Running a restaurant might not be the easiest job in the world, but you can make it easier by creating a monthly schedule template and sticking to it.
But before you spend time making your schedule, there are quite a few factors you should know about. These should all be accounted for when creating an employee schedule.
A monthly schedule template can be used to create a precise shift schedule. If there are no changes or requests from employees, the monthly schedule template can be directly converted into a precise shift schedule without any extra work.
There are several factors to consider before creating your monthly scheudle template.
The first rule of fair and equal work is compensating for tips. Some employees receive tips, while others don’t. It’s also important to keep in mind that some shifts are more fruitful than others.
If you’re from the US, a tipped employee receives most of their wage from tips. Servers and bartenders are the most common professions with tipped wages.
Depending on the state, tipped wages can be calculated differently. In some states, it’s required by law to pay the employee a full wage before tips. In such cases, customers aren’t expected to tip a lot.
Usually, the kitchen employees won’t receive any tips, so make sure they’re fairly and equally paid. Servers and bartenders can get quite a decent wage when you include their tips. You should make sure that all your tipped employees receive approximately equal tips throughout the week.
Here are a few ways to equally distribute tips
1. Fluctuate your employees' shift times
Every business has times of the day where it’s totally empty and when it’s flowing with people. A good way to spread the tips evenly is to fluctuate your employees’ shift time.
By doing this, you’re making sure all employees get a taste of both the slow and busy times of the day.
This will also make sure that both your older and newer employees experience a mix of both slow and busy times. This experience will come in handy if a senior staff member needs to be covered by a newer hire.
2. Schedule the right amount of people
Some times of the day are busier than others, so you need to make sure more are scheduled to work during those busier hours. Similarly, during slower times of the day, you need to schedule a lesser amount of people.
This will make sure the tips are fairly divided, but it will also make sure that you always have enough people to complete the number of tasks that are related to demand.
It’s also a good idea to keep some people on call for when things get crazy. This is not ideal, but it will save you when you need more workers.
Your employees will have different factors and responsibilities in their lives that will affect their availability. Some of them will have a second job, some will want the evening free to see their family, or something else.
The point is to take all that into account when creating your monthly schedule template. It’s also very important to ensure that all your employees have a nice amount of time to rest. Fatigue is the prime factor of stress and an unwillingness to work.
A standard restaurant schedule is made of grids lining the week's daily shifts with various employees and their start and end times. This is a basic example of a schedule that would work in a not-too-demanding environment.
Typically, at least two people are scheduled at the same time for a shift for at least an hour to make sure one person is always available to assists customers, while the other can take care of back-house work, like restocking for example.
Usually, the shifts end at the same time, but on some days some employees need to take on extra work in order to compensate for an employee’s time off or similar. In these cases, it’s generally a good idea to schedule a longer shift on a slower day to reduce the fatigue on the employee.
Here are some things to take in account while creating your monthly schedule template
- Find out if your employees fall under labor regulation restrictions, such as hours assigned to minors
- Determine each person’s days off
- Fluctuate employee shifts
- Figure out the roles that need to be filled throughout the day (ex. when should the cook arrive)
- Assign an appropriate number of people to each shift so there’s enough coverage through the day
- Calculate your FTE (full-time equivalent) for accounting purposes
It is definitely possible to create a schedule manually and without any help, but it might not be the best idea. It could work, but there will come a time when someone makes a mistake and causes a scheduling mess.
Restaurant scheduling software removes human error from the equation to provide a more robust schedule that can be easily changed without any additional hassle.
Restaurant scheduling software is also a major timesaver. There are a lot of applications that will do the job just fine, so you’ll need to look around for apps that best suit your needs.
It’s always a good idea to post your schedule or to send it to your employees. Schedules can sometimes see frequent changes, so the earlier you notify your employees, the better it is for you and the restaurant.
Restaurant scheduling software does this automatically through phone notifications, email or SMS. Using Excel is another popular tool, but the downside with Excel is that you’ll have to send the file to all your employees once any changes are made to it.
Making a monthly schedule template isn’t as hard as it seems. To avoid a scheduling mess it’s best to use software for your shift scheduling to reduce the work you have to do. The best applications will allow employees to release their shift and allow for another staff member to pick it up.