Managing staff schedules in the restaurant industry require a lot of planning and thought. It is every restaurant owner’s dream to have the perfect work schedule. Owners tend to spend ample amounts of time trying to come up with the best schedule, and sometimes it works! However, other times, it does not. If you have worked in the industry, you are aware of the challenges that exist finding good service staff, and once you have hired them, you need to keep them. Unfortunately, having the perfect staffing goal is not always achievable. Between trying to satisfy restaurant demands and taking into consideration employee preferences, it can become conflicting.

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On a positive note, the more practice restaurant owners have in scheduling, the better and more comfortable the process becomes. To help with managing restaurant staff, there is staff management software available online. In Addition to that, here are some key factors to pay attention to improve employee satisfaction and allow the business to run smoothly.

Know Your Team

Knowing your team is the first step in creating a productive work schedule. Making a proper schedule is not just considering the headcount in the restaurant. Understanding employee strengths and weaknesses will make it clear who should be working together at certain times of the day. If you have someone who excels in organizing and another in taking orders, it may be a good idea to put them together frequently. Mixing and matching skills in a strategic way will benefit the restaurant’s overall success tremendously.

Make the Schedule in Advance

Making the schedule in advance is a great way to give the employees a decent amount of preparation time. Also, releasing the schedule ahead of time helps avoid any last-minute changes that could harm the restaurant rhythm. Having the leeway to tweak the schedule as necessary should be a part of the scheduling plan. It is always a good idea to expect that there may be some schedule changes, such as an employee has a personal conflict of some kind. Having the ability to adjust and remediate these issues in advance will make the situation much less stressful than trying to fix it an hour before a shift was supposed to start.

Arrange shifts Based on Needs

As you create your schedule, make sure to keep in mind the restaurant’s high and low days and times. If the restaurant is well established, there should already be a trending pattern of high and low traffic. If new, keep track of the patterns to avoid over or understaffing issues. Having more experienced employees and ones who can handle fast-paced environments may be the best to put in the restaurant’s prime times. New or lesser experiences employees may thrive better in slower and quieter shifts, at least in the beginning.

There will be times when someone calls out sick or has an emergency that makes them unable to cover their shift. To prepare for this, it is a good idea to have a back-up plan, such as having a couple of employees, “on-call.” When creating a schedule, there should be an on-call section, so the employees are aware that they need to be available during certain days and times. This will help with any last-minute emergencies.