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19 & 20 NOV 2019


S4Labour & Barons Pub Company Case Study

Barons Pub Company is a collection of award-winning country pubs in the south of England. Since 2015 they have been using industry-leading labour management software S4Labour to control costs, drive sales, and ensure quality service. We caught up with Barons MD Clive Price.  

What led you to decide an advanced labour scheduling solution would be of benefit to Barons?

There were numerous factors. We were frustrated with the lack of management control we had over labour costs. The pen and paper approach we were using felt dated and caused issues such as rotas going missing and difficulties accessing historic data. As we opened more pubs, we realised we needed a system that would give us insight into all sites quickly and easily.

What led you to decide that S4Labour was the best option for you?

The system came highly recommended to us by a former colleague, and when it was demonstrated we liked it straight away. It was clear that S4Labour would provide the solution we were seeking at a reasonable price, so we were very happy to proceed with the relationship.

What other tools do you use in your business, and how have these been able to operate alongside S4Labour?

We use Zonal for our EPoS system, and the fact that S4Labour run a seamless integration with Zonal for importing sales figures has always been a real benefit. We run our payroll through a local accountant, who has found S4Labour’s payroll export to be a hassle-free way of ensuring staff are paid correctly and on time.

How have processes changed as a result of using S4Labour?

We don’t see S4Labour as a stick to beat managers with, rather as a tool to help them optimise their rota-writing process. It has more often been used to identify understaffing than overstaffing, which has led to better scheduling, with increased sales and better service as a result. This success has prompted a wider technological push within our business, including the introduction of a new automated table reservation process.

How do you plan to use S4Labour in the future to further improve processes and drive ongoing success?

As our business grows, any system that gives more management control is very welcome. We have recently started using S4Labour’s new HR module, which will give us greater insight into the human side of our business and save our administrative staff a lot of time. We will also continue to use S4Labour to optimise staff deployment to drive profits. We have been able to use the system to identify potential cost savings of £7,000 a week, and that we were underspending on labour at weekends by as much as 8% of sales. Rectifying this has led to happier customers, more profits through fewer missed sales opportunities, and more motivated team members.

What advice would you give to any similar business that was looking to engage S4Labour?

Do it – especially if you are still working with pen and paper or a spreadsheet. There are so many benefits, including greater insight, control of costs, and clarity of communication, especially across multiple sites, that it quickly pays for itself.

This is an abridged version of the full S4Labour and Barons Pub Company case study. The full case study can be read here (link to:

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