Shaun Christie-David from Colombo Social on Turning His Business Digital - Colombo Social

Paper forms, calculators, punch cards – the old ways of hospitality admin are gone for good. In partnership with Deputy, we speak with Shaun Christie-David about how digital tech is improving hospitality admin for both staff and management.

Photography: Katie Ford

Shaun Christie-David’s Colombo Social doesn’t just serve up some of the tastiest Sri Lankan food in the inner west. The Enmore Road restaurant also provides skills training and experience for the asylum seekers and refugees who work there, thanks to collaborations with Settlement Services InternationalAsylum Seeker Centre and SkillMe.

Using his restaurant for such powerful action is force for good, but it’s not without complexities. Along with a hospitality industry facing pandemic-related upheavals, elements like language, literacy and a lack of worker experience can complicate the administrative side of such a business. We asked Christie-David to explain in layman’s terms how it might not be possible without the support of digital technology.

Photography: Katie Ford

Wages and payroll
One significant shift for businesses like Colombo Social has been the interconnectedness of admin programs. For wages in particular, having rostering, award and clock-in information working in tandem with payroll software is a lifesaver. “We integrate with Xero and that integration makes it such a simple process,” says Christie-David. Funnelling complexities like personal leave and penalty rates through these app integrations saves time and ensures everything is accurate.

Onboarding
“A lot of our workforce have never had a job before,” says Christie-David. “[When you’re] onboarding and trying to run through all the steps you need to get into is quite complex.” Onboarding – the initial admin stage of bringing in new staff – is traditionally a process of employees signing paper forms and submitting physical documents. Now, everything is digital. “For employees to be able to do it on their phone, no printer – a lot of our staff don’t have printers. So it’s everything in a way they recognise. The whole onboarding process for us has been streamlined dramatically.”

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This article is from Broadsheet

Published on 17 February 2022, by EVAN JONES
Photography: Katie Ford
Produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Deputy.