Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Team's Workday

The Challenge

Restaurant managers know that one of the biggest challenges they face on a daily basis is scheduling their staff because there are so many factors to consider. For example

  • The waiters mostly want to work the same shifts from Thursday to Sunday, as these shifts are most rewarding when it comes to tips.
  • As a restaurant manager, you need to make sure that the cooks you have scheduled are experienced enough to work the station you assigned to them, but this also brings up the problem of availability because it will depend on which cooks are available to work that particular shift.
  • Everyone needs vacation time, that makes it really difficult for the managers to schedule vacation time and finding a substitute for the employee who is taking time off.
  • Employees often calling in for sick days, which is a headache for managers, as they have to make last-minute adjustments to get someone to cover the shift for the sick employees.
When creating a daily, weekly, or monthly work schedule template, using a program like an Excel spreadsheet is outdated, and can no longer keep up with the surge in technology. That is why we recommend utilizing a scheduling app, which can make your life and job much easier.

It is a cloud-based app that makes scheduling work easier and your employees will be able to communicate with each other and you in real-time.

Restaurants open up early for business and remain open until late at night. With such long hours, the varying combinations of shifts are endless. As a manager, it is your duty to bring out the best in your team.

With proper scheduling, you will make your employees happier and more productive, which will bring out the best in your team and ultimately increase your business' growth. Let's explore some strategies that will aid in perfecting the art of scheduling.

Honor Time-Off Requests for Employees

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You have to take the responsibility of checking with your staff's availability to save yourself from the last-minute time-off requests.

Meet with your staff bi-weekly, or at most monthly. This allows your team members to submit any time off requests they would like to make or submit updated availability. This ensures that you will have access to their updated scheduling information should any emergency arise. This also allows you to create a monthly work schedule template in advance.

Sick days and emergencies are inevitable. The best thing you can do is prepare for them by getting as many early time-off requests in as soon as possible which will minimize the last-minute requests and you won't get caught off-guard.

Everyone knows that a proactive approach is always better than a reactive approach. You need to make your employees satisfied and content with their work schedule so that there is a proper work-life balance. This will also reduce the turnover rate, which is very high for the restaurant industry.

Experiment with an Out-of-the-Box Approach

If you are getting negative feedback about the schedule and shifts from your employees, it might be time to try an alternative approach.

Try publishing a bi-weekly or monthly work schedule with some open slots, and give your team open access to it. Then, they can fill in the available shifts according to their preferences. It is a great way to empower your employees and build a sense of ownership within them. This can be done by using a printout of a monthly work schedule template or by using a cloud-based scheduling app.

With this approach, you are offering your employees the chance to work according to their comfort and choice, and not so much as an obligation. However, it is pertinent that you let your employees know that you still in full control, and that this method is a courtesy to them.

Keep your employees' work preferences in mind, but you will ultimately approve the schedule by keeping the prosperity and profitability of the business in mind. This all will definitely contribute to an all-inclusive, collaborative and healthy workplace, and your employees will be grateful in the end.

Schedule Ahead for Maintenance and Upkeep

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What many restaurant employees dread the most are the closing shift tasks, like clean-up and prepping for the following day. The best way to tackle this situation and increase the morale of your workforce is by either hiring employees who can only work those later hours or scheduling current staff who have limited availability but still want to work a little here and there.

Scheduling these small tasks will ensure that the restaurant items are kept in order. In addition to that, the part-time employees will be kept in the loop of what's happening in the restaurant so that they can fit in well once they are available for longer or full-time shifts.

If your business is doing well, you can even hire an outside contract whose sole duties will be dedicated to cleaning and maintnenace.

Lead by Example

Be the exemplary leader by encouraging the best employees to lead by example. In every group, there will be some natural-born leaders who are your shining stars. Identify them and mentor them into a leading role, so that they can train new hires or even encourage coworkers to strive for the best.

Make yourself approachable so that your employees can reach you any time with any concerns. Don't dismiss your employees' fears; instead, try to understand them and be empathetic.

Utilize Available Resources

A monthly work schedule template, like that of Excel is now a thing of the past. They are considered extremely outdated for tedious scheduling tasks in this technologically advanced era.

By utilizing a scheduling app to improve your scheduling practices, you will see an improvement in productivity and an increase in business.

With Zip Schedules, you can accomplish everything from this list, plus more. It is a great resource to communicate with your team and inform when a new schedule is uploaded all in real-time.