How To Create a Rota That Saves You Time and Money

Whether you manage or operate a number of bars or restaurants, a fast-food chain or a coffee franchise, the current market demands efficiency.
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How to make the a fair rota for both staff and your savings.

Creating positive customer experiences on the shop floor is a really important way to ensure those customers come back again and again. However, we all know managers lose anywhere from six to eight hours a week on burdensome administration tasks off the shop floor.

One of the headaches managers encounter in those eight hours is creating a staff roster. Every week is different and your employee rota should reflect each week’s demands. We want to give managers the best advice on saving time and money. Automating this task using easy to use software is the ideal scenario!

This is how to save time and money on a rota.

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As managers, what do we want?:

  1. Make rosters quickly and easily. On average, a rota takes up to six to eight hours of a manager’s time every week. That’s 13 full days every year a business spends on rotas alone. Managers want to be on the floor interacting with employees and customers. 
  2. Plan ahead. Managers, ideally don’t want to be in the office week on week scheduling and rescheduling rotas. Having the option to plan ahead through, good organisation will give your manager more time to be looking after the things that matter. For example, a manager should be able to see when an employee is scheduled to take their holidays so they can plan rotas weeks in advance. 
  3. Create shifts with a mix of employees with diverse skills. There should be a diverse mix of both junior and senior members of staff on the floor at any given time. Create a rota that means your store can have the right people at the right time on the floor. This means junior staff will get the time and attention they need to be genuinely excellent, while the senior members of the team can deal with potentially complex situations when they arise. 

What a great rota looks like for employees: 

  1. Employees want certainty. Employees want a better work-life balance. By giving employees a rota a week, if not two or three weeks in advance, it will allow them to plan their lives around their rota. This will give your employees more certainty and satisfaction because the rota their manager is providing is accurate. 
  2. Employees want reliable communication. Organised rota communication means employees will get their rota in a way that protects their data and lets them call upon it whenever they please. 
  3. Employees want to ask for holidays easily. Employees want to easily ask their managers for holidays.

Tips for saving money on your rota: 

Cost your rota as you build it
Rotas cost time and money. Costing your rota as you build it gives you the vision to see where you can save money in real-time. If managers leave this task as the last objective in creating their rota, they may find themselves rushing to cut hours to remain on budget. A rota should be helping a business thrive. Bizimply has a drag and drop functionality so managers can save time and money as they go.

Determine your goals 

If you are running a bar, a restaurant, a store, or a hotel, you have experience in setting KPI’s. Your rota should be no different. Use your current target labour costs based on your previous week’s rota and see if you can reduce it by 1%. If you repeatedly do this over time, the small changes you make every week will make a real difference over the next few months.

Target Sale Per Labour Hour (SPLH) is a powerful KPI to track how your business is performing. By knowing your SPLH it will give you clarity on what staff cover each shift, every day. For example, if your target sales is £2000 and your target hours is 40, then your SPLH is £50. Again, bar scheduling software is an incredibly helpful tool that is quick and easy to use for managers to create, set and monitor vital monthly targets accurately.

Saving money on start times

When footfall is highest, managers may look to increase the amount of people working. But when sales decrease, does that mean labour has to too? Match your demand with the correct amount of scheduled labour.

Does your labour meet the sales demand?
When footfall is highest, managers may look to increase the number of people working. But when sales decrease, does that mean labour has to? To achieve the best possible result in reducing costs, managers should adapt their rota to low and high in sales periods differently. 

End of the week wins and losses

As a manager, you are always thinking ahead, but before jumping headfirst into another week, it is crucial to look back at your wins and losses from that period. Having scheduling software in your business means you are leaving the decisions data and not a committee. Your customers, your staff and your wins and losses are all recorded in an easy to use workforce management software, guiding you in the right direction.

Publish your rota at least a week in advance

By publishing your rota at least a week in advance (or even better two or three) your employees can request time off. In turn, this gives you plenty of notice to manage these holiday or leave management requests giving you time to fill shifts.

Customer satisfaction is key

If you have a happy customer they will tell a friend. If you have an unhappy customer, they will tell 20. Do not cut costs or create a rota that results in a reduction in customer service. The result of a happy customer will speak for itself. 

Your new rota: 

The pros and cons of different types of scheduling tools:

Old fashioned

The pen and paper rotas are versatile, customisable, and free. They are also highly susceptible to human error. Paper and pen rosters also mean staff will need to either a) communicate with other staff members to acquire their schedule or b) a picture of the plan will need to be taken and sent out individually to employees.

As we mentioned; work group chats in direct messaging apps like Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger are not GDPR compliant.

This means managers will have to send their rotas individually to their employees through an email.

Also, any changes in the rota will mean manually rescheduling and resending the rota. 

Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets

To help manage their business, most managers use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Some companies like using spreadsheets for their scheduling needs because it is familiar: managers are accustomed to spreadsheets, and they are cheap too.

When it comes to organising a rota, it can be a certain choice for managers. The cons begin with the time-consuming set up of spreadsheet rotas and the fact they are not made for managers to save time and money on their labour.

Not to mention, there is no function to send spreadsheet rotas to staff in a compliant way – that has to be done manually by the manager. If you do use either Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, make sure to label the file names correctly (ie. Bar, FOH, Kitchen) so employees can easily find their shifts. 


Bizimply is an all in one workforce, operations and HR management platform that helps thousands of businesses with multiple locations save time and money for nearly a decade. Bizimply helps businesses control their highest variable cost with budgeting, forecasting, scheduling and employee planning technology.

Bizimply allows managers to colour-code popular shifts, to allows managers to create a rota for specific locations. The drag and drop feature in Bizimply allows managers to make a rota in minutes not hours. Bizimply has a leave management feature too, ensuring managers know they can approve and see when employees have booked time off.

Using Bizimply also gifts managers a tool for compliant communication. This means employees can receive their rotas via email or through the MyZimply App.


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