Last Updated On May 05, 2021 / Written By Lauren Christiansen

Your Ultimate Employee Schedule Maker Guide

Importance of an Employee Schedule Maker

Everyone in the restaurant business knows how important employee scheduling is. Without a proper work schedule, it's hard to offer good customer service and complete all required tasks.

To schedule employees, owners need to be organized and use their problem-solving skills. They also must align employee availability with labor laws to maintain high morale and remain compliant. New restaurant owners may be overwhelmed with staff scheduling and not know the best way to do it. So, what exactly is shift scheduling, and how does the scheduling process work?

An employee work schedule encompasses the specific shifts a team member is required to finish projects and input hours at a small business. In the restaurant industry, employees work different types of shifts that depend on the size and scope of business.

Some employees may work night shifts, others work day shifts, and full-time employees may work a fixed schedule. Restaurant owners need to place the correct people at the correct times to streamline operations and ensure everyone has the proper number of hours.

Good work scheduling is important for several reasons. These include -

  • Saves Time - Effective scheduling processes will minimize last-minute changes and logistical problems. This ensures business owners have more time to work on other tasks.
  • Maintain Compliance - Optimizing employee schedules will help restaurant owners maintain compliance with non-exempt and exempt labor-related laws. Team members will receive the proper number of hours per week, as required by regulations.
  • Ensure Consistency - Strategic scheduling ensures owners know exactly who will work each week. With the proper employee schedule template or scheduling software, it's much easier to delegate scheduling to other supervisors.
  • Manage Labor Cost - When managers schedule too many team members at once, it wastes time and resources. At the same time, too few employees on-hand results in poor customer service and a decrease in sales. A good scheduling process minimizes these bottlenecks and improves customer service, which increases sales and adds to the bottom line.
  • Improves Customer Satisfaction - With the proper number of team members for each shift, the quality of customer service will improve. This increases sales and incentivizes patrons to return to the restaurant.

Benefits of an Employee Schedule Maker

A schedule maker allows managers to create customized work schedules for employees. Business owners can choose from different free schedule templates online, or they can invest in employee scheduling software.

With the right employee schedule maker, managers can eliminate a lot of work and make sure to organize the scheduling process. Supervisors can make changes in real-time and quickly share them with employees. Here are some other benefits of a schedule template.

1. Schedule Maker Speeds Up the Scheduling Process

Restaurant owners have a lot of hats to wear. They don't have the time to spend hours on a weekly schedule. With a work schedule maker, supervisors can use a laptop or mobile app to quickly update schedules and send them to employees. All labor-related data is in one place, so there's no need for file cabinets or stacks of paperwork.

Most schedule templates enable supervisors to copy schedules week to week. Managers can also utilize predictive analytics to forecast scheduling needs ahead of time. This gives restaurant owners much more time to focus on more important tasks.

  • 80% of employee timesheets need to be corrected
  • Only 66% of workers who track their time are paid on an hourly basis
  • Time theft costs the U.S. economy $11 billion per year
  • In the restaurant industry, time theft, inventory theft, and cash theft are the biggest types of employee theft

2. Schedule Maker Keeps Employees Informed

Employees like to have autonomy over their schedules. They also like it when managers keep them updated in case there are any last-minute changes. With schedule templates, managers can automatically send out weekly schedules through an app or desktop. Any last-minute updates are immediately sent to individual team members.

Workers can also input time-off requests and receive approvals through a messaging system. This provides team members with everything they need to have a successful work week. It also decreases absenteeism, which will help to save money.

3. Schedule Maker Minimizes Errors

To maintain compliance with FLSA, managers need to reduce the number of scheduling errors. A few simple mistakes can result in lawsuits, audits, and even a ruined reputation. With an easy useshift schedule tool, the entire scheduling process is streamlined. It's easier for team members to submit time-off requests and swap shifts so managers can approve them.

Supervisors will be notified of any potential overtime hours or violations so they can act ahead of time. Employees will be much happier and managers will know there is enough staff on-hand to provide excellent customer service.

