A restaurant owner and general manager work on scheduling.

Make Restaurant Scheduling Work for You

Policies and software tools help operators save time and headaches.

After you hire restaurant employees in today’s labour market, you have to build a schedule. Figuring out weekly shifts can feel like a never-ending jigsaw puzzle. 

There’s plenty of help available, from creating workplace policies to using schedule management software. Using the right tools makes scheduling easier on everyone, plus it meets your business needs, assuring the right staffers are in the dining room or the kitchen when you need them.

Create scheduling standards

Scheduling starts long before it’s posted in an online calendar or staff break room. Many restaurant employees could be juggling other jobs. Set clear job expectations and make sure the people you hire know how often they will be scheduled. After that, you can satisfy their work-life balance with these tips:

  • Get your schedule out ASAP—3-4 weeks in advance allows staff to plan ahead and makes it a priority.
  • Have clear policies for requesting (and approving) time off or shift changes.
  • Make sure to schedule time for opening prep work and after-close cleanup.

Consider scheduling software

Scheduling programs help you organize shifts and enhance staff communication. Back of House guides you to some options. Here are things to consider when assessing software solutions:

  • Is it user-friendly? 
    • Look for an easy-to-use system. You don’t want to struggle with setup.
    • Find one with plug-and-play inputs and intuitive updates.
    • Make sure it’s easy for your staff to navigate. If not, they won’t use it.
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
    • Today’s busy people are always connected to their phones.
    • Keeping in touch requires software optimized for mobile viewing.
  • Does it have communications capabilities?
    • Your software should be your scheduling hub.
    • Make sure it provides notifications and messaging capabilities
    • You avoid double work
    • You assure messages are sent (and received)
  • Is it built for restaurants?
    • Restaurant-specific software is more likely to meet your business needs.
    • POS-compatible software provides the ability to correlate staff with shift sales to optimize service and profits.

A solid scheduling plan improves your service, builds your brand and motivates your team. Ask your Gordon Food Service Sales Representative for ways to improve scheduling.