San Churro Chocolaterías use Deputy to create mini-travel experiences through delightful desserts.

  • Australia
  • hospitality
  • Enterprise

At a glance

Saves $130 000 a year in admin time

Full integration with Xero for easy payroll across 52 stores

Increased employee engagement, retention and an improved customer experience

The Story

“We were out partying in Madrid, Spain, late one night when we stumbled on this little place and all they served was the most amazing hot chocolate and churros – that was it,” says owner Giro Maurici, explaining the inspiration for his business. “Chocolate hits the right notes for people from all parts of society.”

In 2004 Giro drew on his Spanish connections to source Fairtrade ingredients and develop traditional Spanish recipes for churros and couverture chocolate. Two years later he launched his first chocolateria in Fitzroy, creating a successful blueprint for a growing network of San Churro venues that feel like they’ve been affectionately added to over the years with memorabilia from Spain. Though it’s the way staff conduct themselves in each chocolateria that really matters, notes Giro.

“We’re wrapping an experience around good quality chocolate that takes people to a different place,” he says, adding that the key to doing that at scale is good communication with all teams about how to deliver what he calls “mini travel experiences”.

We’re wrapping an experience around good quality chocolate that takes people to a different place.
When you have 30 to 50 rosters out in the field in the hands of different store managers, it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast.

The Challenge

Giro admits that in the early days of the business, rostering was messy and getting targeted communication out to staff was challenging enough for head office, let alone the growing network of franchises.

“There would be a roster put up on a notice board somewhere and lots of staff would be calling through at a certain time of the week to find out when and where they were rostered,” he says. “So there was a lot of wasted time, and a lot of inaccuracy in the communication.”

A missed shift was just one side effect. Staff members also needed to know about new products and receive ongoing coaching. But attempts with emails and spreadsheets fell short.

“In the bad old days, I’d constructed a dinky Excel spreadsheet – and wish I never had – that was convoluted and tried to pull together sales estimates with info on which staff were on stream and when they were available,” he recalls.

“I tried to cobble together the best part of a roster but spreadsheets can go wrong and get corrupted very quickly. When you have 30 to 50 rosters out in the field in the hands of different store managers, it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast. So we went out to market for a solution we could implement across the group.”

The Solution

Deputy helps us put aside the transactional nature of admin and logistics so we can focus on the stuff that matters, such as further developing each employee’s capability, greatness and satisfaction with work.

Giro just wanted a best of breed rostering and team communication tool. And it had to easily integrate with San Churro’s other systems, especially Xero, which is used for accounting across the store network.

“Deputy is by far one of the simplest and most joyful IT implementation experiences we’ve had and we certainly had people wanting to use it as soon as they got their hands on it.”

Deputy’s integration with the group’s accounting systems now gives managers accurate costs of rosters across each store – and built-in awards interpretation ensures all employees are paid accurately for every hour they work (tracked via the Deputy app), including penalty rates.

“Each franchise (52 and counting) is managed as a small business and that’s the power of how simple and intuitive Deputy is: you don’t have to be a data scientist or an actuary to work it out,” says Giro. “Deputy saves time in developing rosters, saves time in communication, and gives you clarity around the cost of your rosters tied to proper award rates.”

Creating and sharing team updates is easy, observes Giro, as posting news feed items along with rosters is a familiar and fast way to make sure everyone gets the message – and the benefits are massive:

“We save two admin hours ($25/hr) per store per week on sharing rosters and news. With 50+ stores it’s saving a lot of money, about $130,000 a year,” says Giro

Being able to make sure that labour is appropriately rostered and optimised is a massive payoff. Then try putting a dollar amount on better employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

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