scheduling | 5 mins read

What to Look for in a Restaurant Scheduling App

what to look for in a restaurant scheduling app
Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco


Weekly employee scheduling can often take a toll on management. With all the variables in play, sometimes it is challenging to come out mentally unscathed. Thoughtfully planning out employee coverage to avoid overtime, implementing desired days off for employees, while also trying to approve as much PTO days for your team as possible can prove to be quite frustrating.

Fortunately, in these modern times comes modern solutions. With the help from a restaurant scheduling app, you will definitely have more energy and time to perform other tasks. But first, you should familiarize yourself with some basic rules about scheduling so you don't run into any scheduling mishaps. These rules apply to any scheduling method, and can also be applied to the same methods that come from software scheduling

  1. Know the labor laws
  2. Get an accurate headcount
  3. Understand your staff
  4. Make your schedule easily accessible
  5. Always have a backup plan

Picking the best schedule app won't be easy, but we'll try and help by listing the features you should look out for on your quest.

What to Look For

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The idea of a restaurant scheduling app might sound unnecessary to those who believe they have mastered their scheduling processes. However, if you're a manager, then you know any tool that will help you save time in the workplace is a major asset.

A strong scheduling app will automate schedule creation and save time by making sure that your logged time implementing a new schedule is kept at a minimum.

You will also be able to focus on other areas of your restaurant, ultimately increasing profits because your time will be spent elsewhere building the business, including customer service, inventory management, or branding.

  • A scheduling app can also help in these areas
  • Preventing unplanned overtime labor by getting notified when an employee goes into overtime
  • Notifying you when a scheduled shift conflicts with the employee's time-off requests or other shifts
  • Preventing overstaffing or understaffing by giving you a clear outlook of how many people are scheduled
  • Giving employees instant access to the schedule 24/7
  • Allowing you to edit the schedule and automatically notify your staff
  • Automating shift switches through the app
With all of these features and more, scheduling will become a happy task that is easy to complete. But, wait there's more

Here are the other important areas that a restaurant scheduling app can help with.

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

Improve Communication

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Communications can either make or break your team. It's one of the most vital parts of great employee satisfaction and customer experience. But staff members often forget to talk to team members about shift swaps before requesting them from the manager.

That's all in the past. With great scheduling software, you'll have instant communication built specifically for communication with your restaurant's team. This might not seem all that important, but it's amazing what you can accomplish when you separate work and personal chatter.

Reduce Employee Absenteeism

An employee not showing up to work can be catastrophic to your business. It can hurt the customer experience. A single employee can be detrimental to the business because you have one less employee that is available to serve.

Scheduling apps will increase your employees' accountability by making the schedule accessible 24/7. It will also send your employees a notification when you make any changes.

Your employees won't be able to use the I didn't know I was scheduled as an excuse anymore, so absenteeism will be greatly reduced or even fully eliminated.

Forecasting & Labor Cost Control

Not scheduling the right amount of people on a shift can actually be catastrophic; it can bring down the morale of your workers, increase frustration, and possibly even cause employee burnout.

The software should have the ability to predict busy hours based on past sales metrics and transactions. By using this, you'll be able to make much better scheduling decisions and prevent over or under scheduling.

You can even set up a percentage of sales to use as labor costs and use this as a baseline when creating your schedules. Combining this with forecasting features is a great way to create the perfect schedule that will ensure you're never spending more money than you should.

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

Easy Control over Employee Requests

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Not using a system for handling employee requests will only result in a bad mood, wasted time and possibly, bad customer experience.

Some applications come with instant messaging features that enable managers and employees to easily communicate with each other. This allows managers to quickly handle any employee requests that arise and save time by doing so.


Zip Schedules is a restaurant scheduling app that was made with both businesses and employees in mind. By using cloud-based distribution, it makes the schedule readily available for your employees at any moment.

Furthermore, its scheduling capabilities can automate even the most complicated schedules. And with its messaging features, you can notify your staff of any news or alerts you have for them.

Zip Schedules also allows your employees to swap shifts with or without manager approval through the application.

If you're looking for a restaurant scheduling app, make sure it has all the features you need. A great scheduling app should make your life much easier.

Updating your staff on recent news shouldn't be a hard task, and the same goes for handling employee requests.

Your tool should at least allow you to

  • Instantly create schedules
  • Analyze and control labor costs
  • Improve team communication
These are just the basic functions you need to have. A great restaurant scheduling app will have many more.

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