2018 has already seen a number of superb multi-site operators begin using our industry-leading S4Labour workforce management and HR software.
Increasingly, business leaders are recognising the value our systems bring them to reduce costs, increase sales and service levels, and improve processes, and are eager to come on board.
Butcombe’s Hatchet Inn – Bristol’s oldest pub, dating to 1606
Our newest clients include Butcombe Brewery‘s 24-strong managed estate in the South West of Engand and the McManus Pub Company, who manage twelve sites in and around Northampton.
Family-run McManus have a superb local reputation, fully justified by their venues which range from picturesque village locals to elegant urban night-spots. They join us having been impressed with S4Labour’s functionality and customer service compared to their previous supllier.
Butcombe, who won a gold medal at September’s World Awards, take the same ethos of market-leading quality into their pub operation. They have recently embarked on ambitious plans to quadruple the size of their pub operation, a project we relish the opportunity to support.
Joining them as S4Labour users are two smaller, but nonetheless very impressive London-based brands. Good Egg Restaurants serve wholesome Jewish-inspired cuisine alongside craft beer and cocktails, and implemented S4Labour concurrently to opening their second site, recognising their need for the clear multi-site reporting and insight it brings.
Flight Club are at the forefront of the experiential hospitality movement, offering a traditional pub pastime – darts – in sleek, modern surroundings, accompanied by an eclectic food and drink offer ideal for sharing. Unsurprisingly, they are expanding quickly and are in the process of adding their third UK site. They immediately appreciated S4Labour’s intuitive interface and clear visibility of trading patterns across their at times complex operation, leading to labour spend savings.
It is a pleasure to work with such impressive operators, and thoroughly enjoy supporting businesses from all sectors of UK hospitality. We are keenly looking forward to working with all S4Labour customers, old and new, to drive long term success in 2018 and beyond.
Hospitality venues can look forward to Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for increased footfall and boosted sales. However, Valentine’s Day isn’t always a day that managers love. Here’s our advice on how to make this year’s event a success.
Valentine’s Day is a great way for operators to drive increased sales. Being a special occasion, food menus should be specially made for the day. Create one-off dishes and consider adding more expensive ingredients to menu items that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to serve. Bubbles must be on the menu, obviously displayed to the customer, and possibly part of a promotional offer. Ensure that you offer a range of sparkling wine, from accessible prosecco to high-end champagne. This will allow you to quench the thirst of your guests’ cork-popping desires, whilst not pricing them out of the experience.
Don’t be afraid to over-do the site atmosphere – guests will want something special. Dim the lights, ensure tables have lit candles, play appropriate music, and don’t shy away from clichéd rose petals.
As customers will be willing to spend the extra cash on Valentine’s Day, you should make sure that they receive the highest level of service on the night. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, so it’s important to staff appropriately for the increase in sales. You may have to rota members of your team on for the Wednesday night which may go against their usual working hours. Aim to try and get tables filled via prior reservation so that you can deploy the correct number of front and back of house staff to deliver the best level of service.
See how S4Labour can help you to rota the right staff numbers on to deliver great customer service and not over-staff during busy periods.
Help your staff to be best prepared for the night. They need to be looking their best and working their hardest to deliver memorable customer service. Make sure that they have manageable table areas, don’t rush their customers, and upsell as much as they can. Guests will be more likely to tip generously on Valentine’s Day and this can be a great incentive for your staff to be on top-form.
Despite the apparent opportunity for increased revenues, Valentine’s Day can be a tough date for some operators. For many it proves to be hard work for not a lot of return. Seating tables of two can limit the numbers of covers that most restaurants can serve in a night, especially if your site has fixed, larger tables. Because of this, it’s important that reservations are staggered so that guests aren’t rushed, but still optimising covers.
Take a Different Approach
Know your market, don’t feel obliged to put on a dining experience if that’s not what you specialise in and if it’s not what your customers are looking for. There are two big-ticket Champions League football matches being played on Valentine’s Day this year, Porto v Liverpool and Real Madrid v PSG. With many pubs marketing a Valentine’s Day themed evening, publicans may find big profits from marketing themselves as a destination away from the schmoozing and a home for exciting football and great beer.
If you’re worried about not standing out this Valentine’s Day, then give something different a try. Hosting a special event could boost footfall in your site and leave lasting memories with your customers. A speed-dating event on Valentine’s Day could be an exciting and different way to spend the 14th February for those who otherwise wouldn’t partake in the festivities.
S4Labour’s event tool is a great way to ensure that you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time to deliver great customer service and not running the risk of over-staffing.
With hospitality sites being ideal destinations for couples on Valentine’s Day, it is important that you market yourselves well. Social media campaigns and promotional offers will be sure to help you get numbers through the door and drive sales, whether you plan to offer nothing but romance, or an alternative evening’s entertainment.
By working intimately with some of hospitality’s biggest and best operators, we are able to gain valuable insight into the industry’s trading conditions and trends.
Taking data from over 100 organisations who use our S4Labour labour management software, our new research, which has been featured in the Morning Advertiser, has revealed that Christmas Day is an increasingly significant contributor to operators’ revenues. The research, considering venues across a full range of industry sectors, found that like-for-like sales on Christmas Day 2017 were up on average 21.2% on 2016 in food-led sites. Wet-led operators saw on average a 15.4% increase.
Reports published by two of the pub sector’s biggest firms support our findings. Marston’s and Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) both enjoyed like-for-like increased sales of 5.9% across their 1,550 and 1,780 respective sites. Marston’s saw Christmas Day sales in excess of £4 million for the first time, while M&B served over 225,000 meals on the day.
Our analysis also revealed that sites that opened on Christmas Day were in an overall minority. 35.5% of wet-led venues opened for business, while 51.5% of food-led sites welcomed customers. This represents a slight decrease on 2016, when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday.
Catton Hospitality director Richard Hartley commented on the findings, “We have recently spoken to many customers who enjoyed very healthy sales on Christmas Day. We anticipate this will continue next year, and the opportunities for operators are apparent.”