power. But can revenue be a true predictor of success?

In the business world there is not right or wrong way to define success. It’s merely subjective. It is based on both the personal and  the business goals that you have in place for yourself. These can vary tremendously from one person to the next. Many believe that there is in fact only one path to success, and they simply choose not to consider other patterns of thinking. In their mind, this way of thinking is what will help them to reach their end goal.

It’s all in your ability to adopt change when it comes to your current systems and process, that will help you as you carve out your route to business success. If you begin to place too much confidence in your ability to make good judgements and decisions and solely rely on old patterns of thinking, you’re giving no weight to the environmental factors surrounding you that are constantly changing.

As we all know, the costs that typically make up a business are:

  • Your fixed Costs
  • Your variable Costs
  • Your employee Costs

And then you have your little shining beacon. Your profit.

Ask yourself. Are you measuring the right things? Many have the perception that they know what makes up the correct monetary equation to predict their profit. We believe this is a naive way of thinking unless you’re consistently taking into account the effects of both your controllable and uncontrollable costs. Unless you are 150% sure your decisions are supporting your overall goal for profitability – there will never be complete accuracy in your figures. What you are measuring needs to show:

  • Continuity in accuracy
  • And, the numbers need to hold the correct weight.

It’s like being the coach of a sports team. You’re employed to pick players based on their skills and their ability to play within the team. There needs to be continuity in accuracy and you must weigh up the importance of the correct statistics. What abilities are most relevant based on the current game and competition. The environmental factors.

So there you have it. Revenue can be a predictor of your success. If you choose to measure it correctly. 

(1) www.oxforddictionairies.com /definition/english/success

3 Monetary Basics You Should Continuously Be Reviewing

March, 2015

3 Monetary Basics You Should Continuously Be ReviewingDo you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.

Bet you didn’t expect me to bring up that name of an old matriarch like Nanny from a 1960’s Walt Disney movie. But hey, she sure shined in the hard work department! Do you know what else is hard work? Running a business. If you don’t get it right, it can become a right royal pain in the finance department.

That catchy tune she sung…what was it? The one about sugar…oh that’s right!

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

In my mind, the literal interpretation of this is that once you get the right recipe ingredient – it’s going to make your life a whole lot easier.

So, a spoonful of sugar huh? Lets break down what might go into this spoonfull of monetary goodness.

1.  Employee Costs

The typical hospo model follows the 30,30,30,10 rule of thumb. 30% employee costs, 30% fixed costs, 30% cost of goods sold, and 10% profit. Employee costs are the most controllable costs out those I have just listed. Get these right and you’ll be chugging along just nicely. With the right tools and technology managing employee costs is like riding a bicycle.

2.  Revenue

Your revenue should always be tracked directly against your employee costs. Seeing how the two track against each other gives you a much more accurate reflection of what you’re taking in at the end of the day. With a drop of revenue and a pinch of cost, you’ll be at your financial goal in only a matter of time.

3.  Additional Staff or Employee Related Costs 

These are comprised of different things depending on which country of which we are speaking. These cover things such as holiday entitlements, medical insurances, superannuations etc. The important part is to make sure you account for these costs each week to ensure when it comes to the end of the financial year everything matches up and all figures are succinct.

Get this recipe right to reap all the rewards you’ve dreamed of.

And who doesn’t love rewards…

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Want to know true cost of employing a staff member? It’s more than you think.

March, 2015

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If someone were to ask you what you believed to be the true cost of an employee, do you think you’d be able to answer it?

In our experience, most people can’t.

The biggest thing standing in the way of those who can’t answer this is their inability to see things long term – they’d rather calculate figures on week to week basis and see that those costs are tracking correctly and align to their targets, rather than looking at the big picture.

With the end of the financial year luring, a lot of businesses are starting to look over their accounts, seeing that everything adds up just nicely. But – have you accounted for everything you needed to along the way? Have I got your attention yet? Good. I hope so. Because by not accurately accounting for all of your employee costs along the way can leave you in a rather sticky situation come the end of the year when you haven’t been accounting for those costs you thought back then could simply wait.

Most hospitality businesses follow this typical model that determines the breakdown of their expenditure:

  • 30% Fixed Costs
  • 30% Cost of Goods Sold
  • 30% Employee Costs
  • 10% Profit

The most controllable cost of all? Employee costs. When you aren’t calculating these correctly week after week – what percentage do you think gets cut into? Yep. You got it. And what business minded person wants to lose out on their profit.

You need to ensure you’re executing your employee payments accurately by paying the correct superannuation contributions and insurance each week and including these in your weekly outgoing costs. In doing so, you’re giving yourself a lot more clarity as to where you’re sitting financially as a business.

Avoiding Hangovers

July, 2014

Smart rostering is crucial in taking control of your costs and, helping avoid those financial hangovers.

You know those nights where your bar is full of people laughing, dancing and generally having a good time, and the contagious atmosphere leaves you and your colleagues enjoying themselves too?  But then morning comes and it’s time to count up the costs vs turnover and you realise that it wasn’t such a great night after all?  Take back control and avoid these financial ‘hangovers’ by tracking actual costs vs. turnover using an automated system that doesn’t leave you with a headache.

Rostering is the key to controlling staff costs.

The biggest chunk of cost to run a bar comes from paying staff.  This is why getting your rostering right is pivotal to optimising cost control and maximising profits.  Make sure you have access to the information you need to see ‘hidden’ staff costs such as public holiday pay (time and a half), extra taxation and long-service leave. Don’t be left with a ‘hangover’ after what you thought was a great night.

To read about more recipes for rostering success in the hospitality industry, download our free eBook here.

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