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How To Make A Restaurant Employee Schedule

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Your weekly employee schedule is the heartbeat of your restaurant, and a well-tuned schedule will keep your restaurants heart tickin' away.

Operations First

There is a trap most managers get into, and that is scheduling around the employees availability first, trying desperately to stretch every shift out to plug all the holes in the schedule.  At BarSight Restaurant Systems, we believe in scheduling for the restaurants operations first, and filling in with available employees.

Start off by designing your schedule with the roles and shifts you need.  When do you need your first server to show up, and bartender?  How many hosts should you have throughout the day, and when is your busiest part of the day?  Make sure you have enough shifts to cover from open to close.

BarSight Employee Scheduling - How To Schedule Restaurant Employees

With that all done, then go back and start assigning employees to these shifts.  The goal is to get through an entire week without any empty shifts, but don't fret if you find yourself with them.  If you've tried your best and there are a few unfilled shifts, talk to your team and see if anyone is able to update their availability.  If everyone is stuck and not able to fill that spot, you now know what shift you absolutely need to be filled when conducting your next hiring interview.

Repetition, repetition, rep..

Once you've gotten a working schedule together, save it as a template and load it up on normal weeks.  You may have to do small tweaks here and there, but the general idea of your schedule should stay the same.  Your staff will generally appreciate having a steady and predictable schedule. They will be able to plan and have time for their personal life outside of work, without the stress of never knowing when their next shift is.

As an extra bonus, creating and publishing your schedule well in advance, allows you extra time to approve shift trades and changes made by your staff.  Rather then scrambling at the last possible moment, you and your team will be able to make adjustments that will save you from having to pay out overtime and calling in favors.

Handling Time Off

Everything in life is a balancing act, and employment is no exception.  Help promote a healthy work/life balance for your employees by trying to honor their day off requests and general availability.  Setting up guidelines such as all day off requests are to be made at least a week in advance are a good start, and even better if you, as a manager, accommodate those requests.  If there are scheduling conflicts, sit down and communicate with your staff on why you cannot accept the request.  There might be ways to adjust the timing of the request, or propose a shift trade with another employee.  An open dialog goes a long way, and you'll find yourself with less call-ins on the day of.

Keep an Eye on the Budget

With BarSight Restaurant Systems, we will automatically show you an estimated labor cost on your daily and weekly schedule.  Integrate us with your sales POS system, and we can also show you your average daily sales for those days, generating a labor cost percentage. Depending on your specific industry, typically the goal is around 30% of your costs going to labor.

BarSight Restaurant Labor Cost for Scheduling

Keeping overtime costs down, and running an optimized schedule that's evenly spread out throughout the day, you will find your restaurant finances are easier to forecast.

Free Restaurant Scheduling With BarSight

If you are ready to start optimizing your restaurant scheduling, register for free with no credit card and get started instantly.

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