Regardless of your staff size, scheduling is still one of the most tedious tasks in a restaurant. Scheduling managers must juggle ever-changing time-off requests and availability on a weekly basis. Even after they’ve established who is available and on what day, they still have to consider employee experience, daily volume, and labor costs when building an efficient schedule.
Let’s say your seasoned front- or back-of-the-house schedule creators account for all these variables; with the restaurant turnover rate at roughly 70 percent, all it takes is one manager or employee to leave to throw a wrench in all that hard work.
That’s why many restaurants are turning to cloud-based restaurant scheduling software with analytics and data storage tools to avoid scheduling mishaps that directly affect customer experience and prime costs.
No more unreliable handwritten charts, spreadsheets, or verbal requests. Comprehensive online scheduling tools store vital information and are automated to adjust to your restaurant’s staffing needs in real time.
“Labor is one of the largest costs on your profit and loss, and inefficient scheduling will affect your bottom line both in day-to-day costs and employee turnover.”
While almost every eatery stands to benefit from restaurant staff scheduling and communication software, it’s important to consider how each option stacks up against your business needs before you fully commit to a new system. Most companies charge a monthly subscription rate that varies based upon capability and staff size. Prices can range anywhere from one dollar to $500 a month.
Maybe you need robust efficiencies that account for labor costs across multiple locations, or maybe you have a smaller staff that needs open shift swapping permissions. Regardless of what your restaurant requires, you can take advantage of restaurant scheduling software that offers a free trial period before you make your final decision.
Features of good restaurant scheduling software
Employee availability database
Alert and discussion feed
Connected iOS and Android apps
24/7 customer support
POS, HR, and labor cost software integration
Labor regulation compliance
Clock-ins and attendance
Communication is key
Issues with shift swaps, availability, and communication often result in understaffed shifts and upset employees. One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based restaurant scheduling tools is employee engagement and team discussions that help avoid miscommunication and optimize your staffing.
Many scheduling tools include newsfeeds and message systems so you can notify your entire staff of important announcements, weather alerts, specials, shift reminders, or menu changes in real time. A sick staff member doesn’t need to dig up their coworkers’ phone numbers to find coverage anymore. With app-based scheduling software, they can quickly filter for all employees in their role and send out a mass request in a few clicks.
Labor, availability, and time off
Contrary to what you might think, a small staff schedule might be more difficult to manage than a larger one. A smaller staff means less flexibility, and more often than not, a struggle to honor requested time off.
Not surprisingly, a larger restaurant staff means managers have a lot more availability and shifts to account for. No matter what the size of your establishment, new restaurant scheduling systems have open API capabilities so your entire staff has access to up-to-date employee availability, time off requests, and experience history.
Employees can use a request calendar to ask for time off and managers can now approve or deny far in advance.
Employees can update availability changes making it much simpler for managers to chart their staffing needs each week.
Some software programs sync with your accounting systems so you can approve or deny shift changes based upon an employee’s hours and avoid unnecessary overtime.
You probably don’t want a new server working your busiest hours. Set restrictions for shift coverage and scheduling based upon individual employee experience level.
Automated scheduling solutions and predictive analytics
Automated scheduling is likely your manager’s favorite feature of new staffing software. The best systems are programmed to incorporate requested time off, availability, and seasonal trends to generate precise schedules on demand. An algorithm understands that your Tuesday lunch shift needs four servers and two line cooks and your Saturday brunch needs seasoned staff.
Predictive scheduling capabilities also include seasonal volume and labor costs compared to restaurant sales so your business is staffed to deliver customer service and support your bottom line.
Happier employees and customers
Predictive scheduling helps you to avoid over or understaffing.
Keeps you compliant with your state’s weekly schedule requirements.
Save time and money
Saves managers time and labor by mapping out schedules.
Rewards Network® does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.