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5 Secrets that Will Speed Up Your Restaurant Schedule

Putting together a restaurant schedule is like putting together a puzzle. You have to piece together your team’s availability, time off requests, the restaurant’s bottom line, and seasonal business changes. You can’t have too many bodies on the floor and you don’t want to get caught short-staffed either. How can you make scheduling easier? Try out these 5 tips for streamlining schedules.

#1 Communication

Communication between you and your staff will make your life so much easier, and your employees will appreciate it. They need to know when they’re going to work, and you need to know when they’re available. Try facilitating communications with a group chat or a mobile-friendly software app that lets you handle scheduling discussions.

#2 Know Your Busiest Hours

Every good restaurant manager has an idea of when the dining room is busy, but there’s a big difference between predicting that Friday night is going to be busy and knowing exactly when to start cutting shifts.

All-in-one restaurant management software like 7shifts makes it easier to figure out when you need staff on the floor. With easy-to-read Sales Per Labor Hour data tracking your restaurant’s performance, you can make smarter staffing decisions.

Not every day or week is the same. It pays to keep external factors in mind when you’re scheduling and knowing what happens around your restaurant. Are you located near a theatre or large music venue? Find out when popular shows start and let out. The same goes for sports, special events, and busy shopping seasons.

#3 Get Employees Involved

Employees are happier about their schedule when they get some say in designing it. You don’t need to ask them about the details every week – think about the general structure of shifts. For example, does the restaurant really need that 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. shift to cover happy hour on Wednesdays, or can the opener stay late in exchange for an extra day off that week? This is the kind of input that you can only get from your staff, since the answers will be based on their preferences and their availability.

When you get employees more involved in the design of your schedule, you see higher rates of job satisfaction, fewer unscheduled absences, reduced turnover, and even fewer workplace accidents.

#4 Save Time with Employee Scheduling Software

There are a lot of employee scheduling software programs out there, but do they meet your restaurant’s needs and your staff’s? All-in-one scheduling software should be mobile-friendly, improve communication between staff, help you manage leave requests, and reduce the amount of time it takes to create a schedule.

One software option is 7shifts, a mobile-integrated platform that can reduce the time you spend making schedules by 80%. It gives you accurate labor cost forecasts with just a tap of a finger, helps you track hourly information on sales and labor, and simplifies communication between staff and managers. With group chat, direct messages, and group announcements, you can cut down on time spent texting and calling by 70% with 7shifts.

#5 Cut Down on Last Minute Requests

Are you sick of scrambling to accommodate last-minute changes? Implement a system that puts the onus on employees to meet a certain deadline (like the Friday before the week of the schedule) or find a replacement themselves (pending your approval).

Making a restaurant schedule isn’t easy, but you don’t have to make it harder for yourself. Simplify scheduling with the right policies and technology.