Which Pay Award Covers My Hospitality Business?

Which Pay Award Covers My Hospitality Business?


From time to time at GSE we are asked to clear up the confusion as to which Pay Award a certain hospitality business should use. It can be a ‘grey’ area and one that if used incorrectly can cause problems down the track and can prove costly.


Pay grades vary for employees within each award and in some cases vary from state to state. If you’re in any doubt we recommend that you contact www.fairworkaustralia.com.au for clarification, however we have outlined our  ‘general rule of thumb’ below:


Within our industry there are three main awards:

  • Restaurant Industry Award
  • Fast Food Industry Award
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award


Restaurant Industry Award:


This award covers businesses where the majority of the food and beverages sold are eaten on the premises and includes the following:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes (where 51% or more of the food and beverages sold are eaten on the premises and/or offers table service)
  • Reception Centres,
  • Night Clubs
  • Roadhouses
  • Catering by a Restaurant business and a Tea Room operated in, or in connection with a Restaurant business * does not include a Restaurant operated in, or in connection with, premises owned or operated by an employer covered by any of the following awards:


For full details please follow the link:  http://awardviewer.fwo.gov.au/award/show/MA000119#P136_9192


Fast Food Industry Award:


This award covers businesses where 51% or more of their income are take away orders.


To qualify for this award your business must adhere to the following:

  • Food and beverages must be consumed away from the point of sale
  • Food and beverages must be packaged in a way that customers can choose to take them somewhere else to consume
  • Food and beverages sold in food courts, shopping centres and retail complexes


For full details please follow the link:  https://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards-and-agreements/awards/award-summary/ma000003-summary


Hospitality Industry (General) Award:


This award covers the larger and more general hospitality sector and includes the following:

  • Hotels
  • Motor inns and Motels
  • Boarding establishments
  • Condominiums or similar
  • Health or Recreational Farms
  • Private Hotels, Guest Houses or Serviced Apartments
  • Caravan Parks
  • Ski Lodges
  • Holiday flats
  • Hostels or any other type of Residential or Tourist Accommodation
  • Wine Bars or Taverns
  • Liquor Booths
  • Caterers
  • Restaurants operating in, or in connection with premises owned or operated by employers otherwise covered by this award
  • Casinos
  • Function areas or convention or similar facilities operating in, or in connection with premises


For full details please follow the link:   http://awardviewer.fwo.gov.au/award/show/MA000009


Check and Refine Your Processes For The New Normal

Check and Refine Your Processes For The New Normal


There is no doubt about it that the covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our day to day lives. Even more changed is the way we conduct business in our cafés, takeaways and restaurants.


As things in Australia seem to be slowly getting back to “normal” I think as business owners it is time to think outside of the square to regenerate sales and processes in our businesses.


There is no better time than now to look at and sharpen your processes and policies and even implement some new systems on “how to” in certain areas that you feel needs the extra attention. This could be as simple as a “tick off and sign” style open and close sheet that staff fill out to ensure all steps are completed during these times or a “step by step guide” on how to use the dishwasher which includes covid-19 sanitizing tips for plates and cutlery and so forth. These sorts of actions ensure the smooth and consistent running of any business.


Now is also a great time to look at the atmosphere and culture your business projects. Do you and your staff have an inviting and welcoming vibe that oozes out and “makes” your customers day? This is a great time to maybe get the gang and do 10 star jumps and maybe a repeat set (trust me it works and is a fun little before open exercise) to really get the blood flowing and motivation bubbling.


Have a look at your business from a customer’s perspective, does it present neat and tidy is it approachable, do you have a good vibe present, if not make changes (change is as good as a holiday) so they say. Music is huge and should be playing from open till close, those with digital radio “SBS Chill” or “Smooth Chill” are great otherwise something alike will change the mood of you and your staff as well as give your customers a connection with your place.


Goal Setting For Café Owners

Goal Setting For Café Owners


Where did January go?


