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.

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.

The Crab Shack and goRoster Share A Common Love For Cost Control

June, 2015

 The Crab Shack and goRoster share a common love for cost control

The Crab Shack is a popular coastal themed restaurant that opened in Wellington in May 2013, and on the 28th of January of this year, they opened the doors to their Auckland restaurant overlooking the city waterfront. Offering a casual dining experience with an emphasis on crab and other seafood delicacies, the Crab Shack caters to all tastes, and their menu includes dishes “From the Earth”, “From the Charcoal Barrel” and “By the Scoop”. Their meals are tasty and affordable, and the atmosphere at the Crab Shack is cheerful and laid back.

With 40 staff members to manage, Scott Ruddock, General Manager of the Crab Shack has a big job keeping track of everyone.  We caught up with Scott to see how things were going.  Scott says that he would be lost without goRoster and is very grateful for the quality software and service which makes his life a whole lot easier.

Capture1“goRoster makes it so easy to manage the rostering system which can get incredibly complicated with as many as 40 staff members. It arms us with the ability to keep track of individual staff costs and it makes communication with employees a breeze. goRoster makes a potentially stressful rostering situation run smoothly and efficiently” Scott Ruddock, General Manager – The Crab Shack.

Scott went on to talk about the particular features he likes, one of which is the ability it gives him to quickly and easily review past weeks, and that in turn allows him to more accurately project staffing requirements for future weeks. He also finds the staff tracking system particularly useful, because it helps him to balance out wage costs and see which areas need restructuring. But his all time favourite feature, is the built in communications system, which enables him send rosters, messages and receive replies quickly and efficiently.

“I love goRoster – the detailed financials, the cost tracking and the improvement in employee communication has really made things tick over at the Crab Shack” Scott Ruddock, General Manager – The Crab Shack.

If you’re interested in finding out how we can help you with your cost control, sign up for a 14 day free trial here and take the next step towards better employee scheduling.

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”.

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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