Last Updated On May 21, 2021 / Written By Lauren Christiansen

Why Every Restaurant Needs a Work Schedule Maker

Importance of a Work Schedule Maker

So, what exactly is a work schedule? Work schedules encompass the specific days and times that managers assign a team member to come in. In the restaurant industry, owners need to accommodate employees who work rotation shifts, swing shifts, and more. This requires good organization skills and a set of best practices.

Employees are just like anyone else; they have personal obligations, families, and social lives. They need to know their work schedules in advance so they can plan ahead and be prepared. Employers who want to show respect to team members have a responsibility to share schedules in advance. This will not only improve morale but also ensures that all high-priority shifts are covered. Customers will receive the quality of service they deserve, and all areas of operations will run more smoothly.

Good shift scheduling is also important because it saves time and money. Over-scheduling drives up labor costs and cuts into profits. It also decreases morale because there isn't enough work for employees to do. On the other hand, under-scheduling hurts the quality of customer service and negatively impacts morale. Team members are flustered and will struggle to cover for other employees.

Effective scheduling also ensures legal compliance. With complex FLSA regulations and state labor laws, employers need to be cautious. An automated software solution or Excel schedule template can help mitigate any compliance issues and prevent unnecessary overtime. It will help to prevent litigation, a damaged reputation, and fines.

Finally, good employee scheduling prevents high turnover and absenteeism. It holds employees accountable for their assigned hours and prevents last-minute call-ins. Because everyone knows the schedule in advance, workers have more time to make plans and prepare for their shift. This allows them to come in with a positive attitude, ready to work, and set to meet key goals.

Reasons to Use a Work Schedule Maker

A good employee schedule template streamlines operations in each area of the restaurant. Shift planning not only enables good workforce management but also improves employee morale. When managers factor in employee availability before they fill out a work schedule template, restaurant staff feels respected.

Furthermore, effective staff scheduling demonstrates that the management team is well-organized and efficient. Customers will be more willing to return because they know enough qualified people will be there to serve them. Other reasons to use a work schedule maker include

1. Work Schedule Maker Speeds Up Scheduling Process

Every day is a busy day in the restaurant business. Managers should take advantage of any shortcuts or tools that ease up the workload and save time. With a work schedule maker, supervisors can manage all labor-related data from one place. They can fill open shifts, optimize time tracking, and create customized templates in minutes.

Scheduling software factors in state-related compliance laws and sends alerts if there are any potential violations. Supervisors can manage all shift planning and time attendance processes through their desktop or mobile phone. No more pen, paper, or 2-hour commitment to creating work schedules.

  • Last-minute scheduling
  • Employee confusion over schedule
  • Scheduling an employee for the close shift and open shift back to back
  • Excessive overtime hours
  • Unequal shift distribution
  • Messy shift swapping

2. Work Schedule Maker Keeps Employees Up-To-Date

It's easy for managers to lose handwritten time-off requests or forget details from a meeting about an employee's available work hours. With a schedule template, managers can instantly send out the weekly schedule through a mobile app.

This ensures employees receive their schedules on time, which helps to decrease absenteeism. It provides plenty of time for employees to request schedule changes or swap a shift. An automated online schedule also sends shift reminders, which holds everyone accountable for their assigned work hours.

3. Work Schedule Maker Decreases Errors

An employee schedule template minimizes errors and ensures greater payroll accuracy. The right program enables quick shift swaps, automated time tracking, and the ability to request time off. If a team member does pull a manager aside to discuss the work schedule, the manager can just make a change right there on the mobile app.

There's no need to remember meetings, handwritten notes, or rely on memory to retain information. Fewer inaccuracies also make employees happier because there will be fewer last-minute changes or calls to cover a shift. It also ensures compliance with FLSA regulations and optimizes payroll accuracy, which saves money.

4. Work Schedule Maker Saves Money

Labor costs eat into profits. With the cost of labor at 30% of overall revenue in most restaurants, it's critical to cut money wherever possible. With a schedule maker, managers can track employee time, reduce overtime, eliminate excessive absenteeism, and more. These are all great ways to cut out waste while improving the company culture.

Furthermore, a work schedule template sends instant alerts if there is something out-of-the-ordinary. This optimizes future scheduling choices and provides a way to fix problems before they turn into a bigger concern. Because a scheduling app helps to maintain compliance, owners will also avoid fines and legal fees.

