Scheduling Software | 9 mins read

Why Your Restaurant Needs Scheduling Software

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Scheduling Software

Restaurateurs have a lot on their plate, from overseeing employees and organizing payroll to managing inventory and finances. New tech tools have been created to help business owners streamline and simplify their workload. This is why 80% of restaurants are utilizing technology, according to industry statistics. One such popular solution that more and more restaurants are turning to is employee scheduling software. Scheduling software systems are the latest gadgets to help businesses optimize and modernize the staffing process.

What is Scheduling Software?

Restaurant scheduling software is a system that makes creating a workforce schedule more efficient and simple. These tools are usually intuitive and have an easy-to-use interface. This enables managers to generate employee schedules and send them to staff members quickly. The software is cloud-based, meaning users can access schedules via a desktop, mobile app, or smartphone.

According to statistics, 51% of restaurant operators state that staffing is a top challenge. But scheduling solutions help alleviate this. Additionally, many software tools have functions for time tracking, clock in and out, and text alerts. Managers and employees can also create and view schedules months in advance. These capabilities help restaurant staff ensure accuracy and effective time management.

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

Importance of Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling software enables restaurant operators to ditch manual processes of data entry and spreadsheets. These traditional methods often resulted in time consumption, human errors, and misplaced paperwork. Managers can not only avoid these challenges with a software solution but also optimize operations. The following are other key reasons why scheduling systems are important.

  • Increase Savings - Modern scheduling solutions will provide visibility into labor costs and trends. With these insights, operators can see how much they are spending on labor and assess their overall operational spending. It also has automated features that will prevent managers from overstaffing and understaffing shifts.
  • Improve Internal Communication - Scheduling tools have news dashboards and notification features built into their mobile app and software. This makes sure that employees and managers can share and receive news and updates. There are also direct chat functions, which allow users to send individual and group messages. This is important, considering 81% of staff prefer companies that value open communication.
  • Happier Employees - With employee scheduling, staff members can swap shifts, change their availability remotely, and request time off. This gives them control over their schedule and enables them to create a work life balance.

Benefits of Scheduling Software

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Implementing scheduling software tools is important for a business's financial growth and employee satisfaction. With these values, restaurants can operate more efficiently and productively. Other benefits to using this software include the following factors.

1. Boost Employee Engagement

These systems empower employees to adjust and create a schedule that fits their lifestyle or personal life. For example, if a published schedule has open shifts, team members can send their interest via the staffing app. They can also update their availabilities, switch shifts with coworkers, or send time off requests. Managers can then update the schedule accordingly to fulfill their staff's needs.

By creating a schedule that works for them, employees will be invested and driven when they do come into work. They will also feel that their needs and preferences are valued and respected. In turn, they will be more engaged with their work and more likely to complete their duties.

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

2. Enhance Staff Communication

Employee scheduling software helps improve communication with its in-app chat messaging. Teams can send messages to individual colleagues or create group chats. There is also an announcement function that enables managers to send notifications about company news or schedule changes. This way, management and staff are always in the loop about important information and can contact people whenever necessary.

Having open channels of communication is highly important because it will minimize mistakes and delays. For example, the alerts will prevent employees from going to the wrong shift or from coming to work at the wrong time. Additionally, according to a study, employee productivity improves by over 20% when teams and management regularly communicate. Therefore, capacity and output will enhance, as well, with scheduling apps.

3. Increase Employee Retention Rates

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Employee retention refers to an organization's ability to retain its staff members. Restaurants are known for their high employee turnover rates, in which the national average was around 73% in 2018. An employee scheduling system can help restaurants improve their retention by promoting smart decisions. The latest systems have labor forecasting tools that will indicate to managers the optimal staff per shift.

This will prevent over and understaffing, which would have caused feelings of stress among employees. It also encourages advanced scheduling, which will ensure employees have ample notice of their next shift. And since staff members are empowered to create schedules that fit their needs, they can effectively balance their work life. These capabilities will boost employee job satisfaction and, in turn, enhance retention rates.

4. Save More Money

A staff scheduling solution will help restaurant operators cut down their operational costs. With the built-in labor budget insights, managers can identify ways to optimize their schedules. The system also has performance tracking, which managers can use to gain visibility into sales data. They can then assess their profitability and accurately staff each shift while safeguarding the business's bottom line.

