workforce-management | 8 mins read

5 Things You Never Knew a Restaurant Scheduling App Could Do

5 things you never knew a restaurant scheduling app could do 1649303835 4511
Natasha Rego

By Natasha Rego

Common Employee Scheduling Problems Restaurants Encounter

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In the culinary world, effective employee scheduling is a must to ensure that your staff isn't overworked and has time to cool their heels. Irregular shifts can affect your restaurant employee's performance, which will in turn impact customer service and cause a drop in revenue. No restaurant owner wants this, do they?

Here's a list of the most common employee scheduling problems faced by restaurants.

1. Overscheduling
It can take a toll on your employees' health. Ideally, there must be a 12-hour gap between shifts.

2. Shift swapping
Even though it can be helpful for you as it eases the stress of scheduling another employee, it can lead to confusion at times if there's no team communication.

3. Illness
There's no way you can foresee this.

4. Lack of organization
Being organized is important to run a successful business. However, it's difficult to stay organized in a fast-paced industry.

5. Vacation or time off requests
Time off is necessary for every employee to maintain work-life balance. But it can make scheduling difficult.

6. Employee turnover
This is the biggest issue in the culinary world as restaurant staff leave for better prospects elsewhere.

7. No call, no show
There are days when an employee doesn't show up for work, nor do they give you a heads-up about staying absent. This can affect your work schedule.

8. Employee shortage and overtime
If you hire fewer employees than what your restaurant needs, it will burden your existing staff, who will have to put in extra hours to cover the workload. This can affect employee morale.

9. Margin Cannibalization
In order to please customers and ensure that customer service isn't affected, owners may over-schedule restaurant staff. However, this may lead to an increase in labor cost, much more than actual sales.

Conventional Employee Scheduling Methods

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Before restaurant scheduling apps, owners used several approaches to scheduling their staff.

1. Pen and paper method
Restaurant owners used tools like pen and paper, notice boards, and whiteboards to chalk out their staff's scheduling time. Some operators still use this employee scheduling method for it's cheap, simple, and easy to use. However, it has its disadvantages-

- Updating information manually can be difficult and time-consuming.
- It can get more complex as the staff strength increases.
- More chances of human error.

2. Spreadsheets
With the dawn of computers, restaurant owners switched from pen and paper method to spreadsheets. With easy to use templates available on Microsoft Office, creating employee schedules is faster. The total working hours of an employee are also calculated automatically. However, there are problems as well that a restaurant owner can face.

- Tracking and managing schedules can be a tedious process as you are juggling more than one spreadsheet.
- Can get difficult to stay organized and up to date if you have more employees.
- Spreadsheet scheduling is also prone to errors as it requires to be constantly updated manually.

3. Social media
Some restaurant owners use social media to schedule work shifts. A private group is created where employees post their preferred shift and availability. While this method is good for employees, it can be difficult for employers.

- Can lead to miscommunication
- Employee Time tracking becomes cumbersome

Conventional employee scheduling methods involve a lot of paperwork, redundant communication, and time-consuming processes. With the added stress of managing multiple employees, companies may now be better off looking to alternative employee scheduling methods.

  • A report by the National Library of Medicine states that before Covid-19, 8 out of 10 people reported work-related stress, while recent reports show as high as 94% of workers experience stress.
  • Occupational stress in the food industry is due to excessive workloads, lack of job control, and variable pay and schedules.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

What is Employee Scheduling Software?

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Managing schedules of your restaurant's staff isn't easy. Ensuring that each time slot has enough employees, while dealing with no-shows and time offs is difficult. An employee scheduling software automates the process of restaurant employee scheduling.

Following a set of predetermined criteria, the software creates a schedule that meets your business needs in seconds.

A good restaurant scheduling app can-
- Monitor leave
- Allow employees to request leave through the software
- Monitor sick leaves
- Prevent scheduling conflicts

5 Benefits of Scheduling Apps

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The right restaurant scheduling app can help-

- automate the scheduling process
- minimize missed shifts
- assist with core HR tasks
- gain insights into business practices and increase profits
- manage employee information

Let's take a closer look at what each of these terms means-

1. Automates scheduling
The entire scheduling process is streamlined, saving time and money. The software can help prevent overtime, track employee availability, and make sure local labor laws are not violated.