Types of Employee Work Schedule Tools

As a restaurant manager, there are a lot of responsibilities and procedures to follow. Unlike the normal office environment, supervisors and team members don't work the normal 8-5 schedule. One of the hardest requirements for restaurant managers is to optimize scheduling for so many different shift schedules.

Between rotation shifts, swing shifts, fixed schedules, and night shifts, there's a lot of factors to consider. Furthermore, employee availability needs to align with customer demand and business needs. Fortunately, there are many tools to help streamline shift scheduling and enhance team communication. Read ahead for the top options.

1. Pen and Paper for Employee Scheduling

Many restaurants still use traditional methods to create work schedules. Pen and paper may sound simple, but it's much harder than other scheduling methods. It is more prone to human error, is time-consuming, and is ripe for compliance issues.

Managers have to post the weekly schedule on a bulletin board and remind employees to review it. There's no way to ensure team members will see the weekly schedule ahead of time. It's also harder to make last-minute schedule changes and notify team members. Pen and paper increase incidents of absenteeism, which leads to higher turnover and a lower quality of customer service. It also creates a lot more work for the already busy management team.

2. Spreadsheets for Employee Scheduling

A somewhat better scheduling method is a spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel offers a series of schedule templates that are free of charge. Or, managers can just open a new blank spreadsheet to create a very basic, functional work schedule. Rows and columns are the default format. The X-Axis typically represents employees and the Y-Axis represents work days/times.

Unlike with pen and paper, managers won't need to create the columns to designate shifts and days. Still, spreadsheets have some downsides. Managers need to decide whether to print out the schedule, post it, or send it in an email. Last-minute schedule changes require managers to email or print out a brand-new copy. This can cause confusion and potential absenteeism if employees don't hear about or see the new schedule.

3. Cloud-Based Schedule Software for Employee Scheduling

Online calendar software enables quick distribution through the cloud. Similar to Google Docs and Google Sheets, cloud-based schedule software is generated online. The author or manager can permit anyone who needs to read it. Workers can view their schedules at any time through their phones or desktop.

Schedule changes immediately update and save in the Cloud, so there's no need to constantly keep workers up-to-date. As long as managers make sure to tell team members to check the schedule regularly, there shouldn't be a problem. Cloud-based schedule software also allows employees to write notes on the schedule so management can make changes.

While a great option for smaller restaurants, cloud-based schedule software is not good for multiple teams with overlapping shifts. It's easy for notes to become messy and cause managers to miss something.

4. Scheduling App for Employee Scheduling

The most preferable option for many restaurant managers is a schedule app. With drag-drop capabilities and quick customizations, managers can make work schedules in minutes. This is great for restaurants that employ rotation shift workers or swing shift workers. It's much easier to assign duties and schedule multiple people with different shifts.

Unlike spreadsheets, scheduling apps are created just for scheduling purposes. Therefore, the tools within the app enable easy formatting and quick messaging/schedule sharing. Employees can view their schedules through the mobile app, send in time-off requests, or swap shifts with a team member.

Most scheduling apps are intuitive with an easy view, so even the most inexperienced user can navigate them. Scheduling apps also help streamline payroll processing and ensure compliance, which saves time and money.

How to Develop an Employee Work Schedule

Restaurant managers need to count inventory, reorder supplies, optimize cash flow management, and create marketing campaigns. They are also responsible for onboarding, training, and managing the workforce. Furthermore, they need to maintain all areas of the restaurant, help employees with their jobs, and handle customer problems.

Most importantly, restaurant managers need to streamline scheduling processes and ensure all shifts are covered. They have to factor in employee availability and business needs and align them with customer demand. Without some help, it's hard to handle all of these tasks and stay composed. A set of best practices and a few automated tools will help streamline the process. Here are the top tips to create an employee work schedule.

1. Know the Team to Create an Employee Work Schedule

Scheduling is about much more than just covering each shift. It's critical to know team members. This helps assess their weaknesses, strengths, preferences, and availability. Managers can then make sure they schedule the right team members for the right times. Customers will be happier, and employees will show up with a positive attitude.

Managers should create a list that includes the employee's name, relevant skills, expertise, work status, overtime restrictions, preferences, or other notes. This will help managers build their shifts around employees, which is the best possible system to have.

