5 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Schedule
When you run a restaurant, scheduling will be one of your many important tasks. Without the proper staff at any given time, you will not be able to run your business effectively. But how can you know how many staff you will need at each shift, how can you account for staff behavior and scheduling changes? How can you make sure that you will be neither overstaffed nor understaffed? Learning how to make an effective schedule, therefore, is one of the skills you will need to acquire in order to run your restaurant smoothly.
Know Your Needs
Before you sit down to create a schedule you will need to determine the exact needs of your business. How many shifts do you need? How much traffic do you get at every shift? How much staff do you need to accommodate your guests comfortably and ensure that food is delivered promptly to the table? It is important to understand these requirements so that you will be sure to have enough people to cover each shift.
Over staffing vs. Under staffing
Covering each shift with adequate staff is a delicate balance. You do not want to be understaffed, nor do you want to be overstaffed. If you are understaffed, there will be delays in your guests receiving their orders in a timely fashion and they will feel that they are not getting the service they deserve. This could cost you more than your current business. It could give your restaurant a bad name which would greatly affect your overall sales.
At the same time, over staffing can also cause problems. In this scenario, you can find that your costs are too high and shifts are not as profitable as they could be because you were overstaffed. When you are overstaffed, you could have employees on hand with nothing to do. That leaves them unhappy and you from being as successful as you can be. Over time, you will learn what the correct balance of employees is for each shift. Each time you make a mistake take it as a learning opportunity and chance for improvement.
Once you have your various schedules decided, you will also want a master schedule. This is a schedule that shows you who is covering every area of your restaurant at every hour of the day. This will help you know what is being taken care of and what needs to be done. It also gives you an idea of who you can count on to pitch in if you have employees call in sick or quit without notice.
Post Schedules Early
Since employees have busy lives, they will need ample notice as to when their scheduled shifts are for the coming days and weeks. Therefore it is important to have a schedule completed as far in advance as possible so that your employees can make any changes they need to early enough, so as not to cause problems with your staffing requirements. Be sure to post your schedule in a place that can be easily see by your employees. It is also important to make sure that there is a hierarchy for making any schedule changes, and that this process is clear to the staff if any scheduling changes are needed. These safeguards will keