Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group

Case Study

From flagship hotels to gaming arcades: how Mikhail Group manage their people

Company Name: Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group 

Mikhail Overview

Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group started working with S4labour at the beginning of 2018 to help them best manage their dynamic workforce of over 250 team members, across a variety of different types of venues. From their flagship hotels to gaming arcades, Mikhail Group boasts 14 sites and two head offices. 

Before switching to S4labour, Mikhail were relying on a server-based workforce management system, which was outdated and no longer allowing the business to be its best.  

“We’re a very accounts-led company, so having the numbers and the data there ready to review every single day is key to the ultimate success in the business. The business has been successful over the years, we’ve gone from 1 venue in 2015, to sitting at 14 now.”

Geoff Wareham

Commercial Director , Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group

Time and attendance

Commercial Director at Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group, Geoff Wareham, told S4labour: “It was all very manual. There was no till links. I had to put sales in every day. The clocking in and out was temperamental at best and at worst case scenario you risk of underpaying staff quite significantly or overpaying them because the system wasn’t fit for purpose, it was probably a system that was 20 years old.” 

For such a diverse and growing business, getting actual hours recorded for every employee to ensure they could process accurate payroll. Finding the right tools that would allow them to do this efficiently, and across all of their different venues, was a top priority. Geoff commented: “there was always that risk of staff being underpaid or overpaid. So obviously last year when S4labour launched big TAPS, that was a real key feature.” 

Visibility of labour costs

Mikhail Group also find a huge amount of value in having accessibility and visibility of their labour costs: “we’re a very accounts-led company, so having the numbers and the data there ready to review every single day is key to the ultimate success in the business. The business has been successful over the years, we’ve gone from 1 venue in 2015, to sitting at 14 now”, said Geoff. 

For Mikhail Group, it’s important that at each level, their team have the right tools in place to be their best. General managers can access key financial KPIs, which is essential to making key decisions and plays a part in making the business thrive. 

Speaking of the key role Mikhail’s GMs play in the overall business, Geoff said: “when they’re managing their cost, to be able to just log onto their phone and see: what’s my forecast today? What’s is my wage percentage looking like this week? is massively beneficial.” 

People management

Mikhail Group also use S4labour’s HR tools, which help them to save time and ensure they are GDPR compliant, without any of the stress. As a young company, they didn’t always have systems in place for everything, so contracts were something that used to be a manual process. 

With the help of S4labour, their people management has become even more effective: “the HR solution as an add on was essential. It just gives everything in the same place”, Geoff commented.  

In terms of cost vs benefit, Geoff told S4labour that “the benefits far outweigh the cost.” 

The Chestnut Group

Case Study

How The Chestnut Group streamlined their people management 

Company Name: The Chestnut Group  

Chestnut Overview

Winners of this year’s Pub and Bar Award, Chestnut boast a collection of beautiful East Anglian pubs. Founded by Philip Turner, the 16-strong group are known for their focus on guest experience, delivered by their championed frontline workers.  

People Director, Charley O’Toole, spoke about how the group have streamlined their people management across over 500 team members, from their 15 general managers to Ops managers and sous chefs, to get the best from them.  

“I publish a rota, and everyone gets a notification on their phone. It was so quick and simple to do. In every hospitality business I’ve ever worked in, the team are always keen to receive their rotas as far in advance as possible. It helps people to plan their lives outside of work and they are always really appreciative.” 

Charley O'Toole

People Director , The Chestnut Group

Workforce management

Chestnut have worked with workforce management provider S4labour for around 3 years. With such a complex and growing business, using paper and spreadsheets to manage their shift patterns and pay wasn’t a viable option, and the business also had a focus on streamlining communications and HR onboarding.  

Charley commented: “I publish a rota, and everyone gets a notification on their phone. It was so quick and simple to do. In every hospitality business I’ve ever worked in, the team are always keen to receive their rotas as far in advance as possible. It helps people to plan their lives outside of work and they are always really appreciative.” 

S4labour onboards new employees onto the system and the HR tools allows all important employee information and documentation to be completed accurately and efficiently.  

