How to create the perfect staff schedule for your restaurant
Creating staff schedules can be daunting if you don’t have a plan. Read on for the best practices for making your weekly scheduling routine hassle free.
Mastering schedule creation is something that every successful restaurant manager needs to do, but the majority schedule using intuition, not what the business needs.
By using intuition instead of data to guide employee scheduling, restaurateurs create more work, overspend on labour, and miss out on profitability gains.
Guide input expectations
Imagine this scenario: you spend hours crafting the perfect staff schedule. After you share the schedule with your staff, they send in dozens of requests to switch shifts. Sound familiar? You can avoid surprises when you share your restaurant schedule with employees by asking for their input in advance.
Create a formal employee time off request policy that sets deadlines for scheduling availability requests. Make sure to explain your time off policy to your staff and train them on any tools they may need to submit requests. A restaurant scheduling tool like 7shifts makes it effortless staff to request time off on-the-go–and for you to approve or deny their requests.
Effective communication with staff from the outset leads to happier employees, who then provide a better experience for your guests.
Leverage sales and service trends
Make smart scheduling decisions by basing your schedule on business data instead of intuition alone. Sales and service data can help you optimize labor spending for when you’ll need it most. Beyond helping your team take orders, your POS system can reveal service and sales trends at your restaurant.
Your intuition may tell you that you need half your staff for weekday lunch service. Data from your POS system may show you that Thursday and Friday lunch service is consistently busy, and that you’ll need to plan for more staff on a regular basis in order to maintain your high levels of service.
By far the easiest way to predict your next week’s scheduling needs is by using employee scheduling software that integrates into your POS systems. The right scheduling tool will leverage your historical sales data and service trends and empower you to make money-saving scheduling decisions when they matter most.
Balance shift skill levels
Beyond considering sales trends and staff availability when you build a restaurant schedule, you’ll want to create a schedule that has a balanced of representation of staff with various skill levels during shifts. This is beneficial for two reasons.
Mixing skill level creates training opportunities. More tenured staff can help train newcomers during shifts. Not only does training help reduce turnover, but it also helps employees gain new skills.
Balancing skill level during shifts also helps ensure that you don’t only have newcomers serving guests during a shift. If it’s everyone’s first day or first week during a specific shift, you’re not caring for your customers.
Manage the follow through
Once you’ve shared your next employee schedule, you’ve kicked off the next scheduling cycle and managing team communication begins.
Even if you asked for your team’s input and availability before putting together a schedule, changes, swaps, and requests will come up, and it’s your job to manage them.
One of the most straightforward ways to facilitate communication is using a common free chat app your staff may already be using. But if you are looking for a more controlled communications platform, you may consider a purpose-built tool that lets staff chat as well as receive and provide shift feedback.
Restaurant scheduling mastery
When you understand how to create a staff schedule using data and employee input, you’re being smart about your time, labor spending, and staff happiness. Scheduling smart lets your reserve resorting to intuition when unexpected situations call for it.
When you optimize your restaurant’s employee scheduling, you’ll make smarter scheduling decisions that will lead to deliberate labor spending decisions and happier employees.