With the first month of 2020 behind us here we are in a brand new month.


What goals have you set for February?


Have you got a plan in place to make sure that your business is growing year on year?


Do you have a plan for your social media, advertising and marketing?


As hard as it can be to break away from the day to day operations, spending some time on setting goals, making a plan and most importantly taking action can make a big difference.


This does not have to be a huge process, you can get this done in an hour, don’t overthink it.


The are a number of things that you can track, have a look at the list here and choose a few that are going to help you to get where you need to.


If you are not currently tracking any of these regularly then give it a go, you will most likely be surprised with the results. The saying that “What get measured gets done” is very true.


If you are worried about accountability and if you feel that you won’t do it without being held accountable then you are not alone! This is perfectly normal and I would bet that there are a lot of others in our Facebook Group that feel the same.


Reach out to the group or your network and find somebody else that you can partner with as an accountability buddy. Set a regular time to catch and check in with each other, most importantly make this non negotiable and don’t let each other down.


Let us know in the comments what you track, how, how often and what you have found good or bad by doing this.

Staff Meetings

Staff Meetings


When was the last time you held a team meeting?


With all the talk of slower trade in the industry due to the current economic downturn it could be a good time to refresh, retrain and remind your staff of their obligations.


Write notes on areas of your business that you know need improving, it could be they aren’t asking upsell questions at the counter or staff are coming in empty handed after serving meals to a table and not clearing tables, anything that you have seen that keeps occurring.


Once you have a few important items to discuss get the team together either before work or on a afternoon when you close early maybe even put on some $5 pizzas, during this meeting you should address any issues going on and indicate the solution moving forward.


Meeting with business owners I see it too often where staff seem to have the upper hand and owners feel they can’t discuss job tasks or pull up their staff if they see them not following company policies and procedures. In most cases the owner is stressed out from bottling up instead of speaking up.


Be clear about your policies and procedures even write them down and have them hanging somewhere.


Because it is hard to get everyone together to discuss important changes or issues that happen everyday I found getting all my staff onto a group chat on messenger was the best way to keep them updated on what’s going on.


When explaining issues be sure to address them in depth don’t assume because you know they should too. If need be write down a step by step scenario or even make a quirky demonstration video.


Finally everyone is replaceable, if you feel like someone is not the right fit or is constantly on your mind due to not complying with your work ethics, get rid of them immediately (these days taking the correct disciplinary steps of course)


Written by Sam Turkan

GSE Business Consultants Brisbane

Are the outgoings that you are paying actually due?

Are the outgoings that you are paying actually due?




Its quite common for outgoings to be charged by landlords in addition to rent, the amount charged varies from lease to lease.


Some landlords will pass on charges like business rates, land tax, strata fees etc and some charge for many more items related to the building in which your business operates.


Many people believe that if outgoings are listed in the lease then they have to be paid but this is not the case. Changes to the Retail Leases Act in July 2017 mean that if outgoings are not listed in the Disclosure Document then the landlord cannot legally charge you for them.



What is a disclosure document?

When you were looking to take over the premises you should have been given a copy of this document (via your solicitor). The disclosure document is basically a summary of the key points of the lease, the document is given to you so that you can be sure that you know what you are signing for.




How Lucas just reduced his annual outgoings by $5,000 per year.


I was recently looking through a lease for a client, Lucas, to help him work out the potential value of his business when I noticed that the level of outgoings seemed quite high.

Lucas was not entirely sure what the outgoings that he paid monthly actually covered so the first thing we did was get the managing agent to send through an itemised invoice for all charges.


Looking through the lease along with the invoice for the outgoings we noticed that although the amounts charged seemed to match what was stated in the lease some of the charges did not appear on the disclosure document.


In addition to this the landlord had also miscalculated the way in which the land tax was being calculated.


I asked Lucas to contact his solicitor to check this and he confirmed what we had found and followed up with the landlord’s agent with the letter below.
Without going into too much detail the outcome resulted in a reduction of just over $5000 per year in outgoings and a rebate of the over payment since the lease was signed, not a bad result!


