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The introduction of Deputy has helped this family-owned business streamline their people management and communication processes, saving time and money.

hospitality industry Hospitality

At a glance

  • Saves time and money on HR management and administration
  • Provides opportunities for efficient training of new employees
  • Allows effective communication between staff and management

The Story

Twelve months in the making, Nigel and Nuala Grant’s vintage tearoom, Button & Spoon, opened its doors in June 2014.

“It’s a little tearoom with a counter full of lovely cakes, tea and great coffee,” says Nuala, Owner and Director of Button & Spoon.

First located in the very small rural village of Bridgetown, a second tearoom opened in the heart of Wexford in March 2017.

Later that year, the couple “closed the original tearoom and consolidated everything under the one roof in Wexford town, ” Nuala explains.

Open seven days a week, the tearoom has since expanded into a restaurant and catering business that prides itself on their large selection of breads, cakes and other goodies baked or sourced fresh every single day.

"It’s a little tearoom with a counter full of lovely cakes, tea and great coffee."

butter spoon

The Challenge

Button & Spoon employs 17 staff, including four trained chefs, two kitchen porters and a large front-of-house crew of wait staff varying in experience.

With a team of full-time, part-time and casual workers, creating rosters and monitoring hours worked was a time-consuming task each week.

“When we launched, all the schedules were down on a spreadsheet, then emailed out to everyone,” Nigel explains, adding that any changes to the rosters meant that it couldn’t be managed easily.

“We also had a very basic till system that kept a record of actual times that staff signed in,” he says, describing the time-consuming nature of manually entering staff timesheet data onto an Excel spreadsheet to be sent to payroll.

In addition to this, rosters also had to be designed heavily around seasonal tourism and environmental issues out of their control.

“It’s difficult to manage the labour versus the customer base,” explains Nuala. “If we get very bad weather, then we don’t have the tourists. Trying to plan for that [staffing wise] and react quickly is hard.”

Another challenge was managing the transience nature of casual staff and ensuring that new employees received the necessary training.

“Nobody in this industry has the time to put into training somebody that you think might be with you for six months,“ says Nuala, citing the importance of preparing staff for quality service. “[Yet] you want people that are going to be skilled and able to cope with the demands of your business.”

Button & Spoon have been using Deputy for the past two years, making use of all of its features to help them run a successful business.

"When we launched, all the schedules were typed out on a spreadsheet, which was emailed out to everyone."

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The Solution

Deputy has helped Button & Spoon streamline human resource management systems and improve communication processes, saving time and money.

In regards to creating rosters and managing timesheets, “Deputy allows us to manage all the official side of [people management] very quickly, seamlessly and professionally,” Nuala says.

It has also allowed employees to manage their own shifts (including leave requests, unavailability, shift swaps, etc.) using the Deputy app. “It makes our lives immensely easy in comparison to what it was,” reveals Nuala.

Another benefit of the cloud-based app is that “Everything is available to you from any laptop anywhere,” she explains, adding that it has also been helpful in keeping records for inspections.

“When we go looking for data, its there and it’s accessible. Not some mad concoction of Excel sheets and a series handwritten sheets of paper.”

Saving on labour costs is one of the biggest reasons that Button & Spoon use Deputy.

“Labour is directly proportional to the number of customers through the door,” explains Nigel, adding that the app’s integration with their sales system allows them budget and plan more accurately. “It gives us the ability to manage our labour budget as a percentage of the overall turnover.”

Deputy has also helped management to implement more efficient training to ensure that all staff members have the appropriate skills.

“Tasking has saved an enormous amount of time with staff induction. We don’t have to spend hours and hours teaching new people,” explains Nigel.

Nuala agrees, “You can get them onto a system that’s already set up, that’s all there for them and it’s easy.”

An added benefit of using Deputy is that it has created a positive environment for seamless, quick and efficient communication between staff and management.

Nigel went on to say that “Being in charge of the [overall business] costs is always a challenge but the Deputy pricing model suits any business which made it an easy choice for us. On top of that you never have to feel like you’re running a small business with Deputy as you have access to a suite of tools that were typically only available to larger businesses in the past – technology only makes it easier”

“I can communicate stuff that is really important at the press of a button to the entire team. I can change the menu overnight, send it to everyone and know that they’ve seen it,“ explains Nuala. “From that point of view, the system is invaluable.”

With more time and money and fewer staffing and administration worries, Nigel and Nuala can now focus on the bigger picture of running a successful tearoom, restaurant and new catering business.

"Deputy allows us to manage all the official side of people management very quickly, seamlessly and professionally."

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