Best Restaurant Scheduling App | 6 mins read

The Best Restaurant Scheduling App of 2021

the best restaurant scheduling app of 2021 1620669582 6739
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

2021's Best Restaurant Scheduling App

Restaurant scheduling is a complex job that requires the right tools, expertise, and set of skills. Not only do managers need to cover all shifts, but they must also align the schedule with employee availability. Furthermore, team members need to input time-off requests, swap shifts, and view their schedules in advance to balance work-life obligations.

Business owners have an array of responsibilities alongside employee scheduling that is time-consuming and challenging. A good scheduling tool can provide employees with greater autonomy, save managers time and resources, and streamline cash flow management.

Restaurant scheduling software can help lower labor costs and ensure labor compliance with complex FLSA regulations. Scheduling apps also integrate with POS systems and time tracking solutions to collect valuable sales and labor data and streamline payroll. Managers can use reporting features to drill down into employee data and make better workforce management decisions.

While every small business can benefit from cloud-based scheduling tools, they are particularly useful for the restaurant industry. So, which of the many scheduling apps should restaurant owners use? Read ahead for a compilation of the top restaurant scheduling software in 2021.

1. Best Restaurant Scheduling App ZipSchedules

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With so many complicated tools out there, it's great to see a user-friendly option that provides many unique features. ZipSchedules is employee scheduling software that comes with a free mobile app. ZipSchedules offers a self-implementation system that users can easily set up with little technical knowledge. It has an easy use interface with a clear view of daily schedules, notifications, and updates. Affordable plans are priced on a per-user per month basis.

ZipSchedules allows users to customize templates and generate an employee schedule with a few simple clicks. Managers can easily adjust new schedules with a drag-drop feature to place shifts into employee slots. This saves a lot of time and resources so managers can focus on other tasks.

Managers can optimize team communication, instantly approve/deny time-off requests, and send messages to groups or individuals. This scheduling tool automatically sends new schedules once they are published. Employees will like how easy it is to access schedules and communicate with managers.
ZipSchedules also has a forecasting tool that predicts scheduling needs. This can help save money on labor costs and ensure customers receive the quality of service they deserve.

With ZipSchedules, restaurants will streamline cash flow management and maintain employee engagement. Managers can use the reporting and analytics features to extract real-time insights and make better business decisions.

  • The average weekly labor target percentage across all restaurants in 24.38%
  • The average restaurant posts the following week's schedule 2.4 days in advance
  • The average restaurant employee shift length is 6.4 hours
  • Chefs work the most hours per shift on average, at 7.72 hours. Hosts work the least hours per shift on average, at 5.61 hours.

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

2. Best Restaurant Scheduling App Hubstaff

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This scheduling app optimizes shift planning and attendance reporting. It allows employees to input time-off requests and review schedules from a mobile app. Hubstaff integrates with time tracking and HR software to streamline payroll processes and ensure accurate payments.

Supervisors can monitor employees through their mouse usage and website activity, which isn't applicable for restaurants. However, small businesses that employ remote teams may find this feature useful.

On the downside, Hubstaff does not integrate with POS systems and there are no messaging tools. ZipSchedules provides a messaging system so users can plan projects, discuss schedules, and stay on the same page. This is crucial for restaurant employees who work rotating shifts, swing shifts, night shifts, and fixed schedules.

3. Best Restaurant Scheduling App 7 Shifts

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7 Shifts is a software solution that streamlines staff scheduling, enables quick shift swapping, and optimizes task management. It comes with a free mobile app where users can access the work schedule, input time-off requests, and assess labor costs.

This scheduling software automatically sends schedules to team members through phone or email. It integrates with POS systems and allows users to communicate through a messaging system. It has a reporting feature that enables management to drill down into labor and sales data and make better decisions.

While 7 Shifts is a good option for small businesses, it doesn't have additional features that scheduling solutions like ZipSchedules does. 7 Shifts offers a free version and low-paid plans that aren't as applicable for large restaurants with team members in different locations.

  • Restaurant employees tend to call off on Saturday more than any other day of the week
  • The average tenure of a restaurant employee is 1 month and 26 days
  • A restaurant with 1-15 employees has makes an average of $152.21 in hourly sales
  • The larger the restaurant size, the less of an impact labor costs have. This is because the more employees there are, there are more sales to make up labor costs.

4. Best Restaurant Scheduling App HotSchedules

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This employee scheduling software streamlines onboarding processes, predicts scheduling needs, and forecasts labor costs. It utilizes attendance tracking and factors in labor laws to ensure payroll accuracy.


Users can easily communicate through a mobile app and access work schedules in advance. There are shift reminders, easy shift swapping features, and offers quick access to employee time. HotSchedules provides analysis and reporting features so managers can extract insights that optimize future problem-solving.

Unlike ZipSchedules, HotSchedules does not offer a free mobile app in its package. The interface is not as intuitive for non-technical users and there isn't any pricing information available on the website. ZipSchedules has a comprehensive overview of its pricing plans on the website and provides an easy use interface for all users.

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

5. Best Restaurant Scheduling App Planday

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This employee scheduling app streamlines online scheduling, comes with a mobile app, and factors in employee availability and overtime hours. This is a good option for diners that need to separate scheduling into front house and back house employees.

Managers can easily save and customize schedule templates to optimize future scheduling and save time. There is a communication tool that improves employee management and enables team members to input time requests. There is a punch-in app available to track time and managers can export timesheets to perform payroll. Planday also comes with a 30-day free trial and reporting features.

On the downside, this tracking software does not streamline break management or factor in labor law breaks. ZipSchedules ensures owners will comply with FLSA regulations and manage breaks, which is critical in the restaurant industry.

Key Takeaways of Best Restaurant Scheduling App

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In conclusion, here are the top restaurant scheduling apps that keep track of employee time -

  • ZipSchedules is a restaurant scheduling app that comes with a free mobile app for users. It streamlines scheduling, ensures labor law compliance, and improves cash flow management. It offers several additional features that improve workforce management and maintain employee morale.
  • Hubstaff streamlines employee scheduling, shift planning, and attendance reporting. It also tracks employee time and allows managers to monitor internet usage. On the downside, Hubstaff does not integrate with POS systems and it comes with no communication tools, which is critical in the restaurant industry.
  • 7 Shifts offers a free mobile all, factors in labor laws, and integrates with POS systems. It also offers free reporting. HotSchedules optimizes workforce management, integrates with HR software, and provides reporting features.
  • Planday streamlines online scheduling, provides a free mobile app and allows users to customize templates. It comes with a free trial and reporting features, but does not factor in breaks in accordance with labor laws. ZipSchedules ensures owners maintain compliance with FLSA regulations and offers an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate.

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