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Penalty rates to hit Australian hospitality industry

The imminent Sunday and holiday penalty rate cuts for hospitality and retail employees is a big topic of discussion lately. …

By Dave Eagle

The imminent Sunday and holiday penalty rate cuts for hospitality and retail employees is a big topic of discussion lately. The new holiday rates go into effect on 1 July, while the courts are still figuring out how to slowly phase in the cuts for Sundays.

While both sides of the debate continue to hash out the implications of this new reality, we thought it might be helpful to offer some practical advice for moving forward. We’ve already told you how you can use these new savings in labour to stay open longer—but that mostly benefits the business. Working an extra hour or two to earn the same money is not going to be a very popular solution with employees.

Fortunately, there’s more you can do than just stretch your hours to help your employees make up for their losses. With minimal investment and a few minor tweaks, you can implement changes that will be good for you and your employees.

Offer Delivery Service

2017 hospitality trends, mobile ordering

What’s in it for you? 

If you’re not already doing this, now is a great time to start. And if you are already doing it, now’s a great time to make sure you’re doing it right. Doing it right means connecting your point of sale to a mobile ordering app: the easier you can make it for customers to order, the bigger that revenue stream grows (and, as we’ve noted before: check size goes up when people order through apps).

What’s in it for your staff?

Takeaway and delivery service are job creators in their own right. If your kitchen staff are working to their fullest cooking food for the dining area, you’ll need at least one extra person back there to pack up and manage the takeaway/delivery orders. If you’re busy enough, you might need another person to actually help cook the food, too. You’ve just created an extra shift or two each day for kitchen employees who just had their wages cut.

By offering delivery, you’ve also just created another role in your restaurant. Someone on the waitstaff can handle the deliveries on a day she wouldn’t otherwise be scheduled.

Automate your workflow

mojo by luke mangan
What’s in it for you?

OK, that sounds fancy—and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s expensive or complicated. A hospitality-focused POS will do more for you than just sit at the front counter taking payments. Set up properly, you can use it to track your inventory down to the ingredient, and establish order flows to assist wait staff in getting things right. Put some wireless printers in strategic places—like the kitchen and drink station—and orders will automatically print to the device you specify. All of these mechanisms in place can assist your restaurant in running more efficiently and accurately than ever before. The best thing you can do as a restaurant owner is provide your customers with an exceptional experience—modernising your operations is a huge step toward that goal.

READ NOW: How to Build Your Restaurant Workflow for Success with Your Point of Sale

What’s in it for your staff?

Tipping is becoming much more commonplace in Australian restaurants, but it’s still not considered obligatory as it is elsewhere in the world. When you receive great service, though, it’s hard not to show appreciation. Give your employees the tools to shine, though, and they may see it pay off in the form of more and bigger tips.

restaurant procedures, cafe production
Besides the operational help that a modern POS offers, staff can also rely on it to make sure their service at the table is impeccable. They’ll be able to clearly record every modifier and variant requested, and the point of sale can be configured to make sure they don’t forget any follow-up questions (“How do you like your burger cooked? Do you want french fries or salad?”).

For cashless payments, servers can bring their devices tableside and handle everything quickly, without the back and forth of running to the card terminal. From the customer perspective, the personal attention to detail and ease of payment—along with a meal that was done exactly right, served in a timely fashion—can go a long way toward adding a little extra. 

Make it easy for your customers to leave tips

What’s in it for you?

Nothing, except that you’re letting your employees know you care enough to try and help them succeed. That’s never a bad idea.

Of course, making it easy for customers to tip puts you in the middle of a conversation you don’t want to be a part of. Really, what your employees make is between you and them. But there’s one big thing you can do give people a nudge in the right direction: using an advanced tipping module on your POS.

Advanced means that it offers something more than a blank tip line on the screen or receipt. In addition to a custom entered tip, you should be able to offer preset percentages so that customers can tap one button and the POS takes care of all the math for them. Using the same menu psychology that guides customers towards certain dishes with price anchors, you can guide them towards a more generous tip. Make the first option higher than you normally would, and then the next step up doesn’t seem unreasonable.

What’s in it for your staff?

More money, and perhaps a higher tax rate, which they’ll thank you for.

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