Available Position: Associate Account Manager

The Opportunity

We are looking for someone who would like a career in one of the fastest growing software companies in the hospitality sector.  If you have great people and customer service skills, with a desire to succeed, then we want to hear from you!

In association with a comprehensive training programme, we will enable you to be at the forefront with our customers from day one. From the get-go, as the successful candidate, you will get hands on.  You’ll contribute to our customer success team, supporting our customers with value adding advice on how they can make even better business decisions and get the most out of working in partnership with S4labour.

We have a proven track record of taking on Associate level/Graduate Account Managers and developing them into fully fledged Account Managers.  Our team structure includes Senior Account Managers so your opportunity to develop your skills and career provides a clear career path within our business.  Our customer success team currently consists of a team of 5 and we have an opening for someone to join our growing business to bring ideas, passion and drive as well as having a clear understanding of what great customer service looks like to come on our journey with us.

What you’ll do

You will be joining us at a very exciting time as we prepare to launch several innovative new products to the market and accelerate our growth. You will be working alongside our Chief Customer Officer and 2 Account Managers and 2 Senior Account Managers to ensure our customers’ accounts are maintained to the highest standards. This is a varied role, and we expect you to learn a great deal in your first 12 months.

What you’ll bring

We’re an inclusive and friendly business—everyone mucks in with a positive and enthusiastic attitude! We are therefore looking for dynamic, business minded and hard-working individuals. You will be a confident self-starter, proactive in your approach, who thrives working on your own initiative and as part of a high-performing team.

A few other key essentials:

  • Ideally of graduate calibre or equivalent relevant experience
  • Excellent interpersonal/communication and customer service skills
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships
  • Strong numeracy skills
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills
  • A proactive attitude and ability to work on your own initiative
  • Good understanding of Microsoft Office or similar
  • Ability to thrive under pressure
  • Full clean driving licence
  • Experience in the pub/restaurant/hospitality sector would prove useful but is not essential

What we can offer you:
One-to-one mentoring in account management and personal development leading to:
• A broad range of essential and transferable business skills
• An exceptional understanding of the hospitality industry
• The opportunity to advance your career at a pace much faster than in a large corporate
• Flexibility, variety and excitement; giving you considerable responsibility

S4labour is committed to building a brilliant team that is inclusive in its culture, and values diversity. We strive for equality of opportunity in all that we do and actively encourage applicants from all groups and backgrounds to apply for this role.

To apply please send a CV and, if you’re keen, a brief note telling us why you would be a great part of the S4labour Team to ali@s4labour.co.uk / chris@s4labour.co.uk


Available Position: Implementation Partner

Job purpose

You will join a team dedicated to welcoming new clients to our platform.

You will be working directly with new clients to keep them engaged and excited to make use of our software.

You will be taking charge of organising and delivering training on how to best use our platform and taking the responsibility of ensuring all our clients enjoy the smoothest onboarding experience possible.

Role description

  • Manage the successful onboarding of multiple new clients starting their journey with S4labour, while adhering to key operational deadlines.
  • Proactively collaborate with clients and other stakeholders to capture the required data to deliver an effective, efficient, and timely implementation of S4labour products
  • Confidently deliver training to clients operating within a wide range of businesses on how to best utilise our software. Equally confident and engaging in remote or face-to-face delivery.
  • Operate as a subject matter expert in our product portfolio and provide guidance to users on how best to use our system. Creatively overcome and solve client challenges by applying S4labour product knowledge.
  • Provide occasional cover on our support desk, giving guidance and resolution on basic client issues (tickets and calls) in a friendly and professional manner whilst following standard support desk procedures

Key skills and personal qualities

  • Confident self-starter with a can-do attitude and a proactive approach
  • Great interpersonal and communication skills alongside an ability to build and maintain strong professional relationships
  • Excellent organisational, planning and prioritisation skills
  • Hardworking and resourceful with good problem-solving abilities
  • Friendly, helpful team-player with a desire to deliver excellent customer service
  • Happy working autonomously, as well as in collaboration with a wider team
  • An excellent command of English, both written and verbal
  • Happy working in a varied role in a fast-paced environment
  • High attention to detail and a drive for continuous improvement
  • Experience in the pub/restaurant/hospitality sector would prove useful but is not essential

*qualifying period and other criteria apply

S4labour is committed to building a brilliant team that is inclusive in its culture, and values diversity. We strive for equality of opportunity in all that we do and actively encourage applicants from all groups and backgrounds to apply for this role.

To apply please send a CV and, if you’re keen, a brief note telling us why you would be a great part of the S4labour Team to ali@s4labour.co.uk / chris@s4labour.co.uk

Dry-led sites up 9.1% in November, wet-led down 3.3%

The latest data from S4labour reveals that sales were up 3.8% in November, compared to the same month last year. London saw growth of 5.9% year-on-year, whilst the rest of the UK witnessed a slightly more modest increase of 3.2%.  

