Why creating the staff rota is like making the perfect cocktail

Creating a rota takes key ingredients, the right mix and good presentation. Get it right and you’re on the way to running a successful bar, but get it wrong ...

David Quinn: BrightHR Social Media Manager

As a bar manager, you’ll know that you’re only as good as the drinks you serve. If the cocktails are great then people are more than likely to come. If the cocktails you make aren’t so great, then there’s always the place around the corner waiting to take your customers away from you.

It’s the same when it comes to planning the bar rotas. When you get the mix right the bar runs seamlessly. Your customers are happy, you’re happy. But when it goes wrong it can turn into a hassle for you, your customers and your staff - and who knows where that might take people.

With that in mind, we take a look at why creating a bar rota is a lot like making a great cocktail and why it’s essential to running a successful bar.


Using right ingredients - Getting the right mix of people on shift

If you don’t use the right ingredients for your cocktails then you’re going to be in trouble. People don’t want whiskey in their mojito, or gin in their old fashioned. The same goes when planning the rotas. Do you have the right people working the shift with the correct skills? For example, do you have your most experienced bartender working the quiet day shift or your most inexperienced staff on a busy Friday night? Do you have the right amount of people willing to go out and collect glasses and clear tables? It’s something bar managers need to think about. Get the mix right and the bar runs effortlessly, get it wrong and like the cocktail, it’s destined to go down the drain.

Get the correct measures - The right amount of people on shift

Just like the ingredients, getting the correct measures is essential. Too much, or too little of one thing, and your cocktails aren’t going to be great. With your rotas, getting the right amount of people is also essential. Too many on the bar and there’s going to be staff standing round with nothing to do, too little and people are going to be frustrated by the slow service and are likely never to return.    

Taking the time - working time

A good cocktail takes time. If it’s made within a few seconds then people are going to be suspicious, too long and people won’t stick around. The same can be said for your staff. If an employee works too long, for example on a double shift, then they are going to be slower and less effective due to tiredness. When that happens, service can suffer and the customer's experience won’t be up to the standard you expect. When creating the staff rota it's important to keep an eye on how long staff are working in one day, not just because of the service implications but also because if the working time regulations.

Missing a drink order - Missing a shift

Missing a drink off the order can be easy to do, especially if it’s a big order. But it’s never good, and you’re going to have to rectify the situation quickly to make sure the customer is happy. It’s the same with your rotas. When you're planning the shifts for a number of staff it can be easy to miss someone off the rota, to not have anyone covering a shift or even for your staff to forget which shifts they are working that particular week. When that happens you need to solve the situation swiftly or else it might be you covering the bar.  

Presentation -  Communicating the rota

So you made the perfect cocktail, but how are you going to present it to the customer? Surely you aren’t going to serve it up in a mug (unless you’re one of those bars that serves everything in a mug!). Presentation is important. And how you present your rota to your staff is essential. You could spend all of your time contacting your staff via texts, calls, WhatsApp, email, carrier pigeon... but it’s messy, time-consuming and your workers never seem to answer their phones anyway. Or you could find a better way.

With BrightHR creating rotas is easy and shift planning issues become a thing of the past. With our people management software rotas can be created in a matter of minutes and shifts are assigned directly to individuals. Potential clashes are easily identifiable, any employee absence can be accessed from within our system and staff are automatically notified that they have been assigned to a shift when the rota is published.

No more wasting time, no more clashes, no more missed shifts.


See BrightHR can help your business when it comes to shifts and rotas with our free trial

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If you are an existing customer please call 0800 783 2806 or email support@brighthr.com