2. Decreases missed shifts
Cloud-based software makes sure employees can access their schedules from anywhere, using a smartphone or a tablet. This means that every team member will know when their shift begins.

3. Assists with core HR tasks
Besides building shifts, the software has a time tracking function. Its time clock enables employees to clock in and out of shifts directly. The software also links payroll with the time clock, making it easy for HR staff to disburse salaries accurately.

4. Provides insights into business practices and increases profits
Most systems can track your business data to create reports or allows you to generate your own report.
By leveraging analytics, systems can predict what the demand in the future will be like and build schedules accordingly. So you won't be understaffed when business is booming, nor will you schedule employees when they are not required.

5. Manage employee information and Talent Management
An automated scheduling system can track employee availability, their statuswhether full-time or part-timeand their skill levels. All this can be made available every week. An employee can then be rostered based on their skillset.

What to Look For in a Scheduling App

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Knowing why you need employee scheduling software might assist you in deciding which solution to buy. Some companies offer you a free trial of their software. If not, the following pointers can help narrow down your options-

Access to mobile
This is essential for restaurant employees who do not work at a desk. When a restaurant scheduling app has a mobile feature, it makes it more convenient for employees to view their weekly schedules, and change them on the mobile app itself.

Easy to use
This is an important feature to look for. If the app isn't easy to use, it can waste employees' time, confuse them, or deter them from using it altogether.

Proper communication
Some scheduling apps have their own messaging platform. This can help keep all the restaurant staff on the same page, with each other and with management.

Auto-assign shifts
The app must be able to automate the process of assigning shifts, which is otherwise a tedious task.

Cost-effective
It is necessary to choose software that is pocket-friendly and can add value to your business.

Security
It must be secure enough to protect your employee data.

Reporting
Make sure the software has business intelligence tools powerful enough to provide accurate and insightful reports and forecasts that can improve employee scheduling as your business grows.

Time clock
The software must have a time clock feature that can track time in and out.

  • A study by McKinsey Global Institute states that productivity improves by over 20% when employees feel connected through regular communication with co-workers and management.
  • 62% restaurant employees leave because of lack of communication.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

3 Best Restaurant Scheduling Apps for 2022

Zip Schedules
Zip Schedules provides a self-implemented system that is easy to learn and use, making the creation of work schedules a breeze. Its internal messaging platform makes communication with employees prompt and smooth. With its free mobile app, you and your staff can access schedules from your phones. Customers of this software swear that it lowers labor costs, enhances work culture and improves customer service.

Zip Schedules is available on Hubworks, your one-stop restaurant software shop. In addition to Zip Schedules, Hubworks has other workforce management software like Zip Clock and Zip ShiftBook that meet all the staff needs of a business.

7shifts
7shifts allows shift schedules to be created on the go and changes to be instantly shared with staff for better Restaurant Management. It provides restaurant employees with immediate, real time updates and shift reminders. Its free integrated time clock simplifies payroll, and its group chat feature allows employees to stay connected with each other. The quality of a team's performance can improve considerably with customizable checklists for every shift. In addition, 7shifts' engaging dashboard offers insights on employee engagement, helping identify top performers.

ZoomShift
This employee scheduling software can create and copy work schedules, access work preferences, and boost employee accountability in no time. Using this app, teams can swap shifts on their own. Employees receive notifications about shift start and end times. It provides scheduling templates that give shift managers the freedom to create shifts daily or weekly. Its efficient labor forecasting tool provides real time insights into labor costs, helping a business make more prudent business decisions for the future.

Employee Scheduling FAQs

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Q. Is there a limit to the number of employees or shifts I can schedule with employee scheduling software?
A. Most paid options allow you to schedule as many employees, shifts and time off requests as you like. Some free software limit these numbers.

Q. Can I chalk out my own shift and rotation patterns?
A. Yes, you can easily do that by using user-defined shift tables and rotation tables.

Q. Can I publish schedules on a website?
A. You can export a report and publish your Employee Schedule on the internet.

Q. How much does a scheduling software cost?
A. There are many free software solutions available for Small Businesses. However, if your business is mid-size or large, you may need additional features, for which you will have to opt for a paid plan based on your requirements.
- For employee-based services the cost can range from $1.50 to $4.50 per employee.
- Subscription plans cost around $14 to $199 per site.

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