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.


 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.

Common mistakes made when calculating payroll costs

March, 2017

Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business. It allows you to forecast future wage costs, ensures you don’t have any surprises come pay day, and gives you confidence in the stability of the business.

But do you know the TRUE cost of your roster? 

The mistake we often see is the assumption that payroll costs are only based on the number of hours worked by your staff x their hourly wage. This is a dangerous trap, as it only provides you with a snapshot of your TRUE payroll costs.

To get the whole picture, other factors must also be considered.

Holiday pay accrual

Your employees might not be taking a holiday this week or even next, but as a business you still have to pay them holiday pay as a percentage of their wages. It might seem incidental but it can quickly add up.

Salary and ‘backroom’ staff

It’s not just your front of house and kitchen staff that you need to pay. Don’t forget about your hard-working, administration staff – their salaries need to be factored into your overall wage costs too. And if the owner is taking a wage from the business, that’s another staff cost that needs to be accounted for.

Non-wage related costs

Every employer has obligations to pay levies on behalf of its staff to ACC or Medicare, as well as contribute to superannuation funds, like Kiwisaver. You may also have additional costs to pay, such as an employee clothing allowance. It can be easy to forget about these costs, as they often aren’t paid weekly, but they can push your wage costs much higher than you think.

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.

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses – Part 3

September, 2015

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses Metric #3 – Estimates vs Actuals

You’ve got your plan in place.  You’ve checked the weather, looked at the odds of the local team smashing the visitors and even dropped into your local competitors and checked their latest offering.  In fact you’ve never been more convinced that an outstanding weekend of massive fiscal success lies ahead.

Yet come Monday the anticipation of triumph has waned.  The turnover figures bring you back to earth with a shuddering thump. What went wrong?  After all that planning effort why are we out of pocket by so much?

Estimating turnover is one of the most difficult things to master when running a Hospitality business.  In our last post we discussed some of the many things to consider when estimating your own numbers.  Experience has shown us that, even with the best possible laid plans, sometimes it just goes completely wrong.  Why?  Because many of the contributing factors are completely beyond your control.

The trick to mitigating these situations is simple; Good old fashion diligence.

As a hospitality operator you must measure and understand what caused the difference.  Knowing what went wrong and why will only serve you well for future planning.  Failure to measure and acknowledge why your plans went awry will only lay the groundwork for further future failures and financial difficulty.

Estimate. Execute. Measure. Repeat.

If you missed out on reading Metrics #1 and #2, pop on over to the business section of the blog now and take a read.

4 Key Metrics For Successful Hospitality Businesses – Part 1

August, 2015

Metric #1 - The Wage Cost Metric #1 – The Wage Cost

The scintillating radiance of one lone figure actually carries enough weight to make a judgement call on whether it’s been a successful week for a hospitality business.

The Wage Cost.

“A figure that denotes all of the wages a business pays to its employees, as well as the cost of all employee benefits and additional costs. ” (1) 

There’s a common and somewhat dated business saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Whilst undoubtedly accurate, I think it’s possible to develop this mantra into something a little more transparent. Something that really gets to the nitty gritty of great business acumen.

  • What is it that you are actually measuring?
  • And, are you measuring all the right things?

Metrics are a routine and are relative to any given business goal. For a hospitality business, the wage cost stands to be one of the most controllable costs of them all. It is a figure determined by what proportion your overall turnover and net profit will delegated to your employees.

It is not unnatural for this figure to vary significantly from business to business. From our years of experience dealing with major hospitality chains right through to the smaller outfits – a wage cost figure can commonly sit anywhere in between 20% and 40%. There is no right or wrong figure. Again, it’s relative to your overall business goals.

The wage cost is often not a simple figure to accurately calculate. Additional costs, such as superannuation, accrued leave entitlements etc, always have to be considered. But by paying attention to the detail, come the end of the financial year – your accounts team will be sitting happy. Secure in the knowledge that all employee benefits and taxes were accounted for right from the beginning.