5. Reclaim Time

Running a restaurant requires a lot of responsibilities; therefore, time is precious. Staffing software streamlines the time-intensive process of recording work hours, scheduling, and sending out notifications. This means management can spend less time with the staffing process and allocate their energy and focus towards other tasks. For example, managers can have more time working with their team, greeting customers, or developing menus.

Essential Features of Scheduling Software

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In today's digital age, there are many different scheduling software options that restaurateurs can choose from. These systems also have several advanced features that are either included in a package or as an add-on cost. The top components that all restaurant owners should look for in their scheduling software include the following features.

1. Shift Scheduler

This is the most essential feature of scheduling software. A shift scheduler will enable managers to quickly and easily create schedules. This tool is automated, which will eliminate errors and save time. It also allows users to schedule staff from multiple locations.

2. Cloud-Based Capabilities

Cloud-based refers to the ability to use the software from any location or device, as long as there is an Internet connection. Cloud-based schedulers will simplify staffing because owners can manage their employees remotely. Users can also access schedules, adjust their availability, and interact with colleagues from anywhere.

3. Multi-Location Accessibility

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Enterprises can thrive with a scheduling tool that has multi-location accessibility. Whether the establishments are situated across the globe, city, or state, operators can effectively carry out employee management tasks. This feature will separate locations into different dashboards, which will organize schedules and enable efficient monitoring.

4. Geofencing

Geofencing is a location-based system that uses a GPS to track staff locations. This attribute will alert employees when they are near the work establishment to clock in. If it notices that a user is leaving the premise, it will notify them to clock out of their shift or log in their break times. A geofencing feature will limit time theft, in which employees clock in or out at times when they should not.

5. Time Tracking

Many scheduling solutions have time and attendance modules that allow users to track their work using a time clock. This provides greater visibility into work hours, to which employees can improve their time management skills. Time tracking will also ensure accurate data collection and streamline payroll and reporting.

6. Labor Cost Tracking

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The best employee scheduling software will have tools to track labor costs and create budgets. This allows managers to have insight into their financial standing and control overtime. It also lets them establish preferred labor percentage of sales to use as a guide when making schedules.

7. Data Analytics and Reporting

Scheduler tools with data and reporting features will collect metrics regarding employees, hours works, labor, and sales. Equipped with this information, restaurateurs can make improvements to their schedules and help grow the business's profitability. Additionally, they can share these reports with important stakeholders to promote transparency.

8. In-App Communication

A top feature of scheduling software is its in-app communication functions. This includes direct messaging, news feeds, and alerts. With this, management can send information and memos to individuals, teams, or all staff with a click of a button.

Top Restaurant Scheduling Software 2021

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There is a trove of scheduling software tools that restaurants and small businesses can utilize. The following are the best systems in today's market.

1. ZipSchedules

Zip Schedules is the latest online scheduling app that businesses of all sizes can use. The software is easy to use and intuitive. Zip Schedules provides many top features, including a mobile scheduling app, communication tools, and schedule templates. It also has labor compliance reminders, shift adjustment requests, multi-location support, and labor budgeting. Managers and employees can also use the platforms' customer support for free, as a part of its package.

2. FindMyShift

FindMyShift is a restaurant schedule software program that operators can integrate into their existing management systems. Some key features of this platform include paid time off tracking, email communication, and automated reminders. Unlike, Zip Schedules, the software requires users to download additional apps for more functionalities.

3. HotSchedules

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HotSchedules allows users to make optimal staffing decisions remotely via a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Employees can also take advantage of the request features, in which they can ask for time-off or pick up more shifts with just a click of a button.

4. 7Shifts

7Shifts is also an easy to use online scheduling software that restaurants can leverage. The app provides work schedule templates, as well as customizable layouts. This enables managers to create employee schedules based on their unique needs. It also has time tracking, communication, and labor compliance features.

Conclusion to Scheduling Software

  • Scheduling software is a digital solution that simplifies and optimizes the staffing process.
  • Considering how busy running a restaurant can get, owners should use scheduling software to save time and money.
  • There are many benefits that a small business and enterprise restaurant can reap with scheduler tools. This includes enhancing communication, boosting employee retention, and cutting costs.
  • Today's scheduling solutions have many different features, such as multi-location support, time trackers, and data reporting. The best platforms that have these essential functions include Zip Schedules.

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