Restaurant Schedule Template | 5 mins read

How to Make a Restaurant Schedule Template the Right Way

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

How to Make a Restaurant Schedule Template

Traditional restaurant scheduling is time-consuming and tedious. In the restaurant business, there's little time to review handwritten time-off requests and rework schedules each week. Supervisors need a system that ensures the right team members are on-site at the right times. Employees also want greater autonomy over their work schedule so they can plan ahead and swap shifts, if necessary.

To save time and create the best restaurant schedule, managers can use a template or scheduling software. This will save resources, improve morale, and minimize employee scheduling errors. It will ensure that there is enough staff on hand to provide the best customer service each day. Read ahead to learn how to make the best restaurant schedule template.

Restaurant Schedule - Front House Employees

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First, managers need to schedule the employees who interact with customers, serve food, bus tables, and handle the cash register. All of these individuals are called the front-of-the-house workers, or servers, managers, bartenders, and hostesses.

The required number of restaurant staff per employee shift will depend on the size of a diner and how many customers come in. Except for breakfast-oriented chains such as IHOP, most restaurants are busiest around lunch and dinner.

  • Servers - Full-time servers may work split shifts, separate lunch or dinner shifts, or perhaps on a hybrid system. This is where a team member is on-hand for a double shift a few days a week and then takes a few consecutive days off.
  • Bussers - These individuals clean tables and take dishes into the kitchen. Managers should make sure to schedule them for part-time shifts, as they tend to be college students or teenagers.
  • Bartenders - Most bartenders are scheduled for the night shifts, depending on the type of restaurant. A bar back is typically paired with the bartender, though this may increase labor costs.
  • Hosts - Not every restaurant kitchen requires hostesses, especially if it is a small establishment. Managers may schedule hostesses during the evenings or busy times. Larger establishments will need 1 or 2 hostesses on hand during the lunch and evening shifts.
  • Manager - A restaurant manager is not just in the front house, but many of the responsibilities are in that location. This individual usually works between 10-12 hours a day. Managers need a few consecutive days off every so often to avoid burnout. Depending on the size and scope of the diner, the owner may hire a full-time lunch/dinner manager, two part-time managers, or one full-time manager who is paid a higher salary.

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

Restaurant Schedule Back House Employees

Back house employees include the checks, cooks, dishwashers, and anyone else in the kitchen. A shift schedule template will usually include expediters, who serve as a middleman between the front house and back house teams. A scheduling template will also include line cooks, which are found in smaller restaurants, hotels, and larger establishments. They prepare and plate food, along with the cook.

Back house employees have different scheduling needs than the front house workforce. Here are best practices, broken down by group.

  • Cooks - The more customers there are, the more cooks the manager will need to schedule. There should be a head chef, a sous chef (second in command), a prep cook, and a line cook (grill). A chef's employee shift schedule is grueling. He/she is a full-time employee who works up to 12 hours at a time. The other cooks work an 8-hour shift, and usually work overtime hours.
  • Dishwashers - It's critical to schedule employees who are dishwashers. Without dishwashers, it's hard for anyone else to do their jobs. There should be at least one staff member on hand to wash dishes. During peak hours, there are usually two. These employees are usually part-time workers who may want to train in other areas of the kitchen.

Restaurant Schedule Template Overtime Hours

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In restaurant company news, the FLSA amended an overtime law that will impact restaurant operations. Managers must pay full-time workers at least $684 each week to avoid overtime pay. Overtime is always time and a half of the hourly pay rate.

When managers create schedule templates, they should consider the impact this regulation has on labor costs. It may save money to pay employees $684 than give them full-time status with overtime hours. Of course, restaurant owners should also consider employee morale. Many overworked employees will not be satisfied with a salary that does not cover the bulk of bills in metropolis areas.

  • Employees are not allowed to waive their rights to overtime pay, according to FLSA standards
  • An employer cannot shift hours in one week to another week where he/she did not work 40 hours
  • Overtime is calculated by regular rate of pay, which may be different than hourly pay
  • Holiday pay and sick pay don't count towards overtime

Restaurant Schedule Template Creating a Schedule

Employee work schedules and employee availability are always changing. Managers need to be prepared for last-minute time-off requests, absenteeism, and shift swaps.

To eliminate bottlenecks and streamline scheduling, managers should use an Excel template or a scheduling app. This improves team communication, eliminates paperwork, and informs restaurant staff of their shift schedule. Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, free template downloads online, or scheduling software are all potential options.

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

Key Takeaways of Make a Restaurant Schedule Template the Right Way

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In conclusion, here is how to use schedule templates to create restaurant schedules -

  • Restaurant managers need to optimize scheduling for servers, bussers, bartenders, hosts, and restaurant managers. These are front house employees. Most of these individuals work part-time, though some are on a fixed full-time schedule.
  • Restaurant managers need to use a schedule template to manage restaurant kitchen staff. These individuals are cooks, sous chefs, prep cooks, line cooks, and dishwashers. Most of these individuals work 8-12-hour shifts.
  • New laws require restaurant owners to pay full-time employees 684 to avoid overtime payments. When scheduling, managers must consider FLSA requirements to manage labor costs.
  • Scheduling is a complex job. Managers can streamline the process with Microsoft Excel, free download templates online, or an optimized software solution.

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