8 key time saving hacks for running a bar, restaurant or cafe.

July, 8 2021

Get Regular Hospo Best Practice Advice

Practical content from leading hospitality operators delivered to your inbox
time saving in hospitality

As an Operations Manager of a nation wide hospitality business, I developed a few brutally easy time saving hacks, and stole plenty more from the good people I worked with.

Time is the great human leveler. We're all only given 24 hours in a day, how we choose to spend it (or leverage it), makes a significant difference to the success we achieve.

The list below is not intended to be exhaustive or ranked in any particular order. Simply pick a few ideas that take your fancy and start implementing them and be energised by the time you start to get back to work on your business.

1.  Implement a "by appointment only" policy.

Just because you run a hospitality business doesn't mean that suppliers can simply drop in to see you when suits them. They should always make an appointment and it should always be at a time that suits your schedule. Ensure your frontline team are aware of this, and can offer someone your business card if they drop in asking to see you.


2.  Make sure all your appointments are in an online calendar.

Once someone does arrange a meeting with you, have them send you an invite for the agreed time. Google and Microsoft Outlook both offer great online calendars that Sync with your phone and are constantly updating their features.


3.  Use an online time clock system so that you can export timesheets directly into your payroll.

The days of running paper timesheets, and the endless time and mistakes created in calculating your employees time are long gone. Once your employees are clocking in and out online, you can send their timesheets directly to your payroll saving you a significant amount of input time.  It will save you so much time each week it wasn't funny. Click here to take a look.

Screen Shot 2021-07-08 at 2.22.24 PM

4.  Use checklists for opening, closing and anything else that gets done every day at your outlets.

Stop chasing the same minor issues in your business each day. Give your team a checklist of everything that needs to be done to open and close your venue, and anything else you expect to happen on a regular basis. For hospitality specialist checklist software checkout joltup.com/


5.  Time box your important tasks that you complete every week.

Setup your calendar with the important tasks you complete every week (you can set them to repeat on a weekly basis). By allowing a certain amount of time for them, and making the periods that you time box non-interrupted you can start to build some flow to your week and start increasing your productivity.

I always completed roster reviews on a Thursday morning from 9am - 10am. This allowed me to complete any urgent emails when I arrived at work, then grab a coffee at a cafe next to our office and spend my key analysis time without interruptions from any staff members.


6.  Email Quarantine.

Set three 15 minute periods a day when you respond to email. You'll be surprised how hard this one is to implement. But you also won't believe how much more productive you can be when you don't jump back and forth between tasks that incoming emails create.


7.  Implement a stock ordering system where you can send your orders directly to your suppliers and your accounting system.

loaded-screensThere is no need in this day and age to be calling, emailing or ordering online from separate suppliers, or entering supplier invoices manually into your accounting system. Simply implement the a stock system where you can make one order, send it to all your suppliers and then send your purchase orders as invoices to Xero.

The time savings over a year can be as much as 250 hours.



8.  Run a weekly management meeting with agreed outcomes, actions and due dates.

There is a heap of "stuff" that comes up during a week of running a bar, restaurant or cafe. By having a weekly management meeting you can ensure the team is on the same page in terms of what they key focuses for the business are and you can off load tasks that can be done on shift during the week when the team has downtime.

Your team are a huge point of leverage for you so make sure you utilise them and motivate them in the process. You can try out the Weekly management meeting template from our hospitality template pack, if you would really like to nail these meetings.

This list is really the tip of the Iceberg, if you'd like to talk with one of our hospitality experts then click the button below and we can walk you through the journey of saving time, money and reducing headaches in your business.

View all posts

Get Regular Hospo Best Practice Advice

Practical content from leading hospitality operators delivered to your inbox