Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Schedule Maker in Excel

A Guide to Becoming a Schedule Maker in Excel

Restaurant managers know how complicated it is to create a weekly schedule. With time-off requests, fluctuating employee availability, and new business requirements, scheduling is not for the weak.

Traditional methods of pen, paper, and bulletin boards aren't very reasonable for large restaurant chains with teams in multiple locations. Even small diners need better ways to create the employee schedule, as they have more limited resources. When managers spend too much time on scheduling, it leaves less time for new marketing campaigns, employee training, and more.

So, what is the solution? Many restaurants use Microsoft Excel to create work schedules. Here is a how-to guide on how to use an Excel template.

1. Schedule Maker in Excel Find the Right Template

First, the user should open Microsoft Excel and click on the File tab. Next, he/she should select New and double click on the Schedules button. This is under the Available Templates section of the screen. Managers can pick whichever schedule maker template is best for the restaurant. There are different types available, depending on the industry and scope of the company. Here are the top work shift schedule templates to choose from -

  • Spreadsheet123 - Free and easy use work shift schedule that rivals scheduling apps and software solutions.
  • Business Management Systems - A weekly shift schedule that is less comprehensive than Spreadsheet123, but good for small businesses. It's also easier to use than any other Excel schedule template.
  • Vertex42 - Good for those who enjoy manual processes. Very basic and good for small diners with few employees.

2. Schedule Maker in Excel Enter Names and Dates

The X-axis (across) is where the manager inputs the employee name. The Y-axis (horizontal) is where the manager inputs the employee schedule work days/times. Most users input the date in standard form, such as Month-Day-Shift To create a logical series of dates, users can right-click the corner of a date cell, and drag and hold the cursor over nearby cells. This helps to save time and will ensure greater accuracy.

3. Schedule Maker in Excel Create Work Shifts and Customize

Underneath each day of work, the user should input the employee's role and shift length. This type of shift schedule will be very bare but simple. To make the schedule template easier to read, the user can customize it with bolded important data or edited fill colors and cell sizes.

There is not a right or wrong way to customize a work schedule. Because there are so many ways to tailor schedule templates, users can spend time tweaking them to meet business requirements.

4. Schedule Maker in Excel Track Absences and Preferences

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Scheduling is complicated when time-off requests and availability are separate from the schedule. Luckily, there are several plugins available to help keep all relevant data in one place. Google Calendar, Todoist, WokFlowy, or Wunderlist review are all available options.

These applications will send notifications to authorized users when they need them. Managers can use these plugins to ensure each shift schedule aligns with availability.

5. Schedule Maker in Excel Schedule High-Priority Shifts First

Managers should schedule high-priority shifts before low-priority shifts. A high-priority shift means it is non-negotiable. If an employee must be assigned to a particular daily schedule or shift, the user can input it first in the Excel schedule.

When the essential shifts are complete, it's much simpler to schedule remaining team members. Managers can also identify the team members who tend to swap shifts or have schedule problems. They can create a backup schedule based on these members to avoid last-minute changes.

6. Schedule Maker in Excel Communicate Schedule

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Workers need to see the schedule ahead of time to identify any problem areas and plan their time accordingly. With Excel, managers can upload the schedule directly to Google Drive.

The system will automatically convert the document to a spreadsheet so the user can share it with the team. Google Sheets is a very secure system for restaurants, though larger chains may want more security.

Key Takeaways of Schedule Maker in Excel

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In conclusion, here is what to know about Excel templates -

  • Spreadsheet123, Business Management Systems, and Vertex42 are schedule templates that restaurant managers can choose from.
  • The X-axis represents employee names, and the Y-axis represents Work Days/Shifts. The user can then create and customize the scheduling, depending on business requirements.
  • Managers should use a plugin as a reminder for time-off requests, employee availability, and other relevant information. This will improve accuracy and streamline the scheduling process. It will also save a lot of time.
  • Users should schedule high-priority shifts first to save time and simply the rest of scheduling. They should also create a backup schedule if an employee may not be available. This will prevent last-minute rework. Finally, managers can send out the schedule to employees through Google Drive/Sheets.