One of the most complicated tasks in restaurant management is restaurant employee scheduling. There are several dynamic factors that you have to consider to ensure that you’ll create an effective one.
Knowing the demands of a restaurant job, it’s understandable that your staff will have several various demands and preferences when it comes to their working schedule. Aside from that, you also need to determine the needs of your organization before publishing one.
Additionally, you have to factor in the labor costs and legal issues applicable to your location and nature of business. These are just the basic functions that you need to comply with while striving for maximum productivity from your staff.
We have some helpful and practical tips to help you manage your employee schedule better if you are having trouble managing it. Take what seems sensible and implement what seems to work for your business. After all, restaurant management is a complex trial and error process.
One of the main reasons why employees choose to leave a company is because they feel that they’re not being productive despite the long working hours. Another one is that they don’t feel valued and appreciated considering the output that they’re delivering.
Creating a schedule that makes sense for your employee is another way to show them that you care for them. Your employees are a great asset to your business, especially in the foodservice industry.
Additionally, since the industry is experiencing a staffing crisis, you must take every measure available to increase employee retention. Having an efficient employee schedule can help you accomplish this goal.
With these factors in mind, it should trigger you to create a sensible and workable schedule that will benefit not just your restaurant, but your employees as well. After all, it is just as important to take care of them as it is to take care of your business.
AI and automation aren’t going to reduce your need for physical labor, so don’t think that way. The customer service and experience that your employees offer are what make a huge difference between you and the other restaurants.
So, to maximize the potential of every staff you have, giving them ample time for rest is essential. It is also important that you communicate a well-planned and structured schedule to help reduce exposure to routine instability, which often leads to distress at work.
Improving your team’s overall performance and productivity is one of the main goals of employee scheduling. Regardless of the size of your organization, it helps provide stability within the operational procedures of your business.
Here are the most common benefits you can examine once you implement this restaurant administration task on your management team. Understanding these benefits can help you achieve success as a leader in your restaurant.
It allows you to manage issues on attendance efficiently.
If you have published an employee schedule, it’ll be easier for you to monitor the attendance of your staff. Keep in mind that absenteeism and no-show is a huge concern of this industry, and can easily kill the bottom line of any business.
Once you identify the main players for this concern, you can simply talk to them about how you can make things work as a team. Reach out to them and ask them what causes their tardiness, absents, or no-shows. It’ll be quicker for you to provide a solution once you know the cause.
It facilitates effective and seamless operations.
Being aware of what they’re supposed to do, how long they’re supposed to work, and where they should create a harmonious workflow for everyone. It increases not just their effectiveness, but also improves their efficiency on their tasks and duties.
All their tasks and responsibilities are listed down and the time that they’re required to fulfill is also well laid out. Restaurant staff scheduling allows your team to be more effective during their shift because everything’s clear to them.
It promotes fairness among the employees.
Forecasting a standardized employee schedule to your entire team establishes their trust with your management and its policies. It ensures that they will be treated fairly concerning their leaves.
Leave allocation should be done properly and fairly to protect employees’ rights. It’s just a matter of how you’ll let them apply it, either by seniority or first-come basis. Make sure to talk to your staff first before you decide on it.
It improves employee loyalty and satisfaction.
Having a system that looks after their needs and provides them a bit of freedom to lead a healthier lifestyle is what makes the employees stay. If your restaurant work system gives them that, then it will be simpler for your employees to love your business.
It provides streamlined shift management.
Restaurants are not new with shifting policies. And although some of the areas are yet to allow restaurants or food establishments to operate 24/7, schedules help reduce internal conflict when it comes to shifting.
For restaurants, customer’s consuming behavior leads to patterns that allow you to identify which part of the day is the busiest. A schedule will help your staff know which shift needs their presence.
By doing this, you will demonstrate to your team and management that they were provided with the schedule not only regarding their preferences. But also regarding the demands of your restaurant business.
It enhances customer service quality.
A well-rested staff performs better and can stay on top of every customer’s needs. If you provide your staff a balanced employee schedule, the chances of them being overworked will be greatly reduced.
This allows them to provide better customer service to your guests. A clear mind allows them to function better in a benefit not just of your guests, but of your entire team as well.
It makes it possible for you to systematically manage your labor costs.
Since you now have a better idea of how many staff are needed in a particular shift, you can now schedule them effectively. This allows you to allocate just the right number of staff for every shift, leading you to manage your labor costs more efficiently.
For instance, in a shift that’s not particularly busy, you only require a total of six staff. One manager, one cashier, two kitchen staff, and two from the FOH team. If you’re not aware of this, you’ll blindly deploy a staff of the same number of your busier shift.
As a consequence, your excess staff will either not perform well, or your employees will fight over tasks since the supply is greater than the demand. Furthermore, deployed employees must be paid for their work despite doing little on their shift. This is how an effective restaurant staff schedule impacts labor costs.
For a start, consider the points listed below. Now, we want you to remember that what’s listed below may or may not work for your system. Take a good look first at your management, and put what you can into practice.
Each member of your team has their weaknesses and strengths. Identify those first and strategically put together a team or a shift that will work well with each other’s skills. You must know how to balance them well to create a strong and competent team in every shift.
Start by establishing a clear definition of their roles and job specifications. If you place three skilled line cooks on a single shift, other shifts may suffer due to the lack of support coming from the kitchen team.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s a must that there’s a clear division of duties among your staff. It allows them to stay focused on their tasks and this promotes a sense of responsibility because they will quickly be accounted for should they fail to fulfill their duties.
Consider using your historical data to make it easier for your end. Look for the shift patterns and identify which skills you need most on a particular shift. Use the information you will find then apply it to your next schedule.
