Getting your staff rota ready for reopening – 4 top tips for hospitality businesses

Megan Lipscombe

Megan Lipscombe

Head of Marketing

One year on from the first lockdown, and it’s less than two weeks until the world can begin to go back to normal 🎉  We have no doubt that preparing your hospitality business for this day has left you with a million and one things on your plate! So, to help out with what we know best; here are a few tips to help get your staff rotas right when you reopen.

Carefully consider the effect of ‘outdoor only’ on demand

For those of you who have outdoor seating and are able to open from the 12th April, make sure you consider the impact ‘outdoor only’ will have on demand, and consequently the number of staff you’ll need. Combined with social distancing requirements, being able to open for al fresco dining only, will reduce the number of covers you can accommodate. On the flip side, you may have only just introduced and/or increased the capacity of your outdoor seating; this combined with the need for table service may actually increase the number of staff you need. Whatever your situation, make sure you consider all of these factors carefully when preparing your staff rota for reopening. 

And then of course there’s the weather. We’re all hoping for a spring as glorious as last year, but this is the UK after all. The weather is much more variable than the factors mentioned above, making it something you need to evaluate regularly. An unexpected rainy week can have a huge impact on footfall. 

Rotaready can help you take care of all of the above. With rota templates you can build a solid foundation that factors in the less variable aspects of outdoor dining. Using these templates you can then automatically build accurate staff rotas at a time that suits you – whether this is on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You can also factor in more variable aspects, such as the weather, with our demand forecasting feature. 

Incorporate data from your reservation system and use this to schedule accordingly

If your staff rota is informed by data from your reservation system, it’s going to make employee scheduling more accurate and a whole lot easier. With visibility over upcoming bookings and number of scheduled staff all in one place, you can be sure to always have the right number of staff on hand to meet demand.

Rotaready integrates with numerous reservation systems, including OpenTable, SevenRooms and Access Collins (DesignMyNight). These integrations automatically import your bookings for every venue into Rotaready, and in real-time. This allows you to see total bookings and total covers for each 15 minute time slot; so you can build the perfect rota to meet anticipated demand.

Make use of shift patterns to minimise contact

Reducing overlap between your employees and splitting staff into teams or shift groups, will help reduce the number of contact points and the risk of spreading COVID-19. Plus it’ll help you keep tabs on who worked with who last; in the unfortunate event of an outbreak of the virus within your business. 

This may sound like a headache, but with Rotaready you can use staff groups to create pools of staff who are allowed to work together. This makes it easy for you to keep contact between people at a minimum and help stop the virus spreading.

Give staff plenty of notice about their upcoming shifts & offer refresher courses

With many employees coming off furlough, some for the first time in almost a year, it’s likely they’ll be a little rusty. Make sure you give them plenty of notice as to when they’ll be working next. This will allow them time to bring themselves up to speed with any new or existing business solutions.

Many hospitality businesses have either had, or opted to, implement new technology over the last year. Whether that has been to adapt to new rules and regulations to ensure they’re operating safely, or simply make life easier for employees; it’s crucial that your team is familiar with all of your business solutions. 

At Rotaready we have recently introduced monthly training webinars, which are free to all customers. The online sessions cover all the basics of Rotaready and are designed to bring new managers up to speed or to give existing Rotaready users a bit of a refresh. 

A final note…

We hope you’ve found these points helpful! If you’d like more information on any of the above, or would like to know more about how Rotaready can help you build staff rotas that cater for varying demand and the impact of things such as the weather – then drop us a message via live chat or email And last but not least, we’d like to wish you all the best of luck with reopening in the coming months 🍻

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