By systemising deployment and rotas, labour demand and budgets are looked after and sales increase is driven by having the right people at work at the right time, without any of the stress or extra admin. “When you’re looking at your rota model and you’re able to see your flex, it helps you to determine if you have the right level of team required – it makes our lives really simple”, Charley commented.  

Once the rotas are in, they can be viewed via the app. Holiday management is made easy with visibility of accruals, the ability to request time off and holiday pay automatically calculated in the rota. 

Charley added: “anything that makes lives simpler for our teams is a big win for us.” 

Cost versus benefit

Cost versus benefit is high on every operator’s agenda. When it comes to investing in S4labour, Charley said: “Cost of living has risen, the hangover of COVID, Brexit, you name it, everything is much more expensive, so you have to be really mindful about labour costing and I think S4labour is commercial in that respect.” 


One thing really stands out for Chestnut, and that is the customer service they receive with S4labour.  

In terms of first-line support and account management, Charley said “everyone is so incredibly approachable; nothing is beneath anyone. It makes us feel like it’s a partnership, rather than S4labour just being a product that is supplied to us.” 

Oowee Vegan

Case Study

S4labour helps fast-food restaurant Oowee Vegan

Compay Name: Oowee Vegan
Business Type: Multi Site
Date: December 2022

Plant-based Fast Food | Oowee Vegan

Oowee Overview

Oowee has been a customer at S4labour for over a year. Their business is split into two concepts: Oowee Diner and Oowee Vegan, which operate in 8 locations across Brighton, London and Bristol.

They have a strong and successful brand and team, serving vegan and non-vegan fast-food at affordable prices, without compromising on quality.

Watch our case study video at Oowee Vegan, Brighton.

“There’s ongoing support from Veno who is fantastic […] any feedback I’ve had has been listened to.”

Lina Blythe

Operations Director, OOWEE Vegan


One of the most important challenges for operators is creating a strong and well-organised team. Before S4labour, Oowee were relying on excel sheets and a mix of different systems to manage all the different areas of their labour. This made visibility and reporting difficult, as there was no one point of truth to work from. 

Oowee were looking for a system that could bring all of their labour costs, sales data and operational trends together on one screen and improve rota visibility and engagement for their team. 

Solution & Benefits

The solution to their problems arrived in the form of S4labour. After an in-depth system demonstration, S4labour was rolled out into their stores.

The launch of S4labour allowed their Operations Director, Lina Blythe, to get to know the system and how it would work for Oowee. Open communication with the S4labour implementation team allowed us to roll out a bespoke system package that would take care of all of their business’s needs.


Since their decision to make S4labour a part of their business, Oowee have been able to reduce the amount of time spent on labour significantly. Their general managers are able to spend more time training and engaging their employees, which makes everything from a head office perspective, more efficient. 

For their teams, the features for writing the schedules and swapping shifts gave them visibility and flexibility to ensure a good work-life balance exists. 

Onboarding of new employees is now done through the app, where essential details are captured, making the whole process seamless. 

Oowee received ongoing support through monthly, and now bi-monthy, calls with their Account Manager, Veno.

Boardman Community Pubs

Case Study

Boardman Community Pubs

Compay Name: Boardman Community Pubs
Business Type: Mulit Site
Date: Jan 2018

Boardman Community Pubs Overview

Boardman Community Pubs joined S4labour in 2022, with 7 pubs across the UK, 5 being Greene King and 2 being Thwaites. The biggest site is The Peacock, near Chester. The Boardman Community Pubs include:

  • The Bird i’th Hand
  • The Oak Tree
  • The Cock and Bottle
  • The Ship Inn
  • The Derby Arms
  • The Sportsman Arms
  • The Peacock

In the first month alone we saved 27 hours a week.
Peter Boardman

CEO, Boardman Community Pubs


The 7 strong list of pubs knows that poor service impacts sales. Before S4labour, they were using a manual time sheet, which just wasn’t up to scratch when it came to ensuring people were in the right place at the right time. Time sheets do not allow one point of truth for all staff, nor can they accurately record actual time worked. These types of inaccuracies lead to overspending on labour and inefficient deployment strategies, which could impact service.


