Improving Hotel Efficiency with Digital Scheduling Tools: Why It Matters

by Isioma Daniel, 6 minutes read
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Are you drowning in rota spreadsheets, sticky notes, calendar entries and endless paperwork? Time is literally money in shift-based businesses, and you’re losing both.

The truth is that juggling staff availability, fluctuating demand and everyone’s flexibility needs can be a nightmare without the right tools, and every minute spent on rota planning is a minute away from making guests happy or growing your bottom line.   

What if there was a way to streamline the process? Imagine gaining back precious time while giving your staff the flexibility they crave. That’s the power of digital scheduling software. 

Ready to ditch scheduling headaches? Let’s dive into why old-school methods hurt your business and how digital tools can save the day. 

Before we explore the impact of digital tools, let’s face the pains of manual scheduling head-on. 

The Challenges of Manual Scheduling

If you’re still creating rotas manually, you probably know the following struggles pretty well: 

1. The Time Drain: Every minute messing about with rota schedules is a minute not spent on guests, staff, strategy or taking a much-needed break. 

2. Communication Breakdowns: When miscommunications happen with rotas and staff are confused about their shifts, it usually leads to no-shows or staff turning up at the wrong times. Not only is that frustrating for everyone involved but what happens to the guest experience when a reception desk, for example, is left unattended?   

3. Surprise Expenses: Overstaffed on a slow Tuesday? Understaffed during the Friday rush? Your bottom line is taking a hit, and the cause is manual, inefficient rota planning. 

4. Employee Burnout: Last-minute shift changes and zero flexibility burn people out FAST. That’s a recipe for losing those great employees and experiencing costly turnover. 

Deputy to the Rescue: Your Scheduling Sanity Saver

Deputy’s intuitive and user-friendly platform isn’t just rota software; it’s your key to unlocking simpler shift management. Here’s how we tackle those manual hurdles: 

1. We keep your profit margins looking good: Avoid overspending on labour again. Deputy helps you find the balance between optimal staffing and budget control.  

2. We free up valuable hours in your day: Build schedules in minutes, not hours. Fill shifts quickly based on who’s available, qualified, and fits your budget.  

3. AI does the heavy lifting: Our smart algorithms auto-create cost-efficient rotas in seconds based on forecasted bookings, foot traffic and other demand trends. 

4. We keep everyone in the loop: Instantly share schedules with your team. Deputy lets you publish schedules immediately from your desktop or mobile with smart alerts and reminders. Updates, changes, reminders - your team will always know what’s happening. 

5. Happy staff = loyal staff:  Flexibility is hard in hospitality, but Deputy makes it possible. Deputy can offer the work-life balance that helps keep good people around. 

From Spreadsheet Chaos to Payroll Peace and Happier Teams: Atlas Hotels (200 employees)

Atlas Hotels is a hospitality giant, but their old-school scheduling weighed them down. Spreadsheets, endless updates and poor communication were a recipe for payroll mistakes and major admin headaches. Enter Deputy. 

“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 Atlas Hotels Customer Story

With Deputy, now staff clock in and out right on the app, so there’s no guesswork about hours. Payroll is a breeze - accurate, fast and way less stressful. Gone are the days of endless Excel battles. 

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.” 

Boosting Productivity with Better Planning: citizenM (over 200 employees)

Ever feel like you’re running in circles but still getting nowhere? That’s hotel life with bad scheduling. Missed shifts, payroll disputes, low morale, low employee-manager trust - and it all adds up to a productivity black hole. 

Luxury hybrid hotel chain citizenM knows this pain all too well. Their old spreadsheet scheduling system was a four-hour time drain. Worse, it was a hotbed for mistakes. Outdated schedules? Payroll chaos? Compliance issues? You name it: “We had issues around compliance and the equality of shifts and around having a single source of truth,” says Matthew Bell, Hotel Operations Director, Europe. “If someone changed the shift in Excel, did everyone see an updated version? And we also had trouble integrating the shift data with payroll.”

Matthew knew something had to change. “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?” 

After partnering with Deputy,  citizenM now has one system everyone uses for schedules across all European hotels. Scheduling time dropped from four hours to just 15 minutes. Plus, Deputy lets employees manage their swaps and vacation requests - giving them a sense of ownership.

When scheduling doesn’t work, your whole business doesn’t work. Get the right tools, and watch your productivity soar!

Cost Control and Labour Forecasting Wins: The Castle Hotel (100 employees)

Picture this: a gorgeous historic hotel buzzing with guests and frantic managers scrambling to adjust staffing. That was life at The Castle Hotel before Deputy. Old-school spreadsheets meant endless updates, lost hours and little ability to adapt quickly to changing demand. 

“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 actually cost. No more spreadsheet guesswork. 

Staff can check their schedules from anywhere, not just on a noticeboard. Need to swap a shift? Done through the app. Communication is smoother, which means a happier team all around. 

But the real win? Jon can finally relax about payroll. Deputy’s integration with Sage means no last-minute surprises. “When a day is closed, everyone has clocked out, and they’re all approved by the manager, then we can run in and 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 regarding processing and adding all the timesheets at the end of the month.”

“Deputy’s already saving us serious time and money,” he says. 

Ditch the Paperwork

If spreadsheets and scribbled notes are still running the show, it’s time to upgrade! Digital scheduling software isn’t just a fancy tool - it’s about giving your team (and yourself) a well-being boost. Think smoother shifts, happier employees and more cash in the bank.

Ready to make a difference? Grab our guide Ditch Dinosaur Scheduling: Why Digital Tools Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge and start your journey towards a more efficient, responsive and successful shift-based business.