Running a restaurant is certainly not a one-man job, as delegating responsibilities to your entire staff can be a challenge, especially in larger establishments. Due to these challenges, most restaurants have converted to automated scheduling processes.
However, even with technology working its magic, there are still many restaurant owners and managers who prefer the pen and paper method to create weekly employee schedules. Another old-school favorite is to use Excel spreadsheets.
Both options will get the job done, but both share the same flaws in that they are susceptible to human error and take up vast amounts of valuable time.
With devoted schedule software at your disposal, you will be able to create a balance between creating, handling, and managing employee schedules - all of which will be handled effortlessly and cut down on labor costs.
Let’s dive in and understand how managing a restaurant becomes, should I dare say “easy” with scheduling software.
A lot goes into preparing a reliable and useful schedule. For starters, you need to be well aware of labor laws, average tips received, weekly hours, over-time, and time-off requests.
If done right, an effective schedule will promote employee and customer satisfaction. Because employees will be satisfied with their hours given, morale and overall attitude will improve internally, resulting in exceptional service.
Here are some critical points to remember
- Ensure that all staff is rotated in turns to work prime hours, like during peak times. This allows everyone an equal opportunity to make more money in tips. For instance, Bars are typically crowded during the evening shift, and likewise, coffee shops tend to have more traffic in the morning.
- Schedule more employees during peak hours, and avoid overscheduling during off-peak times.
- Consider scheduling on-call staff, whose responsibility is to be on call during designated hours in the event that another employee calls out or the restaurant experiences a random surge in traffic.
- Never overwork your employees. This may sound easier said than done, but employees should receive an adequate amount of time off between shifts. At least 12 hours is recommended.
- Take note of everyone’s days off to avoid scheduling or calling him or her in on that particular day.
Let's discuss the benefits you can look forward to by using employee-scheduling software.
Enhances Employee Engagement
An employee who is happy with day-to-day assigned duties and responsibilities will put forth his/her best effort when working, which in turn works out great for the business.
This is because such employees feel that they get fair treatment, and their needs are taken into consideration while making decisions.
With help from the software, management is quickly notified of shift swaps and new day-off requests.
In addition, it only takes a few clicks to reschedule and make revisions to an existing schedule.
Helps Remove Communication Barriers
It has been reported that 50% of employees feel more content and motivated when bosses keep them in the loop, leading to better productivity in the workplace.
That’s why, when looking for potential career opportunities, people rank open communication and transparency across the organization as worthy qualities for an employer.
A considerable amount of people switch jobs because of communication barriers between top management as well as with their co-workers.
However, managers can create a sustainable communication culture with the help of scheduling applications that feature instant messaging, group chats, and push notifications, while also securing all private information, like an employee’s phone number.
These features allow employees to communicate with each other, as well as with their employers. Plus, when a manager wants to spread a message across everyone on the team, they can easily do so, and each registered member will receive a push-notification with the click of a button.
Reduces Labor Turnover
You will be surprised to know that as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official labor turnover rate for restaurants from 2015 - 2017 was 81.9%. Low wages, poor work environment, and lack of communication attribute to this percentage.
These numbers are also a result of dissatisfied employees feeling forced to regularly work undesirable hours and to continuously take on strenuous tasks.
By utilizing scheduling software, you can create an environment that encourages open communication and transparency. Also, a sense of accountability is created, so everyone knows what he or she needs to do and when it needs to complete.
To top it all, with a centralized outlook and options, like accurate sales forecasts, owners and managers only schedule the necessary number of workers needed to work certain shift windows. This means overscheduling and under scheduling will no longer be a concern, saving your business tons in labor costs.
Reduces Labor Costs
When it comes to the restaurant industry, labor costs should take up less than 30% of revenue.
The fact of the matter is that fluctuations in labor costs can make or break a business - making it essential to cut down these variable costs.
Moreover, an increase in labor costs leads to a rise in menu prices, which in turn leads to a reduction in overall revenue.
However, with scheduling software, these concerns can be put to rest, by eliminating chances of overscheduling or under-scheduling.
Plus, your budgetary constraints remain in check because the software provides you with a cost per labor analysis, so the more you schedule, the more you have to pay. With your pre-determined budget as a reference point, you will never lose sight of your labor costs.
Frees Up Valuable Time
As previously mentioned, running a restaurant can be complicated.
Written or Excel schedule creation takes up a lot of time, effort, and energy - all of which can be saved with the right scheduling software.
The amount of time that could be saved on attempting to create a strong employee schedule could otherwise be used on activities that also greatly affect the business, such as providing exceptional service to customers.
Keeps Employees from Wasting Time
Studies have shown that employees while at work waste a significant amount of time. Those numbers are as indicated
- 89% of employees waste some amount of time at work
- 31% of employees waste around half an hour
- 10% waste three or more hours.
The software logs how long an employee was clocked in and can record how long an employee spent on an assigned task. If that amount of time seems unreasonable, management now has a window of opportunity to discuss with that employee where he/she needs to improve.
By removing communication barriers, employees become and remain aware of what is required from them before their shift ends.
Payroll Management Becomes Easier
A good amount of time is put aside for creating and managing payroll, as a matter of fact, 25 percent of small business owners put in 6 hours or more per month for payroll services.
When payroll is strictly completed by hand, restaurants are making their business more susceptible to human-error, and because income is involved, an employee being shorted in compensation can absolutely lead to a lawsuit and fine.
With scheduling software, such shortcomings are no longer a cause for concern, because your operations systems will now be able to run smoothly.
The administrator gets a centralized view of all labor shifts, and the costs incurred per person - which makes it much easier to compile an accurate payroll.
Zip Schedules provides all of the capabilities that are needed for strong schedule creation, allowing you to ensure swift operations with enhanced productivity throughout your workplace. Features include
User-Friendly Interface That Requires Little to No Training
Many scheduling tools and software can be quite tricky to deploy, and you need to check if they are compatible with your current IT infrastructure.
Moreover, they might have many functional capabilities, but understanding how to use them may require extensive training and consultation.
But, unlike other software, Zip Schedules can be quickly installed and adapted without configuration requirements. Plus, it can be used on all devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones - so you and your employees can have the work plan with you at all times.
Seamlessly Create Schedules Within Minutes
The software lets you define and save a set of templates that can be altered if required. For instance, you can have preplanned schedules for different seasons or days.
Pick a template and use it as it is, or make the needed edits, and then publish it. The scheduled employees will be sent a notification on their devices.
Therefore, you no longer need to sacrifice several hours at a stretch to make employee rosters.
Efficiently Handle All Employee Rescheduling Requests
The centralized interface shows • Employees who have swapped shifts
- Newly requested day(s) off
- Unassigned shift slots
- Employees who are available to be assigned shifts and tasks
Avoid Over and Under Scheduling
The scheduling software has a systematic forecasting engine that predicts potential demand based on prior sales.
With this information, you can take accurate scheduling decisions, so there is a high chance you will have the right amount of people at the right time.
Stay Within Budget While Scheduling
Losing sight of your predetermined budget can lower profits, which is why it is essential to know how many employees you can afford to schedule at a particular time.
With Zip Schedules, you will never surpass your budget because you can set it as a benchmark and then begin the planning process.
A Responsive Interface with Remote Accessibility
The best part is that the software runs on the cloud, so Zip Schedules can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, from any device.
Plus, the software is responsive, which ensures that it fits all screen sizes without distorting the display. Moreover, it comes with a free app that can be installed on phones.