hospitality

Standing out – How to bring your hospitality business online

December, 2018

How take your hospitality business online

For most businesses, their ability to maintain a strong online presence is part and parcel with their success. This is especially true for hospitality businesses. Being found on google can signal to consumers that you actually exist and are open for business! This blog post offers a few tips for helping you to stand out in the quasi-digital world.

Tip 1: Create a Google Business profile

We are all consumers and as a result the odds would say that at some time in your life you will have been to a restaurant, café or bar . In many cases when it’s time to decide where and what to eat… it’s the ‘local’ or time to consult google.

According to a 2013 study by Statista the top 5 factors influencing the US consumer choice of which specific restaurant to eat at where:

  1. Price (Affordability)
  2. Mood (Cravings)
  3. Specific Menu Item I like (Tastes)
  4. Location (Locality)
  5. Variety of Menu Options I like (Selection)

All of these factors require some knowledge of the venues nearby, what they sell, and how much their menu items cost. So, before Google the decision would be fairly limited to what you could uncover from a wander through town, an ad you saw on TV or the suggestion of a friend or family member.

Today is different and as a modern consumer we have access to instant information on almost every topic imaginable – food and beverage included.  A quick search in Google for a venue or restaurant food item will produce a concise list of places that ‘most of the time’ match what you were looking for. Furthermore, each of these results includes with it the basic business details and associated Google maps directions – these results are called Google Business Profiles.

There are several benefits to owning a ‘Google Business’ Profile.  Firstly, it will display your venue to customers when they are local helping to incentivise them to visit. It also includes other useful information such as ratings, reviews and images. Most importantly, your business becomes an official location on Google Maps allowing people to quickly navigate to you using GPS.

Cost: FREE

Check out: https://www.google.com/business/

Tip 2: Create a Landing Page

A landing page is a place that prospective customers can ‘land’ on when they are searching the web. Landing pages are simple and consist of one or just a few pages. They cover all of the basics: what you offer, the menu, your address and how to contact you. A landing page is relatively straight forward to create and in most cases you don’t need a web developer.

There are a large number of services available that make the creation of a landing page ‘this’ easy. A service like Squarespace or WIX has templates that allow you to get started (even without design skills). You could even get a customized landing page built for you using a job posting site like Fiverr.

Cost: Varies

https://www.squarespace.com/

https://www.wix.com/

https://www.fiverr.com/

Tip 3 – Ensure you are SEO optimized

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a method used to increase your chances of being found on the internet.  Google has a unique algorithm that ranks any website according to a variety of factors. SEO is about using a basic understanding of these factors to help you rank higher. Services like Wix and Squarespace have free apps that can provide basic advice otherwise seek out an expert.

Cost: Varies

Tip 4 – Invest in your content

You wouldn’t like your venue to appear bland or uninteresting; so, don’t let your online presence be the exception. Hence, it is important to invest in video and imagery that is going to “sell” your venue to consumers.

If you don’t have access to a camera, most newer smartphones can take ‘professional’ quality HD photo and video. Your most popular dish, bar, grill or the interior are aspects of your business that consumers want to see. If you can afford them, it’s best to choose authentic and original photos. However, if you are on a tight budget some stock images can often fill the gap in the meantime.

Cost: Varies

www.unsplash.com

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to show off your product

Acai Bowl - Using instagram for business

Instagram is a fantastic tool that every hospitality business should be using to showcase their food and drink. The commonly quoted phrase ‘you eat with your eyes’ could not be truer. Millennials have become adept at framing, filtering and tagging their food items to share with friends and networks.

Consequently, there has been a boom in popularity for photogenic food items. Foods such as acai bowls, turmeric lattes and blue spirulina smoothies seem to be almost ‘designed’ for image sharing.

Encouraging employees to take photos for you and post them to the business Instagram account is a great starting point.  Why not create an environment that helps your customers take great photos and let them sell your product for you? Here are some examples of businesses doing just that? (Check out this article)

Cost: FREE

Conclusion

With a small investment of time and money your business can create a landing page to take your business online. Existing services and tools can then be used to optimize this landing page,  create colourful content and stay visible. Doing so will improve your chances of capturing those hungry prospective customers who consult google for advice.

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/226099/us-consumers-choice-in-restaurant/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization

https://www.foodandwine.com/news/london-restaurant-giving-out-free-photography-kits-so-its-customers-can-get-perfect-gram).

 


 

goRoster – save time and get control of your wage costs

Start a Free Trial with goRoster today!

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.

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.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

March, 2017

Hospitality is a complex – and often fickle – business. There are so many factors that can affect the need for staff, and therefore the overall turnover of the business. There are far too many to mention, but can include: changes in weather; local events; public holidays; what your competition is doing; what deals are running; and how you’ve marketed the business.

Many new customers we meet often focus on the operational side of the business when trying to pre-empt these factors – like recording and capturing time sheets and having an availability of short term staff on standby. This can certainly help with the day to day running of your business. To be truly effective, however, these systems need to be incorporated into a carefully considered staff rostering plan.

An effective rostering plan should do a number of things. It should help you to organise enough staff for each shift; account for employee leave; prevent staff burnout; have transparency about the performance of your staff; and see staff costs. It needs to consider all outcomes, and have contingencies in place when the proverbial hits.

When it comes to creating an effective rostering plan, the question every manager must consider is: how? Too many businesses get caught up in the what and the why, without considering how they are going to implement change.

Just like in real-life, it’s the how that can undo even the most well intentioned plans. It’s why so many of us fall off a healthy eating plan – it’s all well and good knowing that you want to lose weight (what) because you want to be fitter for summer (why), but how you go about it is the most important part.

Having a solid rostering plan could massively increase the chances of success for your business. So, do you have a rostering plan? And if so, is it a good one? And if not, we can certainly recommend one.

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.

Why rostering templates are bad practice

January, 2017

Anyone who works in hospitality knows that no day is the same. Things can change as quickly as the seasons, but with far less predictably.

How busy you are depends on the weather; the time of year; what events are happening around town; what your competitors are doing that day; even if your local sports team is performing well that season.

Plus on any given week, one or more of your staff will be on holiday, away sick or have a family emergency they need to attend.

We’re continually surprised at how many businesses we find using the same roster template that they created months ago.

With so many fluctuations not just day to day, but shift to shift, rostering templates can become out of date as quickly as they are created. Your template roster might have worked last week, but this week you have three large functions, an international touring band in town, and half your staff are away with the flu.

That’s why we recommend using a four-step process when it comes to rostering: Plan, execute, review, repeat.

Make a roster that can change as your situation does. Have contingencies in place for when things don’t go to plan, and continually assess how things are tracking. Take notes on what did and didn’t work and make changes accordingly.

A system like goRoster allows managers to access all the relevant information needed to execute this four-step process effectively. This is the best practice for managing staff, and the one followed by the most successful businesses in the hospitality industry.

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!

 

Managing chaos during the silly season

December, 2016

qlnupmed6qs-kevin-curtis

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

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!

Mobile Analytics
Back To Top