In the summer months, many restaurants get busier and scheduling staff can become a headache. There is a lot to keep in mind while creating a restaurant employee schedule. You need to determine how many servers or bartenders are needed for each shift and make sure employees are available on the days you are scheduling them. And that is just the beginning. For successful restaurant employee scheduling, you need to create a smooth process while addressing all the factors that determine the success of your business. Here are five staff scheduling tips to revitalize the process for restaurant owners and managers:
1) Post the schedule on a specific day
Posting your schedule for restaurant employees on the same day every week or every two weeks is beneficial to both you and your employees. It will make you feel more organized, and your employees will have the security of knowing when they will get the schedule. Once you pick the day of the week and time you want to post the schedule, plan ahead so you know the schedule will be completed by then. Use the day before to create the schedule, and the rest of the week to cover all your restaurant staff scheduling needs. This means putting extra staff on certain holidays or days where special events are taking place.
Also, tell your employees to come to you with any schedule requests (such as days they cannot work or days they really want to work) before you create the schedule. To lessen the amount of drama that can come with restaurant employee scheduling, make it clear that while you will do your best to accommodate their requests, there are no guarantees.
2) Schedule Your Busiest Days First
Instead of going to the beginning to the end of the week when doing restaurant staff scheduling, start with your busiest shifts. That way you can make sure you have your most skilled employees on the schedule when you need them the most. On the slower days, you can have more flexibility. This will help you avoid overscheduling and underscheduling certain employees.
3) Be as Fair as Possible with Restaurant Staff Scheduling
The business’s needs come first and it wouldn’t make sense to schedule 3 new people on your busiest night. It also wouldn’t make sense to give all your quieter employees the long dinner shifts that require more interaction with customers who linger at their tables for several hours. But you will never be able to help employees grow or keep them happy and engaged if you aren’t giving everyone an opportunity to learn as well as make money. Make sure your restaurant employee scheduling gives everyone the opportunity to work at least one busy money-making shift. On the same token, make sure everyone has at least one lunch shift or slower shift, unless their availability makes this impossible.
4) Consider Using On-Call Staff
With restaurant staff scheduling, it’s better for the business to be overstaffed than understaffed. At the same time, you don’t want to give false promises to employees who can’t afford to lose a night of pay. Do your best to anticipate days or nights where you need more staff. But some shifts can be unpredictable. If there is a special event going on that may or may not bring in a huge crowd, or you have a lot of outdoor seating and the amount of business depends on the weather, it’s a good idea to have at least one staff member on call. When doing restaurant staff scheduling, rotate who you choose to be on-call. That way everyone gets an even number of guaranteed shifts and on-call shifts.
5) Use Better Restaurant Employee Scheduling Software
Web-based restaurant employee scheduling software such as 7shifts, Hotschedules and Sling can help make the process much easier. Many of these programs can keep track of employee availability, make schedule suggestions and project labor costs, among other features. And since employees can view the schedule at any time and from anywhere, using software programs such as these makes it easier to communicate with employees and make changes to the restaurant schedule.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.