Bestway Retail partners with S4labour

Leading rota, people and payroll supplier, S4labour has announced its partnership with Bestway Retail Limited.  

S4labour are now the preferred supplier to Bestway, which is comprised of over 3000 stores across the U.K. Operating under three fascia groups – Costcutter, Best-one and Bargain Booze, all Bestway stores will benefit from the labour and cost management tools, designed to save them time and money.  

Leanne Matthews, Head of Central Operations at Bestway Retail, commented: “Bestway is excited to announce this partnership with S4labour. We are always striving for our retailers and forecourt operators to save more money and grow profits, and S4labour provides the tools needed to do just that.”  

The end-to-end software streamlines all labour-related processes, providing retailers and forecourt operators with the right tools to optimise scheduling, timekeeping, and payroll. 

Garry Craft, Managing Director of Retail at S4labour, commented: “This partnership with Bestway is a great milestone for S4labour. We are really be pleased to be the recommended software for thousands of retailers, helping them to manage all of their labour-related processes in a way that saves them time and helps them to grow sales. We have great momentum in the industry right now, with our Nisa strategic partnership last September, and now this. We are really proud to be working with the best in the industry.”  

S4labour will be at the Bestway Retail Expo on Wednesday 15th May in Coventry. They can be found in the innovation area, ready to meet and discuss any questions regarding their time and money-saving tools.  

James Legget, Operations Manager at Zola Ltd, commented: “The tools S4labour provide have helped us save 15 hours per store, per week in our staffing hours, and allowed us to accurately manage holiday and sick pay. As a result, we have already seen the payback from using the system.”  

“The real advantage of having S4labour is it just takes care of everything – from staff rotas to the payroll systems. The investment into S4labour was well worth it because it saves me a lot of time and makes it all more accurate as well because people can see on a day-to-day basis what hours they’ve worked; what their holiday entitlement is – everyone just knows where they are.”  – Peter Patel, Costcutter Retailer

Gardner garages

Case Study

How Gardner Garages manage labour cost using S4labour

Company Name: Gardner Garages
Business Type: Forecourt and convenience
Date: March 2024

About Gardner Garages

“The Gardner family have been fuelling the Gloucestershire motorist for over 50 years.”

Gardner Garages joined S4labour almost a year ago. The forecourt business own and operate 6 petrol stations (Texaco and BP fuel) and one town centre convenience store, all with Londis and Budgens fascia.

Emma the Managing Director of Gardner Garages Limited has ran the business for over 25 years. Emma oversees the operations of the company, ensuring that the businesses run efficiently and cost effectively while ensuring they get the most sales and profit from their sites as they can.




“We wanted something that made running the business proactive rather than reactive and can address any concerns with labour costs with Managers before they become an issue. Since we have started using S4labour we have far more day-to-day control over labour costs as we can see all seven sites on one dashboard and act accordingly.”

Emma Gardner

Managing Director , Gardner Garages

Escaping Spreadsheet Limitations

One of the major problems managers faced prior to using S4labour was that everything was done manually- rotas were produced on excel worksheets, printed out and displayed on the staff noticeboards. Payroll was manually processed using Sage, and was then imported into excel, which was then emailed across on payroll processing day. This made the process time consuming and often resulted in input errors.

Gardner Garages found communicating shifts confusing as they are subject to change, making it difficult to communicate over texts messages. Doing things manually and on spread sheets made it difficult to get real visibility over how much they were spending on labour. Since using S4labour the business can see fully costed rotas which includes holiday pay, NI etc and the system is the one version of the truth everyone can trust.

Empowering Engagement and Efficiency

With the introduction of S4labour, the team are more engaged with work as they can see their shifts on their phones at any time, there are no grey areas about start and finish times because time & attendance are automated. Employees can manage and requests on their phones when it is convenient, rather than during a shift. This makes tracking their actual hours worked a lot easier.

The holiday requests and management on the App has also been an extremely efficient and useful tool. This feature has helped with scheduling holidays and ensuring that the whole team can see holidays, which has resulted in a smoother operation of the business.

Most importantly this has helped the business avoid unexpected costs and ensures accurate payroll. Before S4labour Gardner Garages had never considered a system for payroll. An in-depth demonstration of the system helped them understand how it can the positive impact the overall working of the business.

Emma also commented “We talked to fellow retailers that had already implemented S4labour and who shared their positive experiences with us. The S4labour team were a great ambassador for the system and were excellent in supporting us in the early implementation stages”.


Since making S4labour a part of their business, Gardner Garages has more time to prioritise customer satisfaction, as they have more time to focus on activities that generate profit rather than doing administrative work. 

Emma further commented on how investing in S4labour has led to increased staff retention: “We have invested in our employees this year with the implementation of S4labour. The system has had a positive impact on our relationship with our employees as it has demonstrated greater engagement and efficiency for us all”.

ACS Survey reports on retailers’ holiday management confidence 

In November last year, the results of the national ACS were announced, revealing that 71.5% of retailers reported that they feel “very confident” when it comes to managing their employees’ holiday.  

The survey, comprised of feedback from over 1100 convenience retailers, found that more than two thirds of respondents ranked their confidence in managing holidays highly. 

Another 17.0% of retailers expressed being “fairly confident”, underscoring a strong overall sense of assurance. 

