If you’re running a restaurant, you know how many things there are to juggle and how difficult it can all be. The pressure is high and margins are thin.
One time-consuming source of frustration can be scheduling. The time it takes to sort out costs money: it’s not only a pain in the neck. It’s important to have a system in place to make scheduling easier for everybody. Here’s some advice for how to make a restaurant work schedule easy, as well as things to keep in mind when you do.
Get the Right Software
There is technology today that has been specifically designed for restaurant scheduling in mind. Choose the right software and scheduling your staff can be simple for both managers and for all employees. For starters, it can reduce the time it takes to make a schedule by as much as 80%. More than just scheduling, all in one centralized place you can have an easy way to communicate with the team, submit leave requests, access sales and labour data, and more.
If you need staff coverage in a pinch, with the press of a button the entire staff can access the schedule and communicate via group chat. It’s incredibly intuitive to use, easy to integrate with commonly used Point of Sales systems, and before long your staff will wonder how they survived without it.
Know Your Staff’s Availability and Preferences in Advance
Make sure your team states upfront when they can and can’t work. You need to ensure not only that the restaurant is properly staffed, but that each member of your team is satisfied with the amount of hours they get — and that their shifts fall on the right days and at the right times.
The timing of the shift will determine how busy the restaurant will be —vary your staff, so they can all have busy hours when tips are higher. Of course staffing also changes depending on if the restaurant is, say, a breakfast diner or more pub-style restaurant.When all your staff has shifts at ideal times for them, they’ll be happier on the job and overall.
Give Employees Time Outside of Work
There’s a difference between general preferences for shifts and one-off requests for time off when something is going on in your employee’s life that requires them to be away for multiple days in a row. The sooner in advance everybody knows about it, the better.
Foster a culture where staff is pro-active in sharing this information. You don’t want a situation where a request can’t be granted because it’s asked for on too short notice. This is exactly the kind of problem scheduling software like 7shifts is designed to solve. Also, giving employees time off they need is a great way to reduce turnover, a recurring problem in the restaurant industry.
It’s important to embed these approaches into your schedule-making routine.Not only will this help set up clear expectations for your employees in how to balance their work time and personal time, it’ll save your restaurant time and money.