Leveraging Restaurant Scheduling Software for Peak Efficiency

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Gabriela Tan
May 24, 2024
A restaurant employee is reviewing her work schedule on her phone.

During peak times, there’s no doubt that working in a restaurant can be a fast-paced and high-stress environment. Manually managing staff schedules and keeping them efficient during these times can be an overwhelming challenge. When creating a restaurant schedule, many factors come into play – staff availability, time off requests, labor laws, and more. It can be tough to keep all of these factors in mind. This is why restaurant scheduling software can be a game-changer. Imagine having automated software that optimizes your workforce, reduces costs, and saves you time.  

In this article, we’ll be exploring how restaurant scheduling software can transform operational efficiency and revolutionize the way restaurants manage their workforce.

What is Automated Scheduling Software?

Automated scheduling software is a tool that automates the creation of employee schedules, taking into account factors such as staff availability, labor laws, peak business hours, and individual employee skills. It goes beyond simple calendar creation by integrating with your point-of-sale system to use historical sales data to automatically generate schedules based on predicted customer traffic.

When evaluating restaurant scheduling software, some key features to look for include:

  • An easy-to-use user interface
  • Integration with your current POS system for labor vs. sales forecasting
  • A centralized platform for time off requests, shift swaps, and work-related messages
  • The ability to customize shift templates and shift swap rules
  • An app for quick and easy access from any mobile device 

Why is Efficient Scheduling Important in Restaurants?

Efficient scheduling is important in restaurants to ensure smooth operations and to maintain high service levels. Juggling labor needs with fluctuating demand can be a unique challenge for restaurant managers, especially during peak seasons or busy times. To achieve efficient scheduling, there needs to be a balance of having enough staff to provide high-quality service without overstaffing. 

When a schedule is created inefficiently, it can result in understaffed shifts, leading to poor customer service and employee burnout, or overstaffed shifts, resulting in unnecessary labor costs. Inefficient scheduling isn’t just financially costly — it can also damage your reputation since it can directly impact the customer. Overall, efficient scheduling can help you prevent either understaffing or overstaffing by aligning schedules with expected demand. 

A cook is standing in front of a pile of dishes in the kitchen.

Problems With Manual Scheduling

If you’re not using restaurant scheduling software, you’re likely still using some form of manual scheduling. While this may seem like a good way to save money, manually scheduling employees can present several problems, such as: 

  • No Data Insights: Restaurants tend to have dynamic staffing needs based on customer demand. Manual scheduling doesn’t allow for any POS integration, which can make scheduling staff more difficult without seeing crucial data like labor vs. sales. 
  • Increased Human Error: Manual scheduling is more susceptible to human error, such as typos and forgotten time off requests or shift changes. These errors could lead to bigger problems down the line like payroll issues and employee frustration. 
  • Potential Compliance Issues: Break laws, daily or weekly maximums, and other labor regulations can be difficult to keep track of when creating a schedule manually. These compliance issues could potentially lead to hefty fines. 
  • Less Efficient: Manually creating and updating schedules can take up a lot of time and potentially lead to understaffing or overstaffing.
  • Limited Communication: Paper schedules can be more difficult to access, update, and share among your team. This can lead to confusion and frustration between managers and employees. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Restaurant Scheduling Software?

Using restaurant scheduling software can be a lifesaver for managers. It transforms a time-consuming, tedious task into something that can be completed in minutes. Here are some benefits of leveraging scheduling software to streamline your restaurant operations:

  • Saves Time: Creating a schedule can be done in a matter of minutes since scheduling software automatically considers various factors, such as employee availability, time off requests, customer demand, and employee skill set. 
  • Reduces Labor Costs: Scheduling software creates cost-efficient schedules, which can help reduce the risk of understaffing or overstaffing, leading to lower labor costs. 
  • Provides Real-Time Data Insights and Forecasting: With POS integration, real-time data insights and forecasting for important metrics, like labor vs. sales, are available right at your fingertips. 
  • Allows Customizations: Creating custom shift templates is just one click away. It allows you to interact with the interface in a way that suits your needs.
  • Improves Communication: Employees have a centralized space to swap shifts, check their schedules, and receive broadcasted messages through any device. 

A barista is looking down at her phone to check her work schedule.

How Can I Implement a New Restaurant Scheduling Software?

One great aspect of restaurant scheduling software is ease of use and intuitiveness. Most platforms don’t require much training to get your employees up-to-speed on how to use it. Although these platforms aren’t difficult to learn, here are some tips to smoothly implement a new restaurant scheduling software:

  • Gather key personnel like supervisors and managers to collect their input on desired features and workflow
  • Prepare your existing employee data, including schedules, contact information, and availability
  • Consider a pilot launch with a smaller group of employees before a full rollout
  • Provide the appropriate training for the rest of your employees 
  • After implementation, ask both managers and employees for their feedback to identify any areas for improvement

Things to Consider Before Investing in Scheduling Software

Incorporating scheduling software into your restaurant business can be a big investment. Before jumping into it, here are some things to consider:

  • Integration With Other Technology: When you’re choosing a scheduling software, it’s important to check that it can integrate with your existing restaurant technology, such as your POS system. 
  • Business Size and Needs: Some restaurants are family-owned or might not have many employees to require a scheduling system. While having an automated employee scheduling tool can be helpful, the costs may not outweigh the benefits for every business. 
  • Tech Savviness of Employees: Learning how to use technology can be challenging for some elderly people. Consider your team and whether they would be capable of switching to a fully digital schedule. 

A brief snapshot of two employee's schedules on a scheduling software.

Real-World Results: How Blackhouse Hospitality Group Boosted Efficiency with Restaurant Scheduling Software

Blackhouse Hospitality Group is a company based in Los Angeles, California that has carved a niche for itself with a collection of seven innovative restaurant concepts. Their focus on unique dining experiences fueled Blackhouse Hospitality’s rapid growth, which is when they began noticing difficulties with scheduling and break compliance. 

After incorporating Push’s scheduling software, they’ve been able to create schedules quickly and strategically, ultimately streamlining their whole operation. Using the real-time data and integration features, they have been able to make instant changes to employee shifts based on the dynamic demands of the business. On top of that, break compliance is taken care of automatically for them.

Dryas Martinson, Blackhouse’s Operations Manager, expressed that “[they] are very, very thankful for Push’s break violation feature because prior to Push, a lot of that was getting overlooked and that's a huge issue.” 

Blackhouse has been able to improve efficiency significantly with Push, which further fuels their growth. Dryas claims that “Push has really provided peace of mind. [She is] just so confident that since [they’ve] been on Push that [they] have done everything correctly.

Automated scheduling software has since become an essential ingredient to Blackhouse Hospitality’s recipe for success. 

Final Thoughts on Boosting Efficiency with Restaurant Scheduling Software

Imagine a world where weekends and holidays aren’t met with scheduling headaches, but with confidence that your restaurant is efficiently staffed for the increased demand. In a fast-paced work environment where mealtime rushes can get overwhelming, streamlined scheduling is key. Not only will you be automating a tedious task, but you’ll also boost profits and promote communication among your team. So, trade the spreadsheets and paper calendars for cloud-based scheduling software to unlock your new secret ingredient for success. 

Tired of those scheduling headaches? Push can help with our all-in-one people management software that’s designed with restaurants in mind. Book a demo today to experience the difference Push can make.

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May 2024


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