Simplify Managing Your Restaurant Employees' Time Off Requests
Traditionally, restaurant managers have had to enter their employees' time off requests manually, and we've seen a number of creative ways to keep track of them.
A stack of coasters with dates and names written on the back of them is our personal favorite.
Thankfully, as restaurant technology has evolved, so too has the way in which we manage our employees' time off.
Now there are a number of software solutions that allow managers to easily track their employees' time off requests. This can be done through a computer or even a mobile device. And best of all, many of these solutions are cloud-based, so they can be accessed from anywhere.
One such solution is BarSight Restaurant Systems, built specifically for the restaurant industry. It allows managers to easily keep track of their restaurant workers time off requests and approve or decline them with the click of a button.
If your current approach to managing your employee time off requests is driving you crazy, then it might be time to consider a solution like BarSight Restaurant Systems. Our software is purpose built for restaurants, breweries, and others in the hospitality industry. It is flexible enough to adjust to your restaurant calendar week, allow partial day off requests (ex. an employee that only wants the morning or night off, or even by the hour), and integrates seamlessly with our restaurant schedule builder, so you see the pending and approved requests as you build the schedule.
In order to maintain staffing levels when approving time off requests, managers need to take into account who will be left on the floor during that particular time. In a restaurant for example, if an employee is going to have a day off, the manager needs to ensure that there is enough staff available so that there are no disruptions in service during that day or night. With BarSight, each time off request shows how many other employees have pending or approved requests for that particular day. You will immediately be able to see the effects of approving the request on your restaurant schedule. Preventing you, as the employer, from short staffing your restaurant accidentally.
If your restaurant needs to be fully staffed on holidays like Christmas and New Years, with BarSight you can prevent employees from requesting those days off by blacking them out. In addition to holidays, you can also blackout other dates that are crucial to running your restaurant, or if you've already received too many requests for a certain day. Your employees will get notified that they cannot submit a request that includes any dates that are blacked out, and they will need to talk to a manager or supervisor to get those days off. Any manager or supervisor will be able to manually enter the requested days off for the employee if they so wish to approve the employees request.
You can setup BarSight to only allow your entire team to submit time off requests that are a couple days, one week, or a couple weeks notice in advance. Typically we see restaurant owners restrict any requests that are less then two weeks from the first day off. This allows ample time for your scheduler to work around and find coverage.
Restaurant Management Tip
We've seen great success and improved employee morale when employers make every reasonable attempt to approve any request that is at least 2 weeks in advance. Employers that typically deny requests without discussion with team members will usually start to see last minute book offs, and higher turnover.
When managers and supervisors don't keep a close eye on employee time off requests and their weekly schedule, it can lead to unexpected overtime costs. How many times has this happened to you:
- An employee has an approved day off request but was accidentally scheduled to work that day
- The restaurant is short-staffed
- Nobody noticed, and now there isn't proper coverage in your restaurant floor or the kitchen is short on cooks
- Now the manager may be forced to ask and beg employees to stay late and work overtime to cover for the missing team member
These mistakes can add up in restaurants bottom line and cause you to loose your hair. BarSight prevents you from scheduling employees with approved time off requests, and will notify you if you approve a request on a day that employee is already scheduled to work.
When your manager or supervisor is looking over the time off requests submitted by employees, they are displayed in the order they were submitted. So you can approve them in a first in - first out - something everyone in the restaurant industry should be familiar with! This promotes fairness in how requests are handled, and allows the employees to see that there is no bias when scheduling them. If you start to get too many requests for a certain day or weekend, you can discuss this openly with your entire staff by sending a group message through BarSight, or conducting a staff meeting. Then proceed with restricting any further requests by blacking out those dates on the calendar.
Sometimes you may suspect a pattern with one of your employees time off requests. BarSight will show you 14 days previous and ahead of the current request you are viewing, to get a birds eye view of your staffing levels in your restaurant. You can also look up the complete history of an employees time off requests. If you start to notice a pattern on a weekly basis, its easier to have a conversation with your employee and suggest they update their availability rather then making multiple requests and forcing a schedule change.
Many restaurants like to have a system where employees can pick up extra shifts from other employees. This helps to avoid the need for last minute calls to employees asking them to work overtime, and also gives employees the opportunity to make some extra money. BarSight makes this process easy by allowing employees to submit requests for other employees to cover their shift, we call it Shift Dropping and Pickups. Implementing this system is helpful in 2 ways:
- It frees up your management from having to find people to cover shifts
- Gives extra shifts to employees that are looking to increase their hours.
All shift pickups require management approval before becoming final, so your team is able to make the best choice for who is to fill the shift.
By using the BarSight software, restaurant owners can avoid last minute book offs, higher turnover rates, and save on unexpected overtime costs. The software also allows employees to pick up shifts from other employees that don't wish to work, easing the work load of your management taking time trying to fill shifts for the schedule.