  • Restaurant managers that connect with team members see an increase in productivity of 20-40%
  • 64% of small businesses list internal communications as their most important priority
  • Employees who feel their voices are heard are 2x more likely to produce better work
  • Miscommunication costs a business with 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year

2. Build Shifts Around Employees to Create an Employee Work Schedule

Once managers write their list down, they should build shifts to suit employee personalities, expertise, and preferences. This ensures workers are suited for the shifts they are assigned to. Furthermore, the manager knows that other team members can rely on each other for specific things during a shift. For example, a new hire can rely on a high-performing, experienced team member to demonstrate best practices for serving or bussing tables.

3. Establish Team Communication Method for Employee Work Schedule

There needs to be a system in place to distribute and share the work schedule. Employees also need to know exactly where and when managers will post the schedule. This will decrease incidents of absenteeism and turnover and will also improve morale.

Team communication methods will depend on the scheduling method. With an automated software solution, schedules are instantly posted on a specific day. With pen and paper, managers will post the schedule on the bulletin board or email a copy of it. When employees are informed ahead of time, they have the space to swap shifts, request time off, or ask managers a question.

4. Honor Time Off Requests to Create an Employee Schedule

Employees like it when managers respect their availability and time-off requests. Managers should create a system that gives employees enough time to ask for time-off or swap a shift. Most managers require at least a week's notice to ensure there is enough time to make changes.

Managers should remain somewhat flexible. There are illnesses, deaths in the family, and other circumstances that require last-minute schedule changes. This will improve morale and decrease incidents of absenteeism, which minimizes turnover.

Top Work Schedule Software 2021

So, which work schedule software or schedule maker should a manager use? While there are many options available, not all tools are created equal. The type of work schedule maker a restaurant chooses should depend on business needs, employee requirements, and pricing constraints. Furthermore, some restaurants may require further features that more basic software doesn't provide. Read ahead for some of the top work schedule software for 2021.

1. Work Schedule Software ZipSchedules

ZipSchedules is the top automated scheduling app for restaurants of any size. It streamlines scheduling and helps supervisors track worker time. Users can easily implement the system with the help of a customer support team. ZipSchedules offers a free mobile app that is available on iOS android or the iPhone.

Supervisors can customize schedules with a few clicks and immediately distribute them to employees. ZipSchedules integrates with other software, which helps owners perform labor analysis and decrease costs. It also ensures the restaurant abides with FLSA regulations or state laws.

Managers can analyze all data in one place and employees can view their schedules from any location. Team members can easily request time-off, swap shifts, contact management through a messaging system, and more. Plans are highly affordable and depend on the number of users per month.

  • 30% of business owners invested in software to save time and perform analysis
  • 67% of business owners claim automation would lead to a greater competitive advantage
  • Professionals take an average of 18 minutes to locate a missing document
  • 65% of workers believe that scheduling software and other tools would increase efficiency and productivity

2. Work Schedule Software Connectteam

Connectteam is a work schedule maker that helps to save time and money on schedule creation and distribution. It has an easy use, intuitive interface that less experienced users can navigate. It takes a few minutes to create a brand-new schedule and even less time to tweak an existing one.

Connectteam has drag-drop capabilities, customization tools, and a variety of templates to choose from. Managers can color code shifts and employee names, which makes it easier to read and sort through labor data. Some users complain about the reliability of its GPS coordinates and the fact that employees cannot view other workers' schedules.

3. Work Schedule Software Google Docs

Google Docs is the go-to solution for those who want to operate on the cloud. It's easy for managers to distribute the schedule, create the schedule online, and view it at any time. Employees can receive authorization through a link and there's no need to worry about data getting lost. However, it's hard and time-consuming to format work schedules on Google Docs.

Employees can make changes or write notes in real-time, but it's still the manager's job to make sure the changes work. ZipSchedules automatically factors in employee availability, shift configurations, and compliance to verify that schedule changes are doable.

Key Takeaways of Work Schedule Maker

In conclusion, here is what to know about a work schedule maker -

  • A work schedule maker saves time, ensures compliance, decreases labor costs, and keeps customers happy. It also keeps employees informed, decreases errors, improves employee morale, and helps to lower the turnover rate.
  • Types of employee work schedules include pen and paper, spreadsheets, cloud-based spreadsheet software, and scheduling apps.
  • To create a good work schedule, employers should know their team members, create a list of attributes/expertise, build shifts around best employees, establish a team communication method, and honor employee availability/requests.
  • Top work schedule makers include ZipSchedules, Connectteam, and Google Docs.