Whether your establishment is cash only or you prefer to do all sales via an app, your shift-based small business can’t get around that must-have tech stack.
But where to start — and what’s the benefit of paying for a tool instead of just doing it by hand?
If sorting through your tech options seems like a lot, just take it in steps. Use this guide to build your ultimate tech stack with just a few tools.
1. Secure your payroll solution
First things first — you need to secure your payroll solution. When it comes to paying your team, it’s never as straightforward as it seems. One employee worked overtime, another employee missed a shift, and another employee needs to be paid a different rate.
So when you’re using manual spreadsheets to track who gets paid, what they get paid, and when they get paid, there’s no easy way to see what data is in front of you.
Automating how shifts and schedules are managed takes away one of the major pain points for shift-based businesses. When payroll data is integrated with workforce management, it instantly removes time-consuming and error-prone payroll. And with an easy view of your scheduling data, managers can accurately approve timesheets.
Take a cue from Volcano Coffee Works, a specialty coffee roastery. After expanding from three sites and five baristas to 40 baristas across multiple sites, they needed an efficient way to organize staff scheduling and payroll. By integrating their workforce management system with Xero, accurate data enables the finance manager to upload and approve all of the baristas’ invoices in seconds. That’s faster than the three hours each week it used to take.
2. Automate your compliance guardrails
Employment legislation adds yet more complexity to managing schedules and pay. You might have heard it called by many names. But in a nutshell, local Fair Work requirements are legislation built to provide shift workers with more predictable, stable schedules. It’s also in place to give those workers a greater opportunity to pursue full-time employment.
For all businesses, it’s essential to ensure that pay is compliant as well as correct. Get it wrong, and you’re in for fines, a tarnished brand, and even bankruptcy.
These regulations don’t have to be something to fear. Use them as data — pieces of information that keep you on the right side of the law. When you plug that data into your workforce management solution, compliance is much easier. Now you can better set up the right leave entitlements, manage limits on weekly working, and keep secure and accurate records.
3. Identify demand signals with your POS system
Whether you manage a corner pub, a retail boutique, or a swanky fine-dining restaurant, you’ve likely never been able to solve one burning question: How many people do I really need at any given time?
No, you don’t have to be a fortune teller to get the answer. You can use data points to help you make smart decisions about things like staffing, scheduling, and overtime. These data points, called demand signals, are the secret sauce to predicting how much of your service or product is going to be needed at any given time.
Demand signals can be internal — for example, your historical sales or occupancy numbers. Or they can be external data such as weather information, or major events, and holidays. Many businesses can at least estimate the impact their demand signals have. But incorporating them into workforce management means the process of prediction is much more scientific, improving everything from staff costs to customer satisfaction.
Integrate your POS to compare sales and labor costs, then fine-tune your staffing. Use your POS system to find historical data on customer flow. In a restaurant, this might be how many diners you have at one time. Or, check sales trends. What’s selling out and what’s not selling at all? Historical metrics help you schedule staff more accurately to ensure you have the staff in the right part of your business.
Get the most of your tech stack
Your tech stack is a key part of saving time — and money — throughout the hustle and bustle of the hospitality industry.
You’ll be able to identify important pieces of data that can help you make smart business decisions. But data is only valuable if everyone who needs to see it can interpret it easily. Download How to Maximise Data and Run a Smarter Business for tips to set up your team for success.