If you are currently paying your outgoings without being 100% sure what they cover it may well be worth checking.
Here is what you should do:


✅ Ask your agent or landlord for an itemised breakdown of what the outgoings on the rent invoice actually cover.

✅ If you do not have a copy ask the solicitor that acted for you when you signed the lease for a copy of the disclosure document.

✅ Make sure that all of the charges on the invoice are listed on the disclosure document and that the amounts being charged match up (allowing for declared annual increases).

✅If you find any differences then it may well be worth double checking these with your solicitor.


This whole exercise took Lucas only a few hours and resulted in a refund, a reduction of ongoing costs and a more saleable and valuable business. The $5000 saved per year drops straight into the overall profit of the business which ultimately will help to increase the value.


I hope that this inspires you to double check your own outgoings, good luck and let me know if you have any questions about this.


If you would like to have a confidential chat about your business anytime feel free to book in a time that suits you here https://www.gsebusinessconsultants.com.au/apply


You are not alone

You are not alone

Last week I spoke to several café owners about where they are currently at and what they need to do to prepare for their sale.

Three of the people that I spoke with were doing it really tough, working long hours and not seeing much return, they were all pretty close to walking away from the business.

The thing that really bothered me about these conversations was that each of these three people felt like it was just them and they felt alone.

If this is you, if you feel like this then I want you to know that it is not just you, there are probably several hundred people in this group that feel the same.

If you are struggling then reach out to the group for help, this community has some highly experienced operators as well as many industry professionals who will all be willing to offer advice and suggestions about your situation.

This is a hard industry, it always has been and always will be, don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of the many things I love about the hospitality trade it is how it brings people together more than any other industry I know of.

If you are struggling at the moment then here are three things that you should be on top of.

Check your Gross Profit

  • • What is your Food Cost Percentage?
  • • When did you last negotiate process with your suppliers?
  • • Are you tracking wastage and loss?
  • • What is your overall COGS %
  • • When did you last cost out your menu?


Check Your Wages vs Sales

  • • What is your current wage percentage?
  • • What are you labour costs per hour?
  • • What are your sales per hour?
  • • Can you trim your operating hours?



  • • Are you proactively marketing the business?
  • • Are you active on your social media accounts?
  • • Are you training your staff how to sell?
  • • Are you out marketing your competition?


The list above is pretty basic but it’s crucial that you are on top of these numbers, metrics and actions. With margins as tight as they are now even a small rise of COGS and wages can wipe out most of your profit.

Focus on YOUR numbers and don’t worry too much about industry averages or what others are doing, work on improving your results every month, a combination of small improvements can make a big difference.

Good luck and remember to reach out to the group if you need help.

How to Calculate Your Food Cost Percentage

How to Calculate Your Food Cost Percentage





Video Transcript.


Following on from the menu costing spreadsheet that we sent out recently or you may have downloaded with regard to working out what your food cost percentage is, I’ve had a couple of questions from people about asking “how can we work out what our current food cost percentage is based off the P&L?”


So in this quick video I’m going to walk you through a very easy calculation to work out where your current food cost percentage is, and show you how you can then take that and work out what your current cost of goods is as well.


Two fairly important metrics that you should be looking at all the time, although there are quicker ways of doing it than going through the P&L, this is a good way of looking at it.


The thing to bear in mind with this is if there’s cash coming out of the business, you need to have a record of that. You need to know how much has come out in order to add it back into the figures that you’re taking from the P&L to give you a true figure. So if you don’t have a record of that, I suggest you start keeping one or keep track of it so you can really have a clear idea of exactly how the business is doing. Otherwise you’re kind of flying blind.


We do have another spreadsheet that we use for that so if that’s something that’s of interest to you, just post in the comments below and we’ll make sure that we get one of those out to you. And there is a video accompanying that as well, just to walk you through how you can track all of the expenses and all of the income, cash and otherwise, to make sure you know exactly where your cafe’s at at any one time with those key metrics.



