Best Practices for Using a Weekly Calendar Template for Restaurants

Ensuring Your Restaurant is Fully Covered

Your restaurant needs to be properly staffed at all times to reach its utmost potential.

This isn't an easy task, and organizing schedules for front-of-house, management and behind the scenes staff can be difficult. You need to ensure you always have the right employees on shift, but not too many so that your staff budget gets out of control.

Using advanced scheduling apps and software can make the process far easier and allows you to easily track your workforce and forecast staffing from week to week.

Don't waste your time creating something from scratch when you can build a weekly calendar template once and utilize it for the month. This can centralize and simplify communication and ensure that you are getting the most out of your team on a weekly basis.

What is a Weekly Calendar Template

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A weekly calendar template is a calendar style app or form, which helps organize employees' shift times, as well as their roles within your restaurant. These schedules can help you determine who to staff and even communicate with employees to let them know when they will be needed. You can ensure that everyone's week is planned out efficiently.

Why Use a Weekly Calendar Template

These templates can help owners of restaurants or shift managers create a smooth-running schedule for their staff. If you start to make a spreadsheet from scratch, you'll quickly see how stressful this can be, and errors aren't always apparent.

Digital templates like Zip Schedules with smart functionality to move shifts around and create a full and detailed shift pattern based on the staff you have available and the needs of your business.

Doing this task digitally can also allow you to share it in multiple ways. You can email it, share via the cloud or keep a physical printed copy within the restaurant. Keeping things simple means employees will always be sure of what is expected from them.

Doing things digitally also makes it easier to make changes. If a conflict or scheduling issue comes up, you can easily swap things around and quickly visualize whether this will work or not.

Notifying Your Employees of the Week's Upcoming Schedule

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You should always give your employees plenty of notice of when their schedules are posted, so that they know what you are expecting of them each week. Staff should be ready to work when you've requested that they come in.

You may also have a legal obligation to provide fair scheduling. This means giving your employees a certain length of notice of which hours they will be required to work. If you don't stick to this, you could be in for complaints from your staff or even a fine.

Regardless, employees will generally appreciate as much notice as possible. They have lives away from their job, and plenty of notice allows them to prioritize their day and responsibilities. Employees who feel underappreciated will also increase their chances of leaving, and you'll have to replace them altogether.

A weekly template doesn't have to vary a huge amount. You should try to keep things as similar each week as possible, while still accounting for unexpected circumstances, like staff members requesting days off.

Being as consistent and giving as much warning as possible to your staff increases the chances that your shifts will be full rather than poor communication leading to people missing their shifts.

Tips for Scheduling Your Employees

Creating the schedule for your restaurant employees isn't always simple. If you're new to the task then it can take a little getting used to. We've put together some top scheduling tips to keep your employees happy and cover all the shifts in your restaurant each week with ease.

Work from a Weekly Framework
You don't have to start from scratch each week. Many employees will have certain shifts they want to work every week, and this consistency will help you. Say someone wants to work every Saturday and this is your peak time, keeping them in the weekly schedule for this time is ideal for you and for them.

Give Time for Time Off Requests
Vacations and request for time off are inevitable and everyone deserves it, but being very clear about how staff need to do this and encouraging your employees to get requests in early can make your life a lot easier.

If you have processes on booking vacation days, and make these very clear among all staff, everyone will know the expectations.

Use Your Data
Data provided by POS or other analysis in your business can show you the hard facts about your scheduling. You may have misconceptions about when you need the most staff to be in when planning out your week. You don't have to rely on your gut feeling, use facts and statistics instead.

Call in Extra Staff if You Can
Many restaurants have a list of casual staff who can be called in when things get busy. If your schedule on Zip Schedules looks particularly busy for one evening, or you have a specific event, make sure you've allotted enough coverage during that shift.

Conversely, you want to avoid over-scheduling, otherwise, your budget is going to quickly deplete. There is a fine line between not having enough of a workforce and having too much.

Be Clear and Have Processes

The best way to ensure everyone is happy during scheduling is to create the schedules early, and with plenty of consideration for your staff. Having software such as Zip Schedules at your disposal makes this far easier.

Employee schedules are absolutely essential. Done right, they can save you money and ensure the smooth running of your restaurant business.