Deputy has helped The Castle streamline scheduling and staff communication and centralise their management systems.

  • United Kingdom
  • hospitality
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At a glance

Saving managers 3 hours a week
Saving 4 days a month for accounts
Benefiting from invaluable insights into labour costs for increased efficiency

The Story

Located in the heart of Somerset in southwest England, The Castle Hotel in Taunton has a rich history. The former fortress is a much-loved local historic landmark and has functioned as a hotel since the 12th century.

A four-star luxury hotel, The Castle has, since 1950, proudly been owned and managed by three generations of the Chapman family.

“We are an independent family-run business. A 44-bedroom, town-centre hotel,” says The Castle Hotel’s Director of Finance Jon Peilow.

The Castle Hotel also incorporates wedding and conference facilities, and two reputed dining establishments: Castle Bow, a fine dining restaurant, and BRAZZ, a modern restaurant, cafe and bar.

“We have 105 staff members – that’s with casual staff and those that are restaurant-related,” explains Jon.

This includes management, receptionists, office and hotel employees, alongside team members in the restaurant. He adds: “As such, payroll in our sector is the biggest cost.”

We have 105 staff members – that’s with casual staff and those that are restaurant-related. As such, payroll in our sector is the biggest cost.
In this industry, we get short lead times, both in the hotel and restaurants, with bookings we can fill up for the evening within the day. It can evolve quite quickly. And we may want to reduce the staff, as well as increase the number of staff.

The Challenge

The seasonal nature of the hospitality and hotel industries means that knowing how many staff to schedule on and managing the associated costs effectively can be a challenge.

Jon notes, for The Castle, this is particularly relevant to the food and beverage department, which includes chefs and wait staff.  Over half of whom are paid by the hour.

“In this industry, we get short lead times, both in the hotel and restaurants, with bookings we can fill up for the evening within the day. It can evolve quite quickly,” he explains.  “And we may want to reduce the staff, as well as increase the number of staff.”

With rescheduling of the staff rota being a common occurrence, The Castle’s former system made this hard to control and change on a needs basis.

“We used Excel spreadsheets, and wrote on them start time, finish time, break times, and that was put up on the noticeboard at the end of the week,” says Peilow.

It’s in part what led The Castle to introduce Deputy across the business.

The Solution

Deputy has been well received within the business. Jon says that managers like that they can approve timesheets quickly and easily, see who’s in and who isn’t, while creating the staff rota is much simpler.

“It certainly has saved us time, from a manager’s point of view, in putting together schedules and signing off timesheets. Probably a couple of hours a week in each department. We have six managers who are responsible for that so, obviously, that adds up,” says Jon.

“From an accounts point of view, it’s probably saving around two or three days a month. In terms of the reporting and the end of month exporting to payroll.”

Deputy’s NewsFeed feature has also helped make communication within the business more efficient. Staff have embraced communicating through the app, with the NewsFeed replacing time-consuming phone calls and emails.

Jon says Deputy’s reporting capacities have been invaluable because he can now see what things are going to cost and more easily track payroll.

“So, when a day is closed, everyone has clocked out and they’re all approved by the manager, then we can run in and have a look at the report and see what the labour costs were and the percentage of our revenue it took. So we know we won’t have an issue with payroll when it comes to processing and adding all the timesheets at the end of the month.”        

Alongside introducing Deputy, The Castle has also implemented Talech as its Point of Sale system, as well as Sage for their payroll, which will help The Castle to centralise and utilise their data more efficiently.

Jon notes: “It’s already saving us time and money on replacing our manual systems.”

From an accounts point of view, it’s probably saving around two or three days a month. In terms of the reporting and the end of month exporting to payroll.

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