Brunning Host runs two pubs/restaurants in the Plymouth and South Hams areas, incorporating six different teams of staff for each unit. Family-owned and run, they have been managing pubs in the area for more than 18 years.
“We were using Excel spreadsheets along with pen and pencil, which required a lot of erasing and photocopying!” Director Sam Colton told us of Brunning Host’s life before RotaCloud.
“Our biggest challenges came in managing the day-to-day needs of the business,” she explained. “Hospitality needs can change very quickly — you become unexpectedly busy, or a cancellation or terrible weather means that you are quieter than expected. For this reason, our staff understand that sometimes their shifts need to change.”
Unfortunately, those same shift changes often caused headaches for Sam and her team in the past.
“Previously, we would have to phone each member of staff individually, often leaving messages on answer machines or with family members, hoping that the changes would be communicated before they arrived at work.”
But with staff showing up late, early, or sometimes for shifts that had been cancelled, the system wasn’t working — Sam needed a quick and reliable way to communicate shift changes to her team.
RotaCloud has meant that we are totally up to speed with who has taken or booked in leave and when, as well as how many days they have left to be allocated across the year.
“With RotaCloud, staff are sent notifications by email or text, so they always know what they are doing,” Sam told us when asked how the software had benefited her business.
“They can also see any open shifts that become available, and claim them so when we become very busy they have the opportunity to grab those extra hours.”
RotaCloud’s approach to annual leave has also made Sam’s life easier.
“It has always been difficult for us to find a system that allowed us to ensure that holiday was spread evenly across the year for all staff, and that nobody found themselves in December — one of our busiest times of year — needing to use up leftover days,” she told us.
“RotaCloud has meant that we are totally up to speed with who has taken or booked in leave and when, as well as how many days they have left to be allocated across the year.”
And with their staff now able to communicate their availability via the RotaCloud app, Sam’s managers are no longer forced to manually keep track of people’s various shift requests and preferences.
“The availability function has handed our staff the responsibility of saying when they can and cannot work, and taken it away from individual managers who found themselves with lists of dates,” she said. “Nobody can say ‘I told you I couldn’t work that’ because it is their responsibility to add to RotaCloud when they can and cannot work.“
Finally, Sam praised RotaCloud’s support team, who helped her and her managers get set up and answered any questions they had.
“With lots of different members of staff using it, it was important that they could all get help, when required, from RotaCloud directly,” Sam said.
“The live chat facility has been great for this.”