Fatigue and stress. Those are two words you wouldn’t want your staff or management team to associate with working for your restaurant. Nevertheless, this is often the case when the right tools and systems aren’t put into place for your restaurant workforce management.
Employee scheduling may be one of the first pain points that comes to mind when thinking about restaurant stressors.
- Is it better to overstaff this week’s night shifts?
- Which shifts can be understaffed to balance out costs?
- How come so many team members keep skipping their required breaks?
- Who was it that needed next Friday off?
- How did we end up with so much overtime last week?
- Is that shift swap request going to be possible on this short of notice?
- How can Employee X get enough hours to hit their weekly requirement?
- Can I wait until the end of the week to put next week’s schedule out?
Scheduling can be a very time-consuming task. Rather than rely on antiquated methodologies and tools, your restaurant workforce management needs to look to new technologies to make scheduling easier and more efficient. Your time is valuable and you should be focused on supporting the business and not having to dedicate hours to developing schedules each week.
Here are some tips on how to keep your focus where it belongs:
Tip #1: Invest in online scheduling software
Ditch that pen and paper (or spreadsheet) to plan out your staff’s schedule. An online scheduling software can bring efficiency, control, and reduced costs to your process. It also allows for easy access to schedules by any team member, from any device, and at any time.
Tip #2: Start with a template
Whether you’re responsible for scheduling for one restaurant or for multiple locations, it’s always important to find ways to bring consistency to the process. Start with a template that focuses on the shift. You can establish certain guides to help you design each shift with the proper amount of team members and within the specific budget for that day.
Tip #3: Know your staff
With a templatized version of your schedule now residing in the cloud, you can fill in each day’s and shift’s requirement with team members. The system should recognize their personal schedule requests and requirements, so you can easily schedule them where they belong. The more structured and predictable you can make your schedules, the more stability you can expect from your team.
Tip #4: Strike a balance
In addition to meeting the requirements for each team member’s schedule, you want to be able to find the right balance. There are always going to be differences in personality, in speed, in quality, and in knowledge and practice. With employee scheduling software, you’d be able to spend less time on creating a schedule from-scratch each week and instead focusing on the intricacies of putting together the best team for each shift.
Tip #5: Learn from the past
No matter how long you have been scheduling for your restaurant, there is bound to be some information that has gotten lost along the way. By using scheduling software, you can take advantage of a data tracking and management system that can easily identify and report on trends within your restaurant. Those trends could then help you better plan your team’s schedule based on historical trends in shifts, dates, and times of years.
Workforce scheduling does not have to be a burden to your restaurant. With many big issues facing the industry—higher minimum wages, the joint employer debate, and a high employee turnover rate—you need a way to simplify and bring more control to your restaurant operations wherever you can.
Make shift planning a priority and invest in an online scheduling software like the Better Chains Staff Schedulingmodule.