We are continuing our business partner spotlight this month and its time to learn more about Planday who we have worked with on a number of exciting projects.
Tell us a little more about Planday and how you help hospitality businesses.
Planday’s roots are Danish but our outlook is global. Born in a Danish bar, when our cofounders dreamt up a tool to make staff scheduling and communicating more straightforward, we are now a global company helping connect and empower the more than one billion shift workers around the globe.
Our easy-to-use, flexible platform empowers both managers and employees to collaborate and work more efficiently with transparent, open communication which improves employee engagement alongside integrated business tracking and reporting. Employees can swap shifts and keep up-to-date on menu and work updates, while businesses can save time and money on administering them and make sure their revenue and costs are properly balanced.
Every day we are innovating with new features, partnerships and integrations to put even more power in the hands of the world’s shift workers and their employers, replacing manual processes with digital solutions that are increasingly streamlined with automation. While we are proud of our expansion to date, we want to continue to innovate and empower even more people to do the same. This includes new and exciting integrations with some of the world’s leading payroll companies such as Xero, which launches this month.
By harnessing the power of cloud-based technology, Planday helps businesses across the world to make running their businesses simpler and more efficient.
Who in the hospitality industry uses your product at the moment?
Given our birthplace in a Danish bar, the hospitality industry remains a key focus for us – especially as further integrations and advancements towards automation and artificial intelligence (AI) clearly benefit its time-poor workers, managers and owners.
Our customers range from well-known restaurant customers in London such as Sophie’s Steakhouse, the Enoteca da Luca wine bars, the Riddle & Finns seafood brasseries in Brighton, and Absurd Bird, the Southern-themed restaurant chain with six locations across the UK to hundreds more across Europe, Scandinavia and the United States. Worldwide, Planday has 17 Michelin Star-rated restaurants, with a total of 26 Michelin Stars, using our platform.
We also have a growing customer base in the hotel industry, which remains an exciting and important sector of our business. With big-name clients such as Bespoke Hotels, Moxy Hotels, as well as the luxury Gloucestershire Hotel and Manor by the Lake, this is an exciting part of the market we want to grow. Planday recently attended both Hotel360 and The Independent Hotel Show to gain greater insights and showcase how our market-leading platform can help give hotels faster data to make smarter decisions in their businesses.
You have done a lot of research in the hospitality industry over recent years, what are the biggest issues affecting the industry in 2019?
The two biggest issues in the hospitality sector are changes within the market – especially factors such as changes in Millennial dining habits – and the obvious one, Brexit. Planday has done significant research into both and found that – while there are many potential advantages for the hospitality sector with more and more Millennials dining out and spending more money, factors such as Brexit create uncertainty and instability within the sector.
In both cases, Planday wants to help businesses prepare by becoming an employer of choice within the sector with some simple Restaurant KPIs every restaurant manager should measure their success, as well as a Brexit survival guide, which many Institute of Hospitality members use.
This research has empowered Planday customers to take advantage of these changes in the hospitality industry and get ahead of the competition to become an employer of choice and attract, retain and keep staff happier for longer.
How can you help save hospitality workers save time and money?
Planday’s software is specifically designed to help both managers and employees in the hospitality industry cut down on the time that is spent performing administrative tasks. The main time saver is the digitalisation of schedule management, with increasing automation. Many of our customers used to use pen-and-paper to write weekly rosters but with these methods, papers can get lost or misinterpreted easily.
Our customers at Riddle & Finns found that after they began using Planday software, the time spent scheduling went from taking a day to taking no more than three hours. Managers were then free to deal with other tasks.
In terms of cost-saving, by adopting our software, employers have a full overview of scheduling, vacation hours, and payroll and can easily spot any expensive mistakes or conflicts so that the right skilled people are working the right shift at all times.
Tell us about some of the key features of the software.
One of our most popular features is the Punch Clock, a tool which allows employees to start or end their own shifts or breaks using their own iOS or Android device. In a busy work environment, such as a restaurant or hotel, managers don’t have to spend time finding their paper schedule to see which employees are on site and working. With the Punch Clock they can simply check the Planday app and see whether they have registered and clocked in. The software also allows for location-specific clock-in rules so employees can only check-in through the app if they’re actually at work.
The software also allows employees to communicate with their managers and each other via a messaging system integrated into the platform. By using this function, workers can let each other know about swapped shifts, lateness or illness, and even discuss planning the Christmas party. For situations when more urgency is required, managers also have the option of activating a “force read” feature which means employees have to read a message from senior management before they continue to use the app — possibly a great way for them to make sure everyone knows the daily specials.
The Planday software also compiles reports of how many hours and shifts each employee has worked. A manager looking at a report is able to see who has called in sick and how often and which type of shift each employee has worked. The software then uses these reports to intelligently forecast future payroll costs and future revenue.
What’s your biggest success story?
The time and money we have helped Absurd Bird save has been a real success for us and our them. Absurd Bird is a restaurant cooking southern cuisine with six locations, including sites in Soho, Leeds, Bath, and Exeter. The chain employs around 150 people including chefs, waiters, and front-of-house teams, meaning many separate schedules, vacation requests and payroll need to be managed.
We helped Absurd Bird transition from using spreadsheets, which made it difficult to track holiday accrual and overtime hours accurately, to using the Planday platform for all their employees. This now gives them faster data to make smarter decisions. After one year of using Planday, the managers found that they had managed to improve their wage control by 3%, which equalled an annual saving of £40,000 – a great success for them and us!
What do you think makes the hospitality industry so special to work in?
With our roots in the hospitality sector, we are very passionate about it and wanting to help hospitality businesses spend more time on the things that actually matter.
The greatest asset hospitality has for the people who work in it is flexibility. Whether you’re working at a bar while you’re studying or in a hotel while managing a busy family life, the hospitality sector can be a great career for those who need flexibility for those unpredictable moments in life. It’s also very people-focused and no two days are the same, which are the values and inspiration we have brought from hospitality into the culture and life at Planday!
But better unlocking flexibility is why we built Planday. Tasks like rotas, shift-swaps and payroll should not take up as much time as they do, and we want to help empower people to optimise their time more and better manage communication so your shift and the business can run more efficiently. That’s the special thing about hospitality which we want to grow and encourage at Planday!
Planday is an Institute of Hospitality Business Partner, why did you decide to get involved?
Hospitality is an important sector for Planday. We wanted to partner with the Institute to grow and develop our understanding of trends and issues within the sector and to deepen our research on how innovations to the Planday platform can help UK hospitality businesses get faster data to make smarter decisions.
What benefits have you seen since becoming a business partner?
Our partnership with the Institute has allowed us to deepen our research into issues affecting the industry, such as Brexit, as well as hearing from the Institute’s members about technological innovations and partnerships on the Planday platform can help make them an employer of choice within their industry.
Where can people learn more about Planday?
You can find out more about Planday and all the solutions we offer via our website, www.planday.com