As a restaurant owner, you know the story: after hours tirelessly completing a weekly employee schedule, you fail to see that your server is scheduled for more than forty hours. Mistakes like this force your business to pay overtime expenses and can reduce your employees’ productivity.
In a bid to curb the risks associated with human error, many restaurants are choosing to rely on employee scheduling apps or online scheduling websites. Online restaurant scheduling platforms provide numerous advantages over the manual creation of schedules.
These platforms can save managers up to 75% on creating employee work schedules, save restaurants up to 4% on labor costs, greatly reduce scheduling errors, and integrate with current POS labor and sales data for increased accuracy. Below are just some of the advantages of online labor scheduling can have for your restaurant.
Eliminate Scheduling Conflicts
Did you forget that Lara was going on vacation, or that Lucy had her grandmother’s 80th birthday party? No matter how practiced you are in employee scheduling, mistakes happen.
Unlike the manual approach, online scheduling platforms prevent you from creating scheduling conflicts. Employees can simply request time off through the platform, which will prevent employees from being scheduled during those times. These software programs can also help prevent you from scheduling the same employee twice on the same day.
Eliminating scheduling conflicts will let your restaurant be adequately staffed, which in turn can lead to higher revenue and increased customer satisfaction. So, Lara can go on vacation, Lucy can attend her grandmother’s birthday party, and you can rest assured that your schedules are error-free.
Swap Shifts with Ease
In a perfect world, employees would still need someone to take a shift occasionally. Life happens, whether it be the flu, a spur of the moment vacation, or the dreaded schedule conflicts discussed above. Consequently, it is important that swapping shifts be easy and pain-free.
With online scheduling, you can throw out the employee contact spreadsheet. Forget about manually dialing every past and future employee, and no longer stress because no one answered, you are understaffed, and you’re two hours behind on inventory.
Scheduling platforms such as Hot Schedules and google calendar allow employees to switch schedules with each other online easily. So, the sick employee, the spontaneous vacationer, and others can simply request to swap via the platform, and an alert will be sent to all eligible employees to pick up the shift. Best of all, swapping shifts and picking up shifts can all be done through a mobile device. This makes the alerts easily accessible and visible to employees, increasing the likelihood of an employee picking up a shift.
Time Off Requests are Seamless
Time is of the essence when owning a restaurant. Many restaurateurs simply do not have the time to log all employee time-off requests correctly. Instead, one might find herself with piles of time-off request sticky notes that are neither legible nor still valid. If this scenario sounds familiar, online scheduling may be just what your restaurant needs.
With software like google calendar, for example, you no longer have to worry about properly logging employee time-off requests. Instead, the employee will simply add a time off request via their account for management approval. Once management approves the time of the request, the software or online platform will prevent management from scheduling them on those dates. By doing so, the software reduces scheduling errors, wasted time, and excess office supplies.
Streamline the Communication Process
Sometimes restaurants will be forced to open late or close early. Whether there is a tornado warning or the restaurant’s electricity is out, your staff members must be notified of any unexpected closings.
With online scheduling, important announcements can be relayed to all staff quickly and easily. Instead of reaching out to each employee individually, messages such as the above will be automatically sent to each employee’s platforms, and alerts will be sent to the employee’s mobile devices. By having announcements streamlined to all people, it saves you time making announcements and saves employees a trip to the restaurant.
Almost everyone nowadays has a mobile smartphone these days, regardless of the OS yours is running, what matters is that you’ve got one in your pocket at least, and that can serve as the ultimate mobile scheduling software
For the average restaurant business, flexibility and timeliness are of the essence. With a mobile app, you can easily meet the need to access your calendar from anywhere to check who is booked next and when your upcoming appointments are.
Not only is mobile access important for you running your own business, but your employees must have the ability to check their schedule from their smartphones at any time and from anywhere.
The Dog Ate My Schedule Excuse Will No Longer Fly
With an online employee scheduling software, employees can get access to their schedules 24/7, 365. Not only do these online labor systems give employees real-time access to their schedules, but many scheduling systems also offer employees message alerts that can be synced with their mobile devices, so your employees can be notified multiple times that their shift is coming up.
This messaging system not only helps employees stay on track with their schedules but also stops them from forgetting about an upcoming shift. Now the “I forgot when I was supposed to work” excuse will no longer fly.
An Affordable Solution for All Businesses
Aside from the numerous features and functionality of online scheduling software, other appealing characteristics include price and implementation.
Many online scheduling calendars are what are commonly known as Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that offer “pay-as-you-go” payment options. They typically do not require any long-term contracts and offer affordable monthly service fees, which are important for many small businesses with limited budgets.
They’re also easy to implement. Because most online scheduling processes are Web-based, they only require an Internet connection to use. There are no downloads, no installations, and no extra hardware required. And they don’t require any internal or contracted IT support, as the service providers generally handle all maintenance, updates, and upgrades. Business owners and customers simply access the online business calendar in the same way as any Web site.
Reduced Labor Costs
As a restauranteur, you want your business to thrive. To achieve that, tracking every aspect of operations is important, from facilities management to supplies ordering downs to employees’ schedules; this enables you to keep track of all incurable and fixed costs. When keeping track becomes difficult, you run a risk of incurring extra costs, including labor costs, which, according to analysts’ claim, is the average business’s highest expense.
To control labor costs, you must understand who works when, for how many hours, and at what rate. Gathering this type of insight requires careful planning and scheduling. However, the problem lies in finding time to complete all these necessary tasks, when there are so many other things on your list of things to do.
Many online labor scheduling tools can help reduce labor costs by alerting management about employees who are projected to hit overtime. If management is considering paying overtime to an employee, some scheduling programs will even notify the restaurant of how much the overtime will cost. By doing so, managers can make the adjustments necessary to meet the desired profit margin still.