Scheduling accounts for a large part of successful restaurant operations. The right schedule can make the difference between a thriving dining business and survival. Traditional scheduling methods often involve a lot of manual labor and guesswork, leading to inefficiencies and errors. Fortunately, a few hacks can simplify the scheduling process for dining businesses. By following these tips, you can create a more efficient and accurate schedule for your restaurant.
1. Automate As Much As Possible
Several software programs can help you automate your scheduling, including restaurant POS and payroll software. Automating your scheduling will help you save time and reduce errors.
Automated schedules can also help you keep track of your labor costs. By tracking the hours your employees work, you can ensure that you’re not overstaffing or understaffing your restaurant. This will help you save money on labor costs and improve your bottom line.
Tasks that can be automated include:
- Employee availability
- Shift swapping
- Time off requests
- Employee preferences
When automating your scheduling, set up alerts and notifications so you can stay on top of any changes, this will help you avoid any disruptions to your schedule.
2. Use Data To Your Advantage
Data can be a powerful tool for creating an effective schedule. You can make more informed decisions about staffing and scheduling by tracking data points such as sales, labor costs, and customer traffic.
This data can be used to create staffing models that help you predict how many employees you’ll need during different times of the day or week. This can help you avoid overstaffing or understaffing, which can lead to lost sales and higher labor costs.
Data can be used in several ways to simplify your scheduling. These include:
- Tracking employee productivity
- Analyzing customer traffic patterns
- Forecasting sales
- Predicting labor costs
Restaurant scheduling software can be a valuable tool for tracking and analyzing data. This software can help you make more informed decisions about scheduling and staffing.
Additionally, the software can generate reports that can help you troubleshoot scheduling issues. By understanding the root cause of problems, you can change your schedule to improve your restaurant’s operations.
3. Communicate And Present The Schedule With Your Team In Advance
Once you’ve created the schedule, you must communicate it to your team. This will help them plan their lives and avoid conflicts with their work schedule. Be sure to send out the schedule at least a week in advance, so your team has time to make any necessary adjustments.
If there are last-minute changes, be sure to communicate those as well. You can use scheduling software or an app to send out schedule updates in real time. This will help ensure that your team is always up-to-date on the latest schedule changes.
The presentation of the schedule is also important. Be sure to use a format that’s easy to read and understand. This will help your team quickly find the information they need. You can use color coding, highlights, or bold text to make important information easy to find.
Tips for presenting the schedule:
- Use a format that’s easy to read and understand
- Include all relevant information, such as employee availability and shift changes
- Use color coding, highlights, or bold text to make important information easy to find
Team communication is often the key to making sure each team is running smoothly and functioning at its peak performance.
4. Allow For Flexibility
Even with the best planning, there will always be some degree of uncertainty regarding scheduling. You may need to make last-minute changes due to employee availability or customer traffic. For this reason, building some flexibility into your schedule is important.
One way to do this is by using labor pooling. This is when you have a group of employees available to work different shifts. This can help you fill in last-minute gaps in the schedule.
Another way to allow for flexibility is by using part-time or on-call employees. These employees can be called in to work on short notice, which can help you avoid overstaffing or understaffing.
Tips for creating a flexible schedule:
- Use labor pooling to fill in last-minute gaps
- Use part-time or on-call employees to avoid overstaffing or understaffing
- Schedule breaks throughout the day so employees can take turns covering for each other
- Have a plan for dealing with sick days and vacation days
- Use scheduling software to make it easy to make changes to the schedule
5. Review And Adjust As Needed
Once you’ve implemented your schedule, it’s important to review it regularly. This will help you identify any problems or areas that need improvements, such as new employees, customer traffic patterns, or sales goals. Be sure to track data points such as employee productivity, customer traffic, and sales.
Other opportunities to review the schedule:
- After a busy holiday season
- When you make changes to your menu
- When you open or close a location
- When there are changes in your team’s availability
Be sure to review the schedule at least once a month. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement. Additionally, be sure to communicate any changes to your team. This will help them stay up-to-date on the latest schedule changes.
Tips for reviewing the schedule:
- Track employee productivity
- Analyze customer traffic patterns
- Forecast sales
- Predict labor costs
After reviewing the schedule, make the necessary changes if you find areas that need improvement. This will help ensure that your restaurant is running smoothly and efficiently.
For smooth and efficient restaurant operations, it is important to have a well-planned schedule. Implementing these tips will help you run a more successful restaurant. You can ensure your schedule is always up by tracking data and communicating with your team.
Investing in the right tools and taking the time to review and adjust the schedule regularly can help you create a schedule that meets your business’s needs. Additionally, communicating and presenting the schedule clearly and concisely will help your team stay informed and avoid conflicts. By following these tips, you can create a schedule that’s easy to manage and helps your business run smoothly.