Just as the recent Brexit referendum appears to have split the country down the middle, reaction to the introduction to the National Living Wage (NLA) has also divided the opinions of the leaders of Britain’s pub and restaurant groups, writes GS Systems managing director Niels Nielsen.
According to new research from CGA Peach, over 54% of the 100 senior executives in companies across the hospitality sector said the NLW was a positive change for the eating and drinking-out market at the same as a similar number (53%) said it would have a negative impact on their own businesses.
NLA could be excessive pressure on business
The survey carried out in April and May this year was featured in a recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme. “Although companies have by and large accepted the introduction of the living wage, there is a real concern that driving it up too fast down the line will put excessive pressure on business, with fears that some will just go bust,” warned CGA Peach vice president Peter Martin.
Flashback: how things were when staffing levels were managed on printed spreadsheets.
Over 65% of the industry leaders interviewed felt that the Government’s stated aim of increasing the base level to £9 an hour by 2020 was simply not realistic.
Obviously the increase of the NLA puts the margins of hospitality businesses under a lot of strain because staff wages are the biggest variable cost for operators.
Use EPOS technology to manage and forecast staffing
However, you can minimise the impact of NLA increases by using EPOS-based technology to monitor, manage and forecast existing and future staffing requirements.
Most top end EPOS solutions will offer a staff management and reporting module to complement the core cash and stock control functionality of a solutions.
Key staffing costs data can be viewed live via a top end EPOS solution.
Our solution, for example, has a staff management and planning module where operators simply enter staff and shift details together with rates of pay and the system automatically recommends shift patterns.
Posting this data to electronic business sheets feeds the cost forecasting module which provides managers with time reductions and precise staff management information.
View the impact of staffing levels on your margins with automatic reports
From the perspective of our clients, decision makers and managers can see the impact of staffing costs via Automated End of Day and Automated Weekly Summary reports automatically sent to them (without them have to run reports or access their EPOS solution).
The key here, as in all aspects of a hospitality operation, is to give yourself the ability to measure and manage your staffing levels now and, just as importantly, accurately predict future requirements based on historical data and anticipated extra demand generated by special events.
If you want to find out more about EPOS technology can help minimise your staffing costs contact either myself or Mike Chung on 0800 655 6264.