Workforce shift scheduling is the most time-consuming task every manager or business deals with. Creating a comprehensive restaurant work schedule is more complicated than simply filling out open time slots with various names. You have many other key factors to consider, like employee experience for the needed shift, peak business hours and seasons, not excessively exceeding over-time, and much more. With the help of a few staff scheduling techniques and tips, ensure each schedule made is the best possible arrangement for your business, staff, and customers. In this blog, we present the best ways to optimize the ways you plan your work shifts effectively.
Plan Shifts in Advance
Keep schedules organized by creating shifts and publishing them in advance to employees. Scheduling in advance provides more time to handle last minute changes or emergencies; it also removes the stress of putting together weekly schedules.
Each time you publish a new schedule, you should keep the timings consistent which allows your employees to plan accordingly. Publishing the shifts on the same day of the week at the same time creates order for everyone involved. A consistent closing date allows staff to inform you of any potential conflicts before you prepare the schedule. Set a standard time every week to create the schedule, so your employees know when to expect it. With a consistent timeline, there is little to no stress involved on managers and overall fewer errors.
Prioritize Peak Hours
Though it seems easy to plan schedules from the beginning of the week to the end, this process typically makes it more difficult to establish a balance. Instead, consider beginning with your busiest hours and working away from there. Scheduling for your peak hours first ensures you can always place efficient staff in those slots without having to backtrack and make changes after.
Track the changing trends of how busy your restaurant becomes, create a simple system to place employees and the available shifts on a scale. This can be as simple as rating them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being slower daytime shifts and 5 being the busy evening shifts. When you have priorities, it becomes easier to recognize and fill those spaces from rush hours to the slowest.
Create Schedules on Need
When creating the schedules, you need to consider the needs of the restaurant as well as your staff’s strengths. Schedule your most capable and fastest employees during those peak hours. They can manage the rush without making mistakes, while you’re newer or slower staff members might be more comfortable during less busy hours.
Dinner and lunch services on weekdays are generally more relaxed, while they can still bring in decent crowds and revenue. If you track these trends, you can easily match employees to the shifts where they are most likely to perform at their best.
Always Balance Shifts
When scheduling your staff, it is essential to keep the shifts balanced. Every employee should receive a chance to work the night and/or day shift throughout the week. Allowing each staff member a chance to work during busy hours provides an even playing field for everyone involved.
One of the best ways to create a balance is by scheduling the day shifts first. Each staff member should be on at least one day shift during a week. Once you have those days planned out, you will have full flexibility to work with the busier evening shifts.
Keep Reserve Employees
While you always wish employees will find a replacement for a shift they can’t cover, unexpected conflicts occasionally occur. It can be difficult to find coverage at the last minute, especially if a staff member calls out on a known busy shift. If you have staff in reserve for every shift or at least during busy hours, you will be guaranteed another employee to be there in an emergency.
Use an Automated System
Some restaurants still rely on traditional pen-and-paper methods for creating and tracking employee schedules. Today, technology has advanced; there are tools that make work shift planning simple and consistent. One key tool is an online shift scheduling system – restaurants can quickly automate their entire staff scheduling processes.
Implementing a custom restaurant staff scheduling solution that operates by storing data within the cloud can be helpful in many ways. Schedules will be available to review at any time; your staff can access the solution from anywhere and make proposals for shift changes on the go.
Once you have mastered the entire process of creating schedules, you must ensure your staff has the right system in place to succeed in every shift. A cloud-based HR software solution with robust shift scheduling capabilities helps your employees become more efficient by streamline the day-to-day operations. With an automated scheduling system, you can encourage a better retention rate and keep workflows organized, even during those peak hours.