In contrast, only 4.2% of respondents said they were “not at all confident”, 1.5% said they were “not very confident”, and 5.9% selected “don’t know”.  

Garry Craft, Managing Director of Convenience Stores at S4labour, commented: “These survey results are good, but it’s our goal to make even more retailers feel confident in the accuracy and compliance of their holiday management. We’ve found that a big part of this assurance comes from retailers knowing that the data they are giving to accountants or payroll software is correct to begin with. Some of the challenges that we’ve seen are retailers who are still calculating holiday on historic accrual rules, as well as those who do not have enough data to manage 52-week averages. Some are paying their employees based on expected hours, rather than actual hours worked, and are not working through complexities such as maternity and paternity rules.” 

With wage increases coming into effect from April 1st, now is the time for retailers to get ahead on cost management by using the right tools to scrutinise every aspect of their spending, which includes holiday management.  

S4labour provide rota, people and payroll management tools to convenience and forecourt operators, supporting the likes of Rav Garcha, PriceWatch, Gardner Garages and Midland Motor Fuels. The team will be attending The National Convenience Show from April 29th – May 1st to speak directly to retailers about how they can help them to manage their costs and grow profits.

Importance of navigating cost management in the retail Industry

In April, the NLW (National Living Wage) will increase by 9.8% with an actual increase of around 11.5% to retailer’s annual labour spend when the increases to younger worker’s pay are taken into account. Without effective cost management efforts in place, this increase will have a big impact on retailer’s bottom lines. 

Finding the right tools to save time and money is crucial, and S4labour are here to help. 

Why is investing in cost management tools so important? 

The ACS Local Shop Report for 2023 revealed that only 29% of retailers are investing in technology that can help drive efficiencies and better cost management in their stores. 

These numbers indicate that over 70% of businesses are not saving time and money by optimising their workforce and operational efficiency using tech, despite labour being the second biggest cost.  

With S4labour, businesses can streamline their people management, from H.R., to rota creation and through to payroll, which handles holiday pay and actual hours worked through our time and attendance system.  

Effectively managing costs with the help of technology will not only reduce spending, but it will also allow retailers to focus on growing profits by getting more out of each hour worked. 

Hear from leading independent retailers already using S4labour:  

Rav Garcha, Nisa retailer: “It’s an affordable and efficient technology solution that is driving us further, and it is allowing us to invest in people.” 

Ian Lewis, SPAR retailer: “It really has changed the way we work, and certainly saved on costs.” 

Guy Warner, Upton on Severn, together with Morrisons: “In terms of efficiencies, it has driven costs down managerially. It is helping us manage our labour, control our labour costs and it is taking managerial time out of the process.” 

How will S4labour work for your business?   

S4labour’s tools provide visibility and control of rota cost before the money has been spent. Unexpected costs, such as NI, pension and holiday pay are included in a fully-costed rota, as well as accurate time and attendance, so there are no surprises in payroll.  

Planning and scheduling teams is made simple, with rotas in one place that can be shared with staff on the employee app. There’s no more multiple versions and time-consuming rota-writing processes. Holiday accrual and requests are also managed from this single platform, saving you time on admin and allowing you to focus on activities that drive profitability. 

Ahead of the NLW increase in April, finding ways to better manage and therefore reduce labour-related costs will be a gamechanger. 

For more information, or to talk to one of our experts, please contact us:  

S4labour grows momentum in forecourt and multi-site sector

Following success in the single-site market, S4labour have expanded into multisites and forecourt businesses, picking up Gardner Garages, PriceWatch and Midland Motor Fuels. Businesses can now oversee the performance of multiple sites on one screen and manage rota creation and communication, as well as holiday management and payroll.  

The end-to-end solution is designed to help operators manage rotas, payroll and HR across multiple stores, saving them time and money, as well as ensuring accuracy and compliance. The news comes after the company announced their partnership with Nisa Retail in September this year, which saw them working with multisite retailers, such as Rav Garcha and Siva Thievanayagam.  

Speaking about S4labour, Nisa retailer Siva Thievanayagam, commented: “Our people are now managed in one end-to-end process, making it easier to onboard, keep track of shifts and pay our teams accurately.” 

Garry Craft, Managing Director of Convenience Stores at S4labour, commented: “In the past year, we’ve begun working with single-site stores across the UK, as well as multisites and now, the forecourt industry too. We’ve seen our customers grow in size, and we’re thrilled to be able to support all of their stores. When Zola first started using S4labour, they had 6 stores, and now they are at 10.” 

Emma Gardner commented: “The implementation of S4labour made a big difference to our operational procedures at Gardner Garages. The speed of response and support whenever queries arose was great. Now, we’re not just saving time; we’re maximising efficiency and improving the way we work.” 

David Chapman, Pricewatch Compliance Manager, said of S4labour: “It’s unified all of the stores so we can see what’s going on. S4labour has given us the ability to see rotas and payroll much clearer across multi-sites, and from a compliance point of view, it’s given us consistency and accuracy in the data.” 

Paul Salvidge, Pricewatch, said: “As a petrol forecourt business with multiple sites, investing in S4labour has helped us to better manage our people, from rotas through to compliance and payroll, improving communication and simplifying operations for us.”  

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.” 

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