Hickory's restaurant from the outside

Customer story

Hickory's logo

Since getting started with Rotaready, Hickory's have been able to better deploy 146 hours every week and achieve an ROI of 652%. Find out how...







146 hours

better deployed every week!


Hickory's Smokehouse is a group of authentic barbecue style restaurants, who pride themselves on living and breathing the values of southern USA hospitality. With the very first smokehouse opening in Chester in 2010, Hickory's now has 15 restaurants and over 1,500 employees.

In the first few years of the business, the Hickory's team were building staff rotas using a clunky, outdated system and separately tracking attendance using pen and paper. As Hickory's grew, this approach became more and more time consuming, and the team soon recognised its inefficiency and lack of professionalism.

Efficiency, visibility and flexibility

So in 2017, Hickory's set about its search for a staff scheduling solution that would eradicate these manual processes. Something that would give them a more efficient way of building staff rotas and monitoring attendance.

Hickory's also wanted the chosen solution to give them greater visibility over costs and a better way of communicating with one another. It also needed to achieve excellent return on investment, be easy to use and come with a good level of support - as going from pen and paper, to a tech alternative was a big jump.

Moving from a paper based system, the user friendly nature of the chosen rota software was really really important to us! And user friendly is exactly what Rotaready was then, and still is to this day.

Amy Walsh, Head of Operations and Training

After considering a number of options, Hickory's turned to Rotaready to help them take their staff scheduling to the next level. Not only could Rotaready help them with all of their requirements - it was a flexible solution tailored to hospitality businesses, making it the perfect fit for Hickory's...

So many rota scheduling solutions are built around a 9-5 job, but Rotaready has been built specifically for hospitality businesses. And it doesn't stop there, the product has the flexibility to cater to the unique aspects of different hospitality businesses. This was a real benefit to us - all of our little ‘quirks' were taken care of. We didn't have to mould to Rotaready, it moulded to us.

Amy Walsh, Head of Operations and Training

Platter of food including chicken wings, ribs, fries and beans


When Rotaready was implemented Hickory's had 9 restaurants, and chose to implement Rotaready in a phased, site-by-site basis, over the course of six months.

Getting Rotaready set up was really smooth. There was a lot of joined up work and the training was excellent - the quality of training was actually one of the main reasons we went with Rotaready.

Amy Walsh, Head of Operations and Training

The smokehouse has since opened six new restaurants, all of which were effortlessly set-up with Rotaready.

Benefits for the entire business

Since implementing Rotaready, Hickory's has seen a great number of benefits across departments.

Managers can build, share and amend staff rotas in a fraction of the time it was taking them previously.

Employees can easily clock in and out, request time off and communicate with their manager using Rotaready's mobile app.

And all functions in head office have greater visibility and insight. A particular area of improvement came thanks to Rotaready's Cost Control, allowing the finance team to easily compare forecast against actual commercial performance. And enabling the payroll team to instantly access accurate data, all backed up by auditable records.

Generally, Rotaready has helped Hickory's take its business analysis to the next level...

There's never a time that we need a report that isn't there and I think that's of really high value to us - any analysis we need, we can get very easily.

Amy Walsh, Head of Operations and Training

Five star support

Whilst Hickory's have seen many benefits from using Rotaready, we all have our favourites. Here's what the team likes the most about the rota software...

  1. 1

    The live chat support

  2. 2

    How user friendly the Rota Editor is

  3. 3

    Our account manager

A BIG positive of Rotaready for us is the people side - their support is genuinely 10/10! Responses are really quick, but also personable. I think I'm still surprised every time that there's a person speaking to me, and it's not just a robot. And our account manager is excellent! Nothing is ever too much trouble and he really helps us all get the most out of Rotaready.

Amy Walsh, Head of Operations and Training

Next on the agenda...

Hickory's customer success manager is currently working closely with the team to switch on the integration between Rotaready and Hickory's EPOS solution. By turning on this integration the Hickory's team will gain even greater visibility over their costs, have one source of truth for all their sales and labour costs and remove the need for any double entry of data.

Going forward the Rotaready team will continue to work closely with the smokehouse team to ensure they're leveraging all the benefits of the platform, while feeding back to the engineering team to ensure the product remains as customer- centric as possible.

Outdoor dining area of a Hickory's restaurant

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