And if there are new hires that need more exposure lack the experience yet, you may want to pair them with your tenured staff who can train them while they are working. It’s a useful experience for them as they’re learning while they’re being useful.
Imagine the horror if you need to create a schedule every day, regularly? That’s an unproductive way of managing your employees. It’s not helpful for both your management and your team.
The implementation of unpredictable employee schedules causes further uncertainty, which also adversely affects staff management. Additionally, it will impact your employees’ lifestyles as they won’t be able to plan since they won’t know if they need to show up for work or not.
Additionally, most likely, you have an idea regarding your staffing requirements, unless you’re a start-up business. This understanding helps you to create plans ahead of time to foster stability within your business.
Take into account the standard notice period of seven days first. Working in a restaurant, it’s understandable that there are last-minute shift changes. Customers’ eating habits can change suddenly, causing erratic shift shifts.
Lastly, this type of system provides your employees more control of their schedule. Just like your customers, the more in control they feel, the more satisfied they will be with your management. And contented employees are productive and efficient.
Different labor and employment laws protect the rights of your employees. Depending on your national and local authority, you have to incorporate these laws into your schedule to avoid legal employment conflicts and concerns.
Working hours also vary depending on the type of employment that you offer to your staff. Seasonal and part-time workers have a different arrangements compared to full-time employees. You also have to consider the night working hours and permitted overtime.
In the UK, the maximum weekly working hours is forty-eight hours a week. While there are exceptions to this rule, as an employer, you’re asked to enforce and stick to this rule as much as possible.
Learn what are the regulations that you need to implement with your employment schedule. This will also show your employees that you’re creating a fair and clean working environment for them.
The presence of technology continues to ease us of the complexities of daily and repetitive tasks in our businesses. For restaurants, you don’t have the luxury of time to constantly monitor every shift and employee. Thus the use of a tool that will help you with this task.
A restaurant staff scheduling software allows you to systematically create an effective and more accurate schedule for your employees. It gives you data that will help you to see the appropriate numbers of staff to deploy, and on what shift they are needed.
It can also assist you to address the tardiness and absenteeism of your team. Its clock-in feature enables you to see their attendance in real-time. You’ll be able to act right away should it reach a concerning level.
It’s always best to know what’s going on in the mind of your team. It allows you to understand them more, and you’ll be able to create a schedule with their best interests in mind.
Involving your staff in this process enhances the quality of your relationship with each other. It boosts their morale leading them to be more effective with their job and creating a better working culture and environment for all.
Before you create a schedule, ask them about their availability and their preferred shift. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re required to comply with it fully, but you may be able to do a bit of compromise and balance with others.
This leaves an impression that you see your team not just as a business tool, but a valuable part of your business. You may start by giving them an employee handbook to guide them with their duties and responsibilities.
If you’re a start-up restaurant with fewer members of staff, a whiteboard where you can leave notes should be enough. A group chat or text may also do the trick. But if you have a bigger team, or have more shifts, it’s ideal to use a communication work channel for announcements and other concerns.
Communicating to your staff is different in engaging them in the process. Make sure that they can provide inputs and suggestions with their schedule. When you’ve collected every suggestion, apply some adjustments to make sure you’re putting together a strong team for the shift.
One of the most effective restaurant management tips and tricks is that you allow your employees to request changes or modifications to their schedules. Now, this is something that’s easily abused so make sure you’ll set clear rules for this.
Being open to your staff cultivates confidence towards you and your management. It enables them to be more open with you, allowing you to know them more, their skills, and availability which are the main elements you need to build an employee schedule.
Almost 85 percent of employees claim that having a bit of wiggle room to their schedule is one of the main reasons that keep them interested in their job. If you provide your employee a bit of flexibility with their schedule, they’ll highly appreciate this gesture.
Also, it’s a must that your schedule is updated to avoid conflicts and confusion with your team. It also gives them a bit of time to notify you should they need to change or schedule leave for that week. Allowing you to create a secondary schedule to sustain that shift.
Lastly, providing your team access to their schedule keeps them updated with it. If you want to enforce automation within your operations, a scheduling app should be helpful. The schedule will be posted in advance so your employee will be informed if there are any changes on the schedule.
Here are some of the most common and effective types of employee schedules you can use for your restaurant.
Standard working schedule
Often referred to as the 9-to-5 schedule, this is the most common type where an employee is expected to render a service of eight hours. This schedule is considered the easiest way to fit a 24-hour schedule per day.
Fixed working schedule
Shares almost the same features as standard, but can be applied to a different working time including weekends. As long as it completes the eight to nine-hour rule, then it’s good to be published. For example, Thursdays to Mondays 11 am to 7 pm.
Full-time working schedule
This is the type of schedule that the days worked doesn’t matter much, instead, it focuses on the total amount of hours rendered. As long as it completes the required working hours, basic is forty to forty-eight hours a week, it’s considered effective.
Part-time working schedule
In this arrangement, workers are expected to work fewer hours compared to full-time employees. Under this contract, your employees are not required to work the full eight hours for their shift. This is a great schedule to deploy during peak seasons.
For most of the restaurants, since it is expected to operate more than ten hours a day, this type of schedule seems to be the most workable. In this setup, the whole operating hours are divided into shifts to avoid burnout and overworked employees.
Seasonal working schedule
This type of schedule is only in effect during a specific period. For instance, the holiday season (October to December) is considered one of the busiest seasons for a restaurant. This is where they need an extra pair of hands to meet the demands of customers.
As you go through the list, you become more aware of the different ways you can take care of your team members. You’ve understood that it’s better to be proactive than to be reactive with this process.
In this industry where efficiency and productivity are highly valued, fairness and balance are also important factors. In a world that is full of uncertainty, having a sense of certainty will make your team more effective and loyal.