Time Tracker | 9 mins read

The Main Reasons to Use a Time Tracker in Your Restaurant

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Time Tracker

When working, especially in a busy restaurant, important tasks will fill up each hour of the day. For example, servers need to greet their guests, guide them to the table, and take orders. Then, they have to go to the back-of-house, send the orders in, and serve the dishes to the table. With so many responsibilities, it may be hard to keep track of time. But managers can simplify this process with a time tracker.

By using a tracking solution to automatically monitor employees' work hours, restaurants can make improvements to productivity. As reported by Acumen Data Systems, companies can eliminate daily lost productivity with automated time tracking. In fact, brands can recapture a total of $666,400 in yearly wages. Therefore, time trackers can help restaurants, including small businesses and franchises, save money and boost profitability.

What is a Time Tracker?

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A time tracker is a web-based, or online, solution that records and measures employees working hours. The tool collects real-time insights regarding how much time each employee spent on specific tasks, tables, or customers. Many time tracking software providers offer advanced capabilities, such as hourly wage estimates and lunch break options. Generally, freelancers and collaborative teams will use a time tracker to organize their work hours and ensure project completion.

Restaurants of all formats and sizes can use time trackers too to better understand their employees' productivity and tasks. It also shows idle time, who is on their break, and which employee is on vacation. Modern systems are intuitive and automated, which saves managers time from having to manually update timesheets. Additionally, time trackers can be used in conjunction with other invoice processes, such as resource scheduling and accounting.

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

Why is Time Tracking Important?

Only approximately 20% of working hours are dedicated to high-priority tasks, per 2020 reports. This means staff members are spending a majority of their shifts idling or working on projects with little value. Therefore, restaurants need to make sure their employees are productively working during their shifts with a time tracker. This is important because if everyone is working as they should be, there will be a healthy workflow.

For example, with time tracking, there is more transparency in tasks and workloads. This will help managers and employees identify what activities need to be prioritized. Time trackers will also increase employee accountability since they have to report their hours. Furthermore, tracking time is important because it gives management teams insight into their resource demand. Equipped with this information, they can form new teams, redistribute workloads, or reallocate budgets.

The Benefits of Time Tracking for Teams

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According to TechJury 2021 statistics, only 17% of people actively track their time. Restaurant businesses can put themselves ahead of their competition by automating the time tracking process. The following are other key advantages to using a time tracker.

Increase Workers' Focus

By tracking time, employees can organize and allocate ample amounts of time for each of their tasks. This will help them focus and concentrate on one responsibility or activity. It will also prevent multitasking, which is known for decreasing productivity when done without time-tracking. In turn, they will finish tasks quicker and more efficiently.

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

Promote Accountability

Restaurant managers and owners can monitor which of their employees completed a task and how long it took them. They can also see which projects or activities were finished throughout the day. This will encourage employees to hold themselves accountable and not procrastinate with their work.

Avoid Workplace Burnout

Burnout among employees can occur due to uneven distribution of work, frequent overtime, excess workload, and lack of breaks. With a time tracking solution, employees can observe their own time and organize it effectively to prevent burnout.

Effective Team Management

Oftentimes, certain employees will need more time to serve customers or complete processes. Managers can use a time tracker to identify these workers and strategize ways to help them improve efficiency. For example, their tasks can be swapped with other team members.

Maximize Profit Margins

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A time tracking solution provides insights into how long it takes for processes and tasks to be completed. Management teams can use this information to form an efficient team or help those that need extra training. By improving performance, businesses can enhance their customer service and boost their bottom line.

Identify Hidden Activities

Other than work responsibilities, various activities can take up employees' time. For example, answering work calls, going to meetings, and refilling drinks can take up time. Time trackers can pinpoint these hidden activities, which will give managers a clearer idea of an employee's shift.

Improve Prioritization

Employees can gain a better understanding of which work task requires more time and effort with time trackers. They can then prioritize these responsibilities on certain days or times to ensure productivity. For example, a kitchen team member notices that inventory counts take about an hour to complete. They can schedule the counts towards the end of the night, before closing, to reduce disruption.

Reduce Labor Costs

Managers can assess how quickly their back-of-house and front-of-house staff can complete their tasks each shift. If there is a lot of idle time, they can cut certain shifts to reduce their labor costs. Or if teams are able to work quickly, managers can revise their employee schedules to prevent over-staffing

Ensure Data-Driven Decisions

Time trackers generate insightful data about work processes and flow. These metrics will help managers make informed decisions. For example, they can find ways to automate and streamline tasks or eliminate time-consuming processes.

