Try These Strategies to Build a Restaurant Employee Schedule

September 16, 2019


A functional dining room service depends on a logical employee schedule. However, before spending any time making your staff schedule, you shall know some basics. Making a successful restaurant schedule is affected by many factors like staff availability, training, certifications, time-off requests, and others tipping, weekly hours, overtime, and laws for employing minors, which might make scheduling a tedious process. Here are a few helpful things that will make the process of building a restaurant employee schedule much easier.


What is Restaurant Employee Scheduling?

Restaurant employee scheduling is a tool to enable you to manage shifts, time-off requests, and hourly and salary employees working in your restaurant including managers, servers, bartenders, servers’ assistants, hosts, and kitchen staff.


Why is it crucial to restaurant employee scheduling?

Restaurant staff scheduling enables you, as a restaurant manager, to ensure that you have the people you need for every shift. If you fail to do it correctly, then your restaurant will quickly be short on staff, failing to keep up with demand.


Here are some excellent strategies for making restaurant employee scheduling easy:

1. Make your schedules at least 2 weeks out in advance or as far in advance as you can:

Things would go a little bit hectic and unpredictable when you only create your schedule for one week or less in advance. On the other hand, if you can complete your schedules and get them to your staff in advance, then it can give your employees a better opportunity to plan their lives around their schedules and request changes if needed. The earlier you can create your employee schedule, the better it is for everyone since this can make your employees happier and less stressed, which is good for your business.


2. Vary Each Employee’s Shift Time, providing a mix of shifts:

Some shifts are busier and more enjoyable than others are, as the business will have slow times and busy times of the day. Accordingly, you should have a clear gasp of how work fluctuates by tracking sales and talking to your staff, which makes it easier for you to be fair in assigning a mix of shifts each week. Consider spreading your staff out evenly and make sure that new hires and senior staff each get some good assignments, allowing equal opportunities for them to experience a mix of different times of the day. Consequently, everyone will get an opportunity to earn fair tips by changing their schedule regularly.


3. Give your business some priority:

On one hand, employees may request time off or shift adjustments from time to time. Nevertheless, when you approve time off or shift swap requests, always make sure that you have enough people on the schedule to cover all of the needs of the restaurant.

On the other hand, you will have some employees among your staff who can drive more sales than the others can, as they are your speed as sales generators. Therefore, you shall consider rewarding them with better shifts. Use data from your POS system to find patterns in revenue drivers to recognize the top revenue’s generators, then plan your schedule consequently.


4. Use Employee scheduling software:

Despite that the pen and paper have been useful for employee scheduling for many years, they are now slightly outdated. Modern restaurant schedule apps are a much better option when it comes to generating restaurant employee schedules. This is because these apps enable restaurant managers to create schedules, update them, approve shift, shift swap, or time off requests, and even track employee’s work hours, saving you a lot of time and hassle as you create your schedule each week.