scheduling | 6 mins read

Free Tools Restauranteurs Can Use for Employee Scheduling

Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco


There may be nothing as exciting for a business that has automated tasks as part of its day-to-day operations.

As a business owner or manager, you have barely twelve (12) hours to work through the day, and you need to make the most out of that for your business.

Sadly, the numbers of work hours in a day are not enough, and many business owners find it challenging to work within the given timeframe. Therefore, making use of an employee schedule planner could turn out to be the key solution you've been looking for.

As a business owner, you can't afford to stick to the outdated processes of manually organizing the flow of your business. It is time to upgrade your practices.

What is a Schedule Planner?

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So, what is a schedule planner, and how does it factor into the day-to-day operations of a business?

The scheduling tool is software that works as a planning aide that empowers managers to organize their daily tasks, as well as assign employees specific shift windows and roles.

The planner also makes it easier to organize jobs and tasks according to importance and categories.

There are a number of products on the market that offer a free schedule planner, which supposedly offers all of the features previously stated, but some tend to steer clear of such products. This is because there is a perception that such free products actually under deliver when it comes to usable scheduling applications.

This could be true for some companies, as they may be lacking when compared to their paid premium scheduling software counterparts.

With that being said, let's explore these available free options and determine if they're actually worth the time.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Google Calendar

Alphabet, the parent company of one of the world's largest search engine, Google, has been in the spotlight for the varieties of products it has been releasing. Aside from the search engine, the company has also launched many other products, such as the Google Calendar, which has consistently grown to become one of the widely used free schedule planners.

Google Calendar, just like many other Google products, is offered to consumers for free.

All you need is to have a Google Mail (Gmail) account, then you're good to go.

Next, sign in to the Google Calendar with your Google account. Now you can create your employees' schedules according to various time durations, like days, weeks or even months.

Afterward, you would distribute the links of the newly created schedule to your employees via email.


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There's no denying that email service providers have not outlived their purposes. The likes of Google Mail (Gmail) and Yahoo Mail (YMail) are some of the best email services you can use.

Worthy of note is that the creation of the schedule can be done as a message inside the content folder of the respective mail platforms. After that, you would enter the mail addresses of the recipients to send the schedule.

The primary downside to the use of email services to create and send schedules is because of the hectic processes involved.

For instance, you would manually create the schedule, which is not a hard task anyway. The major challenge is in the distribution and effecting of changes, if need be.

In the latter instance, you would have to enter the individual email addresses of the recipients. If the recipients (who are also your employees) have concerns about the schedules and vying for a revision, they would also have to use the manual delivery to make this know.

In other words, employees would have to create a separate email then send it back to management, hoping that they approve the changes. If those changes are applied, then management would have to revise, then resend the schedule to all of the team again.

Therefore, business owners should gear up for the hassles that come with sending, editing, and resending schedules, when they are using email mail services for schedule creation.

The Cloud

The cloud service option has been the favorite of business owners and managers that are looking for a legitimate free schedule planner.

The beauty of the model is that you get to enjoy unlimited delivery of the schedules, just as you can make changes simply and on the spot. Cloud services can also double as storage platforms where you can store previous schedules, should you need to reference them.

The choice of a cloud service for this purpose should be dictated by the needs of the business owners. Factors like the numbers of recipients, bandwidth, or storage capacity available for the cloud account, and any additional costs should be spelled out and decided on before using it.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Microsoft Programs

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The use of Microsoft products, like Word or Excel more prominently is another widely popular option.

This approach entails creating the schedules using Microsoft products that offer templates of tables and charts, paired with customizable features like color coordination to differentiate available roles in the restaurant, along with each of your employees who can fill those roles.

The creation portion is adequate, however, the distribution process is where Microsoft shows its fault in scheduling. In order to provide every employee with the schedule, management has to print multiple copies (which can add up in supply costs of ink and paper alone) and physically hand the schedule out.

Another form of distribution is to upload the schedules into an email and email your staff roster. This corrects the problem of waste, but it does not ensure that every employee has seen the most recent schedule, leaving room for missed shifts from employees, followed by excuses that they never received the schedule.

Scheduling Software

Your business deserves all the attention it can get. Your employees also need to be dutiful and resourceful. So, creating a schedule helps them to understand their roles at different times and to carry them out when due.

Interestingly, Zip Schedules can handle all your business' schedules with the push of a button.

The software offers the flexibility and varieties of scheduling tools to help your business make the most out of the employees' activities. These features include but are not limited to easy user interface, customizable features, simple integration, affordability, and thoughtful customer support, just to name a few key points.

In addition, Zip Schedules offers free applications that include internal communications between management and employees, should any changes need to be made to the schedule, along with push notifications regarding any relevant information to the schedule.

Why settle for a second-rate alternative when you can utilize a full-service option? Give the Zip Schedules free trial a try today.

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