4. Schedule Maker Decreases Labor Costs

High labor costs eat into already razor-thin profit margins in the restaurant industry. Too many staff members per shift is a waste of money and resources. With the right scheduling apps, supervisors can track hours and optimize time tracking. They can then see exactly what hours the restaurant pays for.

This will help to streamline cash flow management and minimize any waste, such as excessive overtime hours. Furthermore, an effective work schedule maker alerts a supervisor when team members are frequently absent, which can prevent additional waste.

Types of Employee Schedules

In the restaurant industry, hours of operation and employee availability vary dramatically. Certain employees can only work a specific number of hours, such as teenagers. To maintain compliance and derive the most benefit from an online schedule tool, supervisors should know the different types of employee work schedules. There are numerous types of schedules in the restaurant business; here are some of the more popular ones.

1. Full-Time Work Schedule

A full-time employee work schedule is usually between 35 and 40 hours per week. Most full-time team members work on the same hours or employee shifts each week. Some full-time team members are non-exempt or paid hourly.

Others are paid on a salary, though this is less common in the restaurant industry. The vast majority of full-time positions come with a host of benefits such as vacation time or sick days.

  • Roughly 123.9 million employees work full-time in the United States
  • The share of American workers who belong to unions has fallen by about half
  • About 16 million Americans are self-employed
  • Millenials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force

2. Part-Time Work Schedule

A part-time schedule is any hours less than a typical full-time schedule. The vast majority of restaurant employees work part-time. These schedules give workers the flexibility to pick and choose the days/times they can work.

Supervisors then schedule team members around their availability. Most part-time employees don't earn any benefits and their schedule usually changes each week.

3. Fixed Work Schedule

A fixed work schedule establishes a specific number of days and times that do not fluctuate throughout a team member's employment. A fixed schedule can either be part-time or full-time. Many full-time schedules are fixed, but not always.

For example, most restaurant managers have a full-time schedule but the times/days vary from week to week. A lot of managers subconsciously place employees on a fixed schedule once they know that certain days/times work for them.

4. Rotating Shift Work Schedule

A rotating shift schedule is when employees work a set of day/night shifts that a supervisor establishes. This type of schedule is common in businesses that operate on a 24/7 basis, such as an all-night diner.
For example, a team member may work four shifts at night, have three consecutive days off, and then work four-day shifts.

A rotating shift work schedule is not for everyone. It can wreak havoc on sleep schedules and the immune system, and often interferes with a work-life balance. However, some employees prefer to have a few consecutive days off in a row to spend more time with family.

5. Split Shift Work Schedule

A split shift schedule separates a team member's work time into two separate portions. A worker is on hand for a portion of a shift and then punches out and back in at a later time. Many restaurants use this type of shift schedule.

For example, a server may work from 8 a.m. to 1-00 p.m., clock out for 3 hours, and then come back from 4-00 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Like the rotating shift work schedule, a split shift work schedule can cause burnout and hurt morale. It is best if supervisors have team members take turns to complete a split shift, rather than require the same person to do it over and over.

How to Become an Employee Schedule Maker

Restaurant managers have a lot of responsibilities. Between inventory management, employee scheduling, marketing, and managing the budget, management is tough. Owners need to have patience, be organized, and always put the customer first. They also must be willing to work long and grueling hours with different employees each day.

While it's not possible to eliminate all of a supervisor's workload, there are ways to minimize it. Optimizing employee scheduling will help to save time, money, and resources. Here are some of the best practices to streamline scheduling.

1. Ask for Feedback to Decrease Scheduling Time

To decrease scheduling time, supervisors should ask for regular feedback. Rather than focus solely on the restaurant's needs, employers should also prioritize employee morale. Supervisors can ask employees how they feel about the current schedule and encourage team communication.

Many of their suggestions are useful and will improve future problem-solving. This will save time, resources, and improve employee morale. Workers enjoy feeling respected and appreciated for their input.