The result? Increased validity, transparency and clarity about how you’re really tracking financially as a business.

Meticulous and effective employee scheduling plays a crucial role in the performance of any hospitality business. If you’re interested in more information about how the right tools can increase the financial transparency for your business – jump on over to our technology section of the blog.

1 Cost of Labour Definition.

4 Tips That Will Help You On Your Journey To Becoming A Master Of Rostering

May, 2015

4 tips to help you on your journey to better rostering

Insight is invaluable in any aspect of business. The more you can know about your company and its systems and processes, the more sound decisions you are likely to make.

The same principle applies to rostering.

A well planned roster will see you reaping all the benefits – tangible AND intangible. Under the following four main brackets, we will list what goes into the mixing pot for a sleek, sophisticated, and sound roster.


Visualisation is key, especially if you’re the type of person that’s a visual learner. It’s a lot easier to see how your business is tracking in graph form rather than in a long list of numerics. A graph takes all of your most important information and lumps it together into one digestible piece of information. Perfect for those who are time-conscious or under time pressure. Obviously, for those taking this pace, technology integration is crucial and is inevitable for all businesses in today’s age. We have no choice but to join the parade of the technology-driven crazies and embrace its existence.

Visualisation also allows you to see your people mix. No one knows your people better than you do. Who works well together, who doesn’t? Who has the potential to cause friction and who brings out the best in their peers? Having a piece of technology that allows you to drag and drop different mixes of employees screams more benefits than you could ever have thought possible. Not only does it give you the ability to keep your employees happy but it also allows you the opportunity to roster what is going to give you the best output for a shift. Because at the end of the day – what is most important to you? The output, and subsequently the revenue brought in by that output.


Effective communication is the most pivotal element of rostering. Without communication, there’d be no point in even having a roster! Time and time again, we some some painful and heartbreaking methods used to create rosters. Really, it’s quite awful. Often people become so stuck in their ways and I get it, I really do. Why change something that works? But we must constantly be reviewing our systems and processes. Times are always changing and to become the best business owner you can be, it’s important to keep pace with trends of the time. Technology driven communication has seen a considerable increase in more efficient and effective rostering.

It’s time to start automating those tiresome and monotonous tasks. Who honestly in their right mind would want to spend a day emailing out rosters, or answering phone calls form employees asking “When does my shift start?”, “I didn’t realise I was working today!”. *Cue the migraine* Eliminate undue stress and invest in the right technology now.

Define the relevant financial information

It’s not uncommon to think that it’s important to have every single piece of financial information in front of you. You just can’t bare the thought of skipping over some small but crucial figure that may or may not dramatically affect your turnover. Newsflash – the figures that you currently think are imperative in the day to day running of your business, probably aren’t. For any hospitality business, the most important costs that you need to be monitoring are your fixed costs, your cost of goods sold, your employee costs and your profit. These four things will provide you an honest reflection on how your business is tracking.

Having this information enables you to participate in a lot of forward thinking. It’s give you the underlying information necessary to make justified and sound decisions. No one likes to make decisions without doing their prior research, or without having the facts in front of them. Employee costs are the mist manageable of them all – by being able to understand and visualise these allows you to trim back the excess where may be spending too much or too little.

Planning and discipline

The title speaks for itself. What you put in, you get out. Rostering doesn’t have to be a painful task. The effort you put into streamlining the process and investing in the right technologies, will ensure that you receive the optimal output from your investment. Better rostering will put you in the best financial standpoint to make better management decisions whilst reaping all the benefits.

Remember: insight is invaluable. Grab it at any chance you get. 

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…


It’s never been so easy to streamline your business operations

March, 2015

Tips for streamlining your business operations

If there was an option to make things easier for yourselves…would you take it?

 I’d be surprised if anyone actually said no. Especially considering the the workload many of us face from day to day, we should always be looking for ways to streamline all of our business operations in order to align both our efficiency and our effectiveness in our roles and for our business.

