Ditch the Dinosaur Scheduling: 3 Hotels That Revolutionised Their Rotas

by Isioma Daniel, 4 minutes read
HOME blog ditch the dinosaur scheduling 3 hotels that revolutionised their rotas

Are you still drowning in rota spreadsheets, sticky notes, calendar entries and endless paperwork? If scheduling feels like herding cats, it’s time for a change. Manual scheduling isn’t just a hassle; it’s costing your hotel time, money, and employee morale.

But what if you could build schedules in minutes, not hours? What if your team could swap shifts with a click and always stay in the loop? And what if you could actually save money on staffing costs?

That's the power of digital scheduling. Don't just take our word for it – check out these three hotels who ditched the dinosaurs and transformed their business with Deputy:

citizenM (over 200 employees): From 4-Hour Scheduling Headaches to 15-Minute Magic

ditch dinosaur scheduling matthew bell citizenm deputy
Sometimes, you don’t realise how unproductive you are until a new solution comes along. Pay disputes, missed shifts, and low morale are often the result of an inefficiently managed team. Leaning on automation and robust processes is a solid way to boost your business’s productivity.

Luxury hotel chain citizenM was bogged down by inefficient spreadsheet scheduling, a painful four–hour process each week. Compliance issues, unequal shift distribution, and payroll headaches were the norm. "We had no single source of truth," says Matthew Bell, Hotel Operations Director Europe. "If someone changed a shift, did everyone get the update? It was a mess."

Matthew also wanted to create a better employee experience. “It would help us democratise the scheduling process so our Ambassadors could manage their own leave requests and shift swaps,” notes Matthew. Ultimately, we could use algorithms to automate scheduling. Why should someone good at creating brilliant guest experiences spend time figuring out how to write the most efficient schedule?” 

Deputy swooped in, providing a single, centralised system for all schedules across their European hotels. Now, scheduling takes a mere 15 minutes. Plus, staff can manage their own leave requests and shift swaps, freeing up managers to focus on guest experience.

Atlas Hotels (200 employees): Happy Staff, Happy Guests, Happy Bottom Line

Atlas Hotels was facing a staffing crisis. Endless spreadsheets, manual updates, and poor communication led to payroll errors and frustrated employees.

“Our system was bolted onto other software, never designed for hotels,” says a frustrated David Drummond, Cluster Operations Manager. “It meant hours wasted building schedules and redoing them when things changed. We were never confident about what happened with payroll with all that manual input.”

Deputy's time clock app and automated payroll have changed everything. Staff now clock in and out accurately, leading to transparent payslips and a drastic reduction in complaints. Employee satisfaction has soared, resulting in better service and higher guest loyalty. 

Staff love it, too! They can swap shifts easily, see vacation time and understand their payslips. Atlas Hotels had an uplift in employee wellbeing after they implemented Deputy. 

“Before Deputy we used to drown in complaints about work-life balance. Staff now feel in control, and complaints have plummeted down to 5 comments from 766 employees since implementing Deputy,” says Sub Iyer, Head of Operations-South at Atlas Hotels. “Deputy gives our people control, which translates into a happier workforce.” 

The Castle Hotel (100 employees): From Chaos to Control with Last-Minute Bookings

Historic hotel charm met modern scheduling nightmares at The Castle Hotel. Last-minute bookings meant scrambling to adjust staff, with no way to forecast labour costs accurately. 

“In this industry, we get short lead times, both in the hotel and restaurant, with bookings we can fill up for the evening within the day. It can evolve quite quickly,” says Jon Peilow, Director of Finance. We may want to reduce the staff or increase the number of staff. Without the right tools, it’s impossible to staff up (or down) cost-effectively.”

With Deputy, managers can now build schedules in minutes, not hours. They see who’s working, who’s available, and most importantly, what all those shifts will cost. No more spreadsheet guesswork. 

Staff can check their schedules from anywhere, not just on a noticeboard. Need to swap a shift? It's done through the app. Communication is smoother, which means a happier team overall. 

Deputy gave The Castle Hotel real-time visibility into staffing costs and availability, enabling quick adjustments to match demand. Staff love the flexibility to check schedules and swap shifts on the go. But the biggest win? Smooth, accurate payroll integration with Sage. "No more end-of-month surprises," Jon says. “Deputy’s already saving us serious time and money,” he adds. 

Ready to Ditch the Dinosaurs?

If spreadsheets and sticky notes are still running the show at your hotel, it's time for an upgrade. Digital scheduling tools like Deputy aren't just about convenience – they're about saving you money, boosting staff morale, and creating a more efficient, profitable business.

Don't let outdated scheduling hold you back. Grab our free ebook, "Ditch Dinosaur Scheduling: Why Digital Tools Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge," and start your journey toward a happier, more successful hotel.