  • 43% of highly-engaged employees receive feedback at least once per week
  • Regular performance reviews decrease turnover, improve morale, and increase productivity
  • 69% of employees say they would work harder if their hard work was recognized
  • 92% of employees claim negative feedback, if given properly, is a good motivator to change behavior

2. Identify Scheduling Rules to Improve Scheduling Process

Supervisors should always consider compliance and procedures before they assign team members to open shifts. Certain employees have more leeway than others to work more hours, while younger employees are more constricted.

At the same time, a supervisor must maintain compliance with FLSA and not over-schedule anyone. Management should ensure all procedures are in the employee handbook and make it available to everyone in case there are questions.

3. Define Clear Expectations to Improve Scheduling Process

Employees have personal obligations and days they cannot work. Supervisors should hire individuals who can cover the hours that need to be covered. They should be clear about any scheduling expectations and requirements, as outlined in the handbook.

At the same time, supervisors must note when team members are unavailable and respect their schedules. This will improve morale and decrease the turnover rate, which helps to save money.

Top Restaurant Scheduling Software

Traditional scheduling methods are outdated and difficult to manage. While some small diners may still create a schedule with pen and paper, larger restaurants no longer have that option. Traditional scheduling is prone to human error and increases the likelihood of higher absenteeism.

While scheduling software can be an expensive investment, restaurant managers will save money and time. They will also streamline scheduling processes and give employees more autonomy over their schedules. So, what are the top scheduling software tools available? Read ahead to learn about a few options.

1. Schedule Maker Option - Zip Schedules

ZipSchedules allows managers and employees to communicate through an easy use mobile app. Managers can easily set up schedules with customized templates, and automatically send them to team members each week.

ZipSchedules calculates labor percentage so managers can know exactly what they spend per employee. This helps to lower labor costs and streamline the scheduling process so there is just the right number of staff on hand.

Employees can automatically request time-off through a mobile phone, and managers can approve or deny requests. Any changes or updates are immediately sent to management through a notifications system. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, even for less experienced users. ZipSchedules is a great option for those in the restaurant industry or small businesses with remote teams.

  • Android, iPhone, and web-based
  • Cloud-hosted
  • Good for small, large, or medium businesses
  • Monthly payments and quote-based pricing structure

2. Schedule Maker Option FindMyShift

FindMyShift is an intuitive schedule maker that works with different platforms and mobile devices to track time, send reminders, and manage time-off requests. While it has some features that enable quick employee scheduling, it's not as functional as other platforms such as ZipSchedules.

Users may need to download other applications to meet the requirements of their business. ZipSchedules holds all labor-related data in one location under a clean view.

3. Schedule Maker Option HotSchedules

HotSchedules optimizes employee scheduling and enables team members to verify work schedules. This gives employees more autonomy over their schedule, which improves morale and decreases errors. Team members can switch shifts or input time-off requests from a laptop or mobile device, which is great for remote teams.

While HotSchedules is a good option for small businesses, ZipSchedules has better functionality and offers more features at a low cost.

4. Schedule Maker Option PlanDay

PlanDay is a restaurant scheduling application that is good for managing rotation shift schedules, swing shifts, and other types of work schedules. Users can see an overview of each day, week, and month and calculate labor costs to streamline cash flow management.

Unfortunately, there is no free version available. ZipSchedules provides a free mobile app along with a low-cost option that depends on the number of users.

Key Takeaways of Employee Schedule Maker Guide

In conclusion, here is what to remember about an employee schedule maker guide -

  • A schedule maker saves time, helps to maintain compliance, stay consistent, minimize labor costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Employee scheduling apps streamline scheduling, ensure team members stay up-to-date, minimizes mistakes, and helps to save money on labor costs.
  • Types of employee schedules include full-time schedules, part-time schedules, fixed schedules, rotating shift schedules, and split shift schedules.
  • Top tips to create an employee schedule are to ask for feedback, define scheduling rules, and define clear expectations when hiring. Best scheduling apps include ZipScehdules, HotSchedules, 7Shifts, and PlanDay.