How to Fix the Most Common Employee Scheduling Conflicts


Scheduling conflicts happen regularly within the foodservice industry. If you manage or own a restaurant that doesn't use a time schedule maker, chances are high that you've seen or experienced a scheduling conflict.

Some of these conflicts arise from honest mistakes, but there are a lot of conflicts that are caused by miscommunication or just by managers who have way too much work and get burnt out.

Fixing these mistakes should be your prime concern as a restaurant owner or manager. A constant flow of scheduling conflicts such as these can heavily impact employee performance and even drive them into quitting with the end result negatively affecting your customers due to lack of quality service.


Double scheduling is to unintentionally schedule the same employee twice during the same shift. Most of the time, this issue is caused by a mistake made by a manager when creating the schedule.

How to Improve
Because this issue mainly stems from an oversight that is often brought on by exhaustion and fatigue, the solution is easily fixable. To correct this error, all you need to do is lighten management's workload.

The easiest way to do this is to implement a scheduling system with time schedule maker software. Automated shift scheduling is being implemented in more and more restaurants every day.

With the right software, the manager's job becomes much easier. In addition, the software itself makes it impossible to double schedule employees for shifts by disallowing you to schedule an employee who has already been scheduled for that day.

Scheduling Employees for Less Fitting Roles

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Making sure not to double schedule an employee is important, but it's also very important to make sure you schedule the right employees for the right roles during the right shifts.

You, as the manager, should know your employees' personalities, tendencies, and behaviors at least to a certain extent be somewhat familiar.

You should know how much work an employee can take on and what each member of your team is qualified to do.

For example, scheduling a waiter to work the host/hostess stand would have a tremendous effect on business, because now you're short a server, and the employee you scheduled to work the front is most likely not as familiar with the seating charts and is taking longer to seat customers.

This leaves a bad customer experience and will likely determine customers' future decisions to not bother eating at your restaurant due to the unnecessarily long wait time.

How to Improve
When you're creating your schedule, take into account each employee's qualifications. Scheduling software will assist you in keeping a log of this, by noting each employee's title and skillset under their name.

However, you should always double-check the schedule and make sure the right person fills every role.

Scheduling Employees Outside of Their Availability

Creating a schedule is more than just assigning a body to a specified time slot. You also need to consider your employees' personal lives and if they are available to work during the hours you would like them to work.

For example, you create the upcoming week's schedule, double-check it, and then publish it to your staff. Your employees receive the latest schedule, and you instantly receive two phone calls regarding it.

Tom says that he has family flying into town unexpectedly to visit and that he would like to spend time with his family who he never sees.

Jane explains that her second job has scheduled her on that same day and at the exact same time.

In both scenarios, your employees cannot commit to their assigned shifts. How did you find yourself in this predicament?

You probably never requested your employees submit their working availability times. This means that whenever you schedule, you're risking an employee saying they can't come to work for some reason.

How to Improve
If you've chosen the right time schedule maker, then it should come with features allowing your employees to submit availability electronically, so your system will automatically store this information in the database. In doing so, you know which employees can come to work for a specific shift and you will never schedule unavailable employees again because the system will not allow you to.

Inefficient Shift Swapping

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Shift swapping can become a huge frustration for management and employees. An employee wanting a different shift has to go through a few hoops before being able to appropriately call out of a shift including

  1. Call a co-worker to ask for a shift swap
  2. Call and confirm with management that the shift swap is approved
  3. Call the co-worker back and confirm that management has or has not approved of the shift swap
This process can be repeated quite a few times until a sufficient employee is found for the shift swap. This can cause unnecessary frustration between managers and employees and can make it difficult for employees to even ask for a shift swap.

How to Improve
By using a time schedule maker software, and assuming you've chosen the right software, you'll have the option to allow employees to swap shifts through the application from their mobile phones or computers.

The initial process of finding a replacement can be done without manager approval, and the only time a manager would need to sign off on the swap is when a replacement is found again, something that can be simply completed in the app.

By doing this, you're lightening the workload of management, as well as making the process seamless for the employees resulting in less frustration and higher performance.