How to Improve Your Restaurant Scheduling Process

Chris Rumpf

Founder and CEO, 15+ Years of Restaurant Technology Innovation

How to Improve Your Restaurant Scheduling Process

Well, it happened again. Brittany requested this weekend off months ago (which you forgot), Aidan’s trying to get his shift covered, someone’s sick, and now you’re left with blank spaces on your restaurant’s schedule for yet another Saturday night. What’s more, you are drowning in a sea of sticky notes that are scribbled with time-off requests, school schedules, availability changes, clock in edits, and phone numbers (with no name).

Before you throw in the towel, decide to light a post-it bonfire out back and call it a day, read through these tips to improve your restaurant scheduling process. These tips are intended to make your life easier, make the restaurant run more predictably, and keep your employees happy in the process. After following these tips, you’ll have a system in place for scheduling that is organized, makes sense for everyone – and you’ll be able to see your desk again.

Step one: Burn the Post-Its.

Yes, you read that right. You should not have any scheduling information, availabilities, time off requests, etc, etc, on paper. Why? Take a look at your desk. And the drawer. And the other drawer. That’s why.

Papers get lost. Things change and become outdated. By transferring all of the necessary scheduling information off paper and into an integrated, automated software, you ensure everything is in one place. This gives you peace of mind and your employees comfort in knowing their requests are in a recorded system.

With Flyght Advanced Scheduling, employees can request time off, trade shifts, and provide their availability all in one place so you don’t have to worry about managing it all.

Step two: Have a team meeting.

If you’ve been lax about the restaurant employee scheduling process up until this point, now’s the time to get everyone on the same page. Bring your team together to discuss the new scheduling process, how it impacts them, and what they’ll need to do moving forward.

Clarifying deadlines for when employees can request time off is important, and employees must know policies like if it operates on a first-come-first-served basis, or if they must request time off a minimum of two weeks in advance. By making these policies clear upfront, you reduce the chances of a scheduling conflict, bad vibes if you can’t honor a request, and overtime worked by employees who cover too many shifts.

If you don’t have one already, these policies can be outlined in a New Employee Handbook, and your new employees can sign a document that indicates that they have read and understand the policies – before they’ve even been scheduled for a shift.

Your technology system should track scheduling changes and alert you if there is an issue with overtime or availability. With Flyght, our Advanced Scheduling System does just that. It can even auto-schedule based upon availability and performance.

Step three: Implement.

When the system goes live and all your employees are on board, implement all of the policies that you’ve put into place. Your employees will appreciate your consistency and standardizing the process will make scheduling monkey wrenches less likely.

When standing clear and firm with your policies, your dedicated and hardworking employees will appreciate the predictability and benefit of knowing their schedule and knowing they’re free to make appropriate changes within the program when needed. Employees that made it a habit to request time off at the last minute or pick up shifts to sneak in overtime will be disallowed to do so without your approval. This will help you fine-tune your team and see when you may need to hire more employees – or let some go.

Step four: Sit back and relax.

With Flyght, practically the entire scheduling process is automated once the necessary information has been submitted. Shift scheduling is automated, and changes are tracked and always up-to-date. And this is just one example of how Flyght can automate your business.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy putting your feet up on that newly cleared desk of yours. Your welcome.