Improve Morale

Time trackers empower employees to self-monitor their work habits and improve their productivity. It also encourages them to take their meal and rest breaks. This will improve morale and ensure employees are taking care of their physical and mental health.

What is Time Tracking Software?

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Restaurants and other businesses looking to track employees' work hours for payroll or operations should consider utilizing time tracking software. The latest tools can automate billing, payroll, and client invoicing. It can also provide data insights that managers can use to plan budgets. The following are the main types of project tracking software that restaurants can use.

1. Time Tracker

Tracking apps have various features, such as clock in and out functions for employees. It can also record data, perform analytics, and consolidate reports. Time trackers also let users visualize their projects with a timeline. This helps managers estimate deadlines and review goal progress. These solutions are compatible with mobile devices and laptops.

2. Timesheet

Similar to an employee time tracker, a timesheet can be accessible via the Internet, desktop, app, or smartphone. Restaurant managers can sync their timesheets with payroll software to automate invoicing or wage calculations. Other tracking features include real-time data dashboards, time-off management, employee absences, and shift swapping. Timesheets are also cloud-based, meaning managers can record work hours from their office or remotely with an Internet connection.

3. Project Management

Business owners can implement a project management system that has built-in time tracking tools. This software solution enables users to monitor work hours, as well as oversee tasks and project activities. Some systems will have features to set deadlines, prioritize projects, make budgets, and create teams. Users can also

Top Benefits of Using Employee Time Tracking Software

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Whichever form of time tracking software a business uses, managers will reap many benefits. The following are some of the top advantages of time tracking.

Boost Overall Productivity

With time tracking software, managers and employees can optimize their work capacity and time management. Staff members can monitor their deadlines, prioritize tasks, and hold themselves accountable. Leadership teams can also gauge their employees' productivity with an automatic time tracker and brainstorm ways to improve.

Streamline With Automation

Time trackers use automation, which means restaurant executives can monitor time effortlessly. With wage calculations, invoices, and payroll processes automated, managers can spend more time on other tasks. This also reduces instances of human errors because management teams will not have to manually enter data.

Enhance Transparency

Staff and executives can access their work hours and related data through employee time tracking software. This promotes workplace transparency and eliminates any miscommunication or errors.

Meet Deadline Expectations

Team members have clear visibility of what tasks they have and how much time they have to complete them. With these insights, they can accurately plan out their shifts and ensure prompt project completion within deadlines.

Improve Employee and Management Relationship

Time trackers empower employees to be accountable and to manage their work hours effectively. This reduces the need for managers to micromanage and control their staffs' time. By improving the trust between employees and management, their relationship with each other will strengthen.

Save On Labor Costs

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Time tracking software provides insightful data reports regarding work times, project completion, and employee capacity. Restaurant management teams can use these metrics to reduce their labor costs and minimize extra spending. For example, if they notice that a shift can be completed with fewer employees, they can revise their schedules.

Integrate With Restaurant Management Software

The best time tracking tools can be integrated into the restaurant's existing management software. There are also systems that have built-in time tracking apps. This will help businesses streamline their tasks, like employee scheduling. When used with employee scheduling software, time trackers will help estimate optimal numbers of staff for each shift. This will ensure the restaurant is not understaffing or overstaffing their front-of-house and back-of-house.

Increase Profit Margins

When employees are all working at a productive capacity, the business can maximize its profit margins. This is because more products are produced and sold to customers. Additionally, staff members can effectively serve consumers, which will increase their satisfaction

Cloud Capabilities

A modern time tracking tool can be operated using the cloud. This boosts accessibility because users can access their data and monitor their billable hours remotely, as long as they have WiFi. With the cloud, they can also utilize the app with a phone, web browser, or computer. Some software systems have offline functions, meaning the tool will still record data even during an Internet outage. Once the connection is strong, it will sync all information and update the system.

Conclusion to Time Tracker

  • Time tracker is a digital web-based tool that automatically measures and records employees' work hours. Other functions include project management, wage calculations, and data analytics.
  • Time trackers provide employees and managers with great visibility into workflows and operational processes.
  • Tracking time is important because it promotes employee productivity and accountability, as well as ensures projects are completed by a deadline.
  • A time tracker mobile app or time tracking software provides restaurant businesses with many advantages. These benefits include reduced labor costs, effective team management, and increased profitability.

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