Solution & Results

Boardman Community Pubs needed to find a labour management tool that could deploy people at the right time and provide clear visibility, so they could have more control over labour costs.

Since turning to S4labour, Boardman Community Pubs haven’t looked back. Their takings have risen because they have properly managed staff, and as a result, customers are receiving first-class service and spending more. 

Super 8

Case Study

Super 8’s Journey with S4labour

Compay Name: Super 8

Restaurateur Ledged, Brian Hannon

Super 8 Overview

London-based group Super 8 consists of three restaurants: Smoking Goat, Kiln and Brat, which have been going from strength to strength since they opened the doors on their first site in 2014. The modern high-end brand has seen its Kiln restaurant win the number one spot at the National Restaurant Awards, as well as its Brat concept being one of the fastest-claiming Michelin Star restaurants.

As a product and people-led business, Super 8 does not compromise when it comes to quality. With great suppliers from Cornwall, as well as farmers, fishermen and produce growers, their menu features quality dishes that make it famous.

“S4labour has played an important role in that in terms of the functional and hygienic management of our teams, and making sure people are in the right place at the right time, get paid at the right time and holidays accrued in the right way.”

“We use S4labour to grow sales”

Brian Hannon

Super 8 Owner


This calibre of food and service can only be maintained by a strong and well-organised team. With 90+ employees across three restaurants, Super 8’s big team needed to be properly managed, ensuring staff were in the right place, at the right time. Using a spreadsheet system simply could not allow the business to run in an efficient and effective manner. 

Super 8 wanted a system that could look after their rota and deployment needs and maintain their high staff retention rate, ensuring that employees’ pay, holiday and contracts were all handled correctly. The ideal solution would allow them to optimise their labour and look after their staff. 

Solution & Results

S4labour was rolled out into all three Super 8 sites to much success. A great deal of work surrounding deployment and labour budgets was taken off the management team, allowing them to focus on creating a great guest experience.


Case Study

Tossed Saved Labour Spend by using S4labour

Compay Name: Tossed
Business Type: Mulit Site
Date: 2018


Tossed Overview

Tossed is a healthy fast-food chain found in central London, with 12 outlets. They serve healthy food freshly made to order including delicious salads, power bowls and rainbow wraps.

“Moving to S4labour was a chance to relaunch better and operate our sites in a more productive, efficient way, we quickly achieved that
Neil Sabba

Managing Director, Tossed

Solution & Benefits

The immediate solution was to find a labour management and payroll software that could provide them with clearer visibility and Tossed opted for S4labour.

Furlough has made payroll complicated for many, but Neil was determined to do the best for his team, something he knew they could rely on S4labour to get right. Like most operators, a large number of the team are on variable hours and migrating to a new system could have made things complicated and cause delays.

However, the migration process into S4labour was seamless and we were able to ensure that their teams who were working and those on Furlough got paid correctly while Tossed were able to make a quick, accurate and uninterrupted CJRS claims.

Another frustration of their previous solution was the lack of a link from their payroll service into their pension provider. Now with S4labour, the link from their payroll to their pension is automated and entirely accurate, saving them a great deal of time and stress every pay period.


Since moving their labour management to S4labour, Tossed have saved time when it comes to payroll and have clear visibility. By more accurately deploying teams at times when they are needed, Tossed have very quickly been able to make huge efficiencies in the labour spend. Neil states that by using S4labour, it has resulted in a significant week labour saving.

Other staff members have commented on the experience of using S4labour: “The training and support we received has been fantastic. We have implemented several systems into the business over our time, but the way S4labour have gone about setting us up for success has been the best I have ever seen.

We had great communication as our system was being built and the team were really diligent in setting S4labour up right for Tossed. Since we have been live with S4labour, the whole team have been expertly trained and are engaged. The support team have been always been quick to respond to any queries“.

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