Tips to streamlining your business operations

  1. Modernize your current systems – ensure you’re keeping pace with competition within your sector.
  2. Utilize the ‘Cloud’ – With the ability to store everything online, this has not only bettered our environmental impact – but eliminated the need to write everything down and go through screeds of paper! Less paper = less filing = a de-cluttered mind!
  3. Improve across the board – If you are involved in a business that operates across multiple locations, make sure that you improve your operations across the board. Not just to a select number of sites.
  4. Have fewer staff meetings –  The less you have, the more thorough the ones you have should be. They are more productive and the likelihood of full attendance by all members is much higher.
  5. Limit the number of suppliers you use – The more streamlined this can be, the less double handling you have. Get as many products from as little suppliers as possible, for the most cost effective prices.
  6. Decide what to outsource – If outsourcing some of your resources is going to be more cost effective, free up more of your time and in the end make you more profitable – you should definitely go down this route.
  7. Seamlessly integrate your financial data into your everyday operations – The best technologies should be prevalent in your day to day business. Ensure figures are easily accessible at all times so you know exactly how you’re tracking.
  8. Data mining – Select the numbers that are most important to you and your business. What figures give you the most transparency and reflect truly on what your financial situation is.
  9. Communicate in real-time I’m beating the technology drum again. Technology is your most effective path to communicating effectively to all business members despite the impact of time zones and geographic location.
  10. What’s your biggest return? – Your knowledge of your either single or multi-location business should be so up to date that you could recite what one is providing you your greatest return. You always want to be able to identify your best performers and emulate their strategies in your lower-performing sites.

So there you have it.

We’re all about bettering your business and helping you to find ways to cut costs and streamline your operations.

If you’re interested in reading about different ways to improve your financial situation check out our main blog page here.

What defines a successful multi-location business?

March, 2015

Multi location business successRemember that ol’ green eyed monster? Yeah. You know the one.

Full of envy.

We’ve all befriended him at some point within our careers. It’s only natural. To a degree it can be rather healthy.

Multi-location businesses when run effectively can be a fantastic ‘shooting star’ with regards to a typical growth-share matrix. But hold up a moment. There’s no need to envy them though. You just need to understand them.

Multi-location businesses today continue to dominate the hospitality sector with their increased efficiency and scintillating ways of eliminating time and space into a mere puff of smoke. Hospitality franchises employ over 80,000 workers, mostly full time (1) and 52% of all hospitality franchises within the New Zealand area are now multi-unit operations (2). A pretty enlightening and warming set of statistics.

For most of these businesses – they’ve found the right formula. But that’s not to say that it came without its hurdles. Everyone takes the wrong road before they find the right one.

When a business begins to experience significant growth, often they consider expanding their business into other areas. Sometimes it’s the opening of the same business in another location, or they diversify their current brand by opening a site completely different to that of which is already established within the market.

The key is to implement systems and processes into your business the standardize the way you run your all of your locations, and most importantly; how you communicate with them all.

Their strengths?

  • They learn – They learn the specific needs of each site, and cater to them. These needs should always be incorporated with your communication strategy.
  • They stay in touch – Irrespective of distance or time, head office is never far away – and they should always present in the running of your business.
  • They employ the right people – CEO’s and Directors employ strong and influential on-site managers and leaders.
  • They adopt new technology –  They keep pace with the upcoming technological trends in the sector. Whilst this can be considered disruptive, if you’re to remain competitive within your industry it’s important to implement these new technologies and iron out the creases as they appear.
  • They include all of their sites – There’s an active involvement of all site leaders in company decision making.
  • They ensure company values – They ensure top down company values and for consistency reasons, they check in that these are reiterated at each individual site.
  • They benchmark – They benchmark their performance against their other sites.

If you end up cutting corners, you compromise profitability.

And you certainly don’t want that if you’re looking at turning yourself into a multi-location business.


If you would like to try your hand at aligning all of your businesses sites and exploring the financial benefits that goRoster provides, feel free to give our 14 day free trial a go here.

(1) “Survey finds franchise sector resilient and growing”.
(2) “How the digital future can impact franchisee performance”.
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