So moving on then, looking at the food cost percentage from the P&L perspective. For the purpose of this we’re going to be using this column here, so the actual June 18 column. And down here, what we’re going to do basically is we’re going to go through and from this, to start with, we’re going to be looking at what was the income?


What’s the net income for the business for the period that we’re looking at? So we’re going to take every line here, so the main sales line here. In addition to those you can see on this particular P&L there’s income from Uber and Menulog and so on, so we’re going to include that. We’re going to add all of those up.



Once we’ve done that, we’re going to look at what was the food cost in relation to generating those sales. And you can see there, in the cost of sales column there, we’ve got cost of goods, food combined, and also cost of goods sold. So that doesn’t necessarily need to be on two lines. It’s just the way that these people have decided to run things through for their accounting purposes. But it could all be under one line.



Basically what you’re looking for here is what were the food costs involved in generating the income in the top line. So once you’ve got those numbers, it’s just really a case of taking that number.


How to Calculate Food Cost Percentage


So to work out what the total food costs were and then you’re going to divide that by the net sales, what the total net sales were, and that was from both of those rows previously. That will give you a percentage figure or a figure here of 0.3567. You then multiply that by 100. It’ll give you 35.67. And that will then show you that your food cost is at 36%. So hopefully that makes sense.


Basically you’re making sure you’ve got all of your food costs captured and all of your sales captured.


Once you’ve got those figures, you’re going to divide the food cost by the net sales. And then when you get that figure, just multiply it by 100. That figure then is your food cost percentage. So in this instance for the figures that we just looked at on the previous sheet there, so on the P&L here.


So you can see with the takings there, all I’ve done is take out the interest income of $837 to give us the $701,000 of income. And in the row below you can see I’ve excluded the commission expense for the deliveries, so I’m just looking at the food costs for this purpose. So that’s where those figures have come from. Fairly straightforward calculation.


How to work out food cost percentage


Now, if you want to work out what the cost of goods are, which is obviously a very important metric as well, then in addition to the food costs you need to add things like packaging and Uber, any expenses for delivery partners or anything else. Any other costs associated with providing that product, that food to the end customer.


Calculate your food cost percentage


So at this point you’re not going to include things like wages, labour, rent, anything else like that. It’s purely the cost of the food, any packaging and any delivery costs associated with it. You take the same net sales figure and you do the same calculation, so you’re going to divide that figure by the net sales and that will then give you a cost of goods percentage.


So hopefully that all makes sense. If you do have any questions, feel free just to drop them in the comments below. Always happy to try and help out and make sense of this if I can for you. So feel free to let me know if there’s anything you’re not sure about. Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

How to increase Cafe Profits - Menu Costings

How to increase Cafe Profits – Menu Costings

One of the biggest factors when working out the potential sale price of your café will be the profitability.


Whatever stage you are at whether you are on the market now or just wanting to make plans to sell further down the track then this is a good exercise to go through.


Periodically costing out your individual menu items and dishes puts your mind at rest that each item that you are selling is priced right and making the correct margin.


The process of going through your supplier invoices will also force you to check what you are paying for key ingredients and may help you pick up on price rises that you had not been aware of.


Costing out each item is also a good way to check current portion sizes and make sure that staff are all aware of correct amount of each ingredient that they should be using for each dish.


Being aware of you highest margin lines will also help you when it comes to knowing what you can offer as a promotion or special and which dishes you and your staff should be pushing the hardest.


This video shows how a simple spreadsheet like this can make the process quick and painless, it will also give you a reference to check back against when you make any changes to ingredients, suppliers or prices.


Don’t feel you need to cost out all of your dishes at once, just pace yourself and start with the highest selling lines.


If you have never done this or not done it for some time then I guarantee its going to be an eye opener!


I hope this helps, feel free to comment below or get in touch if you need any help.