Urban Guild
Urban Guild

Urban Guild

How do you stand out from the competition and grow your business? By empowering your best asset, your people, to deliver outstanding experiences to your guests. The Planday Blog sat down with Simon Eaton, Urban Guild’s Head of Hugs (we’ll get back to that title later). He shares with us how using the right online scheduling tool has improved staff performance.

Simon Eaton

Simon Eaton

Head of Hugs

Urban Guild

“Planday helps our managers keep track of how the business has performed that day and then use the data to forecast.

Urban Guild:
About Urban Guild

Urban Guild is a group of family-owned local venues all located on Bournemouth, the South coast of England. Mark Crib, the owner, wanted to replicate the heartfelt hospitality he met on his travels to Australia, Thailand and other destinations. That’s how Urban Beach was created in 2005 and has then grown to include Urban Reef, The Wood Oven and Urban Garden.

Online staff rota gives employees peace of mind

Businesses that schedule better perform better  

With the concept of contemporary urban styling, an ethos of relaxed luxury and beach vibes, Urban Guild is the go-to-place whether guests are popping in for breakfast, a beer on the deck or a dinner date. 

So how do the 250 staff succeed in making memorable guest experiences? Simon says it starts with making people happy. 

A bartender

“I wanted to work for a company that cared a bit more. I’ve worked at Urban Guild for eight years and I really enjoy my time here. I’m the Head of Hugs, it’s always a hard one to explain but basically, I make sure that people are happy. Whether it’s guests, staff, managers, anyone that comes in,” Simon says. 

Sharing information quickly and keeping everyone in the loop in one communication tool, helps managers support staff better while increasing happiness and employee engagement.  
 
“I find the communication in Planday great. If I need to communicate with all the staff, it’s easy to do it in one place.  Everyone has access to the system so they can always log in and get notifications about important messages,” Simon says.  
 
“Planday has all the features such as shift swapping which staff find a lot easier now because it’s all in one place. Traditionally, you would always have those messages, or a printed rota printed on a notice board.” 
 
“Everybody would be messaging, asking ‘Has anyone got a photo of the rota?’. I think it’s a peace of mind for the staff, knowing that their shifts are in there, knowing that it is safe and in one place.” 
 
Seasonal staff management requires specialised employees and often skill-specific shifts. Having an overview of assigned staff skills and completed training levels makes it easier for managers to make sure they have the right staff in place.  
 
“Making sure that everyone is up to date on the training and adding competencies to the training sessions makes life easier,” Simon says.  
 
“Let’s say that all the baristas have completed their different training levels. Planday makes it possible for managers to see that they have signed off the levels and if not, the staff get reminders.”  
 
Storing important documents safely in Planday saves time  

Keeping track of staff contracts and other important documents in a GDPR compliant system has become easy with Planday. 
 
“We were looking for a good GDPR-compliant system that can store all our staff records, contracts, training and development,” Simon says.   
 
“Helen is our finance guru and for her Planday has been amazing on the communication and contract side. 
 
“This year especially because of the ease of doing furlough. While everyone was locked down at home, it was easy for her to allocate furlough contract and simply hand them over for staff to sign digitally. 
 
“That was a great feature that we didn’t think we would need to use so soon and so frequently! We needed to roll out about 150 staff that we had furloughed quick. 
 
“Without Planday we’d have to be printing, issuing and correlating the responses of contract. It would have been a nightmare. So, it was pretty handy to know we could send them digitally.”  

A table

Boost the business performance with forecast tools:

Using the Punch Clock to monitor worked hours, shift patterns and the reporting tool for precise cost predictions gives managers a bird’s eye view on how the business is performing day by day.

“We can see how we’re performing with real time data, so we can look in half through the daytime as the system pulls in the takings as the day goes by,” Simon says. 

“For the managers the Punch Clock and time stamps make it easy to finalise the wage costs every day. They can also see if staff have finished early, punched in and out in the system and the savings are also visible. 
 
“Planday helps our managers keep track of how the business has performed that day and then use the data to forecast. 
 
“You can see that you have saved money and you’ve tried to curve your percentages a bit more.” 

Man in kitchen

Data accuracy unlocks better cost predictions

Even if you’re using an online software solution, efficient employee scheduling can still be a challenging task. Simon tells us he had tried a couple of other systems before going with Planday. 

“Previous to using Planday, we used another digital scheduling system but soon realised that it had some weaknesses and gaps that couldn’t be filled out,” Simon says. 

 

 
“We needed a solution that integrates well to other systems, for instance with our till software, Lightspeed, because we needed more accurate forecasting and real time data on how we were performing. 
 
“The winter is the tougher time where we really need to manage the business by focusing on the labour costs, so we wanted to make sure that we’re reacting accordingly. 
 
“It saves us money on labour because we get a tighter and better control as Planday gives you a more realistic look of your actual labour at the time.  
 
“The integration between Planday and Lightspeed makes it possible for us to make judgements based on the food and drinks orders, so if the coffee or hot drinks are down, we can send the barista home for example.”  

Want to know how to make your guest experiences memorable? 

Empower your staff to perform their best with smarter communication, easy shift planning and seamless integrations to the systems you already use. 
 
See how Planday can help you make your day work, speak to a specialist for a solution that is tailored to your needs and book a demo today
 

Try it out today!

Sign up for a free 30-day trial, no strings attached.

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