This overall growth was driven by dry-led sites, with sales surging by 9.1%, compared to a 3.3% decline in wet-led sites.  

S4labour’s Chief Growth Officer, Richard Hartley, commented: “Despite challenging consumer prices, this upward trend is a positive start to the Christmas period. Hopefully, we should see spending considerably up through to the new year, which will help towards offsetting the new wage costs coming into play in April.”  

NLW increases 9.8%, but true cost is 11.5%

According to data from S4labour, the 9.8% increase to NLW announced yesterday by the Chancellor will mean an increase of 11.5% to costs for operators when considering the weighted impact of age distribution in the industry.  

The new wage of £11.44 will apply to employees over 23s, who make up 70% of the hospitality workforce, as well as the 9% of workers who are 21 to 22 years old.  

The statistics also reveal that 14% of industry workers fall into the 18 to 20 bracket, with their new wage rising by 14.8% to £8.60. Under 18s, who make up 7% of the industry’s workforce, will see a 21.2% increase in pay. 

Assuming all workers are paid at minimum wage, these increases will bring hourly labour costs up 11.5% for operators.  

Alastair Scott, CEO of S4labour, commented: “The headline rate at 9.8% was going to be tough enough to manage, without factoring in the high proportion of young people working in our industry. This makes it an even bigger challenge, just when we thought we might be able to get back onto an even keel.” 

Malvern Inns – HLS case study

Case Study

How Malvern Inns use both S4labour & High Level Software

Malvern Inns Overview

Serving up brilliant hospitality since 2010.

Stylish locations with dedicated teams offering delicious food, a great selection of drinks and special stays. 

Party and event management services offered throughout Yorkshire under the banner of Malvern Events

The deployment graph in S4labour is really useful. We get our scheduling just right by matching our shifts to sales per hour. The visual representation of our expected revenue across the day guides the managers in determining the optimal levels of labour. We reduce our slack (excess staff members) which means we save money”
Matt Avery

Ops Director , Malvern Inns

Tell us about Malvern Inns as a business.

Malvern Inns has two venues based in Yorkshire, The Castle and The Square & Compass as well as event management services. We have been operating since 2010, The Castle has 12 ensuite rooms and offers a great village pub environment.


Tell us how S4labour works in Malvern Inns.

Malvern Inns has had S4labour for a very long time and is a key tool in our business. Without S4labour everything would be extremely manual, and we wouldn’t have visibility over our costs and budgets. In addition, S4labour helps us engage with the teams. By being clear and transparent with our team about what we require from them in the business they can have a productive shift.


Which features of S4labour do you find the most useful?

The deployment graph in S4labour is really useful. We get our scheduling just right by matching our shifts to sales per hour. The visual representation of our expected revenue across the day guides the managers in determining the optimal levels of labour. We reduce our slack (excess staff members) which means we save money.


S4labour integrates with many companies in the hospitality industry please explain the benefit of that.

A lot of systems are required to make a hospitality business successful, from Epos, scheduling systems and room reservation systems. Having S4labour integrate with them all is really useful because it means the systems talk to one another and saves us time from having to do manual tasks and means we spend more time with the customer.


Tell us how High Level Software works in The Castle

The intuitiveness of the system is a game-changer for us. Its user-friendliness ensures that our team can navigate it with ease, leading to fewer mistakes and a significant reduction in the time spent on training new staff.


How do your customers find using HLS?

The system’s user interface is incredibly user-friendly, lots of positive feedback from top to bottom. Making a new reservation or editing an existing one is a breeze. Even our housekeeping team, who rely on it to manage room requirements daily, find it easy to use.


Have you encountered any challenges or limitations while using HLS If so, how has the platform addressed or resolved those issues to meet your needs?

As with any new system implementation, there were some teething issues as our team was becoming familiar with the new Property Management System. However, what truly stood out was the excellent support and training provided by the HLS team.



Autumn 2023: What do the Chancellor’s announcements mean for hospitality?  

Autumn Statement 2023

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has today released his Autumn Statement, bringing forward measures on NLW, alcohol duty, business rates and NI that will have an impact on the industry and its workers.

The National Living Wage will see an increase of 9.8% to £11.44 an hour, averaging an additional £1800 a year per full-time employee. This new rate now also applies to employees who are 21 and 22 years old – previously, it was only for workers over the age of 23. Though beneficial for the staff, this rise means a typical pub will see labour ratio hike around 3 percentage points. In addition to this increase, employee NI will drop from 12% to 10%, though employer contributions to NI have not been cut.

The extension of business rates relief is good news, and will help around 230,000 smaller retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in 2024-25. It also seems the Chancellor has listened to calls for alcohol duty to be frozen, meaning there is one less cost for operators to worry about until August next year. 

Chief Growth Officer at S4labour, Richard Hartley, commented: “We have spoken to operators who are currently struggling with labour ratios of 34%+, so this further increase in spend will be challenging, and we anticipate this will put pressure on consumer prices. As wages continue to rise, managing the cost is going to be the single-most important factor in the future success of our industry.” 

Get the best from holiday management, says S4labour  

Leading rota, people and payroll tool provider S4labour, has shared some tips to help independent convenience and forecourt operators best manage their labour throughout the busy holiday season.  

It becomes increasingly difficult to balance the needs of your shoppers and your team as well as thinking about profits and compliance when experiencing these different patterns of trade. So, for independent retailers, it is well worth investing in tools that can help them do the work efficiently, cost-effectively and without stress. 

Some of the challenges facing retailers will include requests for time off or additional hours, as well as scheduling according to big events that are likely to see people get together, like summer sporting events, barbecues and local fetes. 

Garry Craft, S4labour, Managing Director Convenience Stores, says: “Walking the line of having enough staff whilst not overspending on a labour budget can be difficult. 

The first step for successful labour management is to use tools and insights that give visibility of historic sales data and labour spending. Looking at week-by-week and day-by-day labour spending will give more insight into how retailers should be planning rotas, compared to just looking at quarterly totals.” 

The rota, people and payroll tool provider also state that having this visibility of labour spend, particularly before it is spent, will avoid unexpected costs for retailers. 

Craft continues: “Circulating rotas earlier will help employees visualise shift plans easily, and as a result, any problems are much easier to spot. Synchronising rotas with the holiday calendar allows managers to see staff availability on key dates. 

Maintaining effective communication with staff regarding rotas is an important follow-up step. This can be made simple through an app or system that serves as one point of truth. Managers can organise shift patterns and staff can volunteer for open opportunities, which ensures demand is always met and everyone is on the same page. 

We appreciate that location will affect holiday planning, as those in tourist locations will be up over the summer, and different stores will trade in different ways. S4labour recommends having tools in place that work around your individual business needs.   

There are tools out there that make it easy for owners to manage holidays, create balanced schedules and check rotas against time and attendance clock-in and out times.” 

The key to cost management: cutting slack for improved service and staff satisfaction 

In the world of hospitality, managing costs effectively is an ongoing challenge. Traditionally, labour ratio has been a key metric for measuring success, but we think a more nuanced approach is needed to ensure both efficiency and quality. At S4labour, we use the metric of ‘slack hours’ to measure the effectiveness of cost management.  

Understanding slack: 

Slack refers to labour hours used on the rota that are above what is needed to deliver the agreed service levels. It’s the extra time that can be utilised for tasks like polishing cutlery and cleaning menus, without putting undue pressure on the staff. Finding the right balance of slack is crucial – aiming for around 25% slack is considered optimal for many businesses, but there are variations depending to scale and style of site. 

The pitfalls of too much slack: 

Overstaffing, with high levels of slack for a prolonged period, is not only a poor use of labour budget, but it also leads to a decline in team energy and concentration levels which ultimately affects service quality. Striking the right balance requires consideration of the specific needs and scale of your business.  

The importance of rightsizing:  

The size of your business plays a role in determining the ideal slack percentage. Larger sites can operate with lower slack percentages (around 15%), as more team members allow for better-designed shift patterns. This nuanced approach ensures that the right amount of slack contributes to a well-functioning operation without compromising on service. 

Adjusting labour costs not only optimises efficiency, but it will also lead to happier staff and improved service quality. By managing slack hours, you create an environment where employees can excel without the stress of excessive workload. 

Finding the right balance between labour costs and service quality is ultimately the key to better cost management. When measured and used effectively, slack becomes a powerful tool for improved service and staff satisfaction. Whether you run one bar, or manage multiple restaurants, success starts with optimising your labour costs.  

Get in touch with S4labour to explore how we can help you to cut the slack and run a more efficient, happier and service-oriented business.  


Hospitality sales see first decline since March

The latest figures for October reveal the industry experienced a 1.4% decrease in sales overall, compared to the same period last year, according to data from S4labour.  

This decline was driven by sites outside of London, with sales dropping by 2.5%, whilst London saw a moderate increase of 3%. October also marks the first time since March that overall sales have been down.  

S4labour’s Chief Growth Officer, Richard Hartley, commented: “As we begin the run up to Christmas, this downward trend is not what we would have hoped for, especially considering last month’s staggering 9.6% growth. Only two out of the ten months so far this year have seen a decline, so we are optimistic that as celebrations begin over November and December, we will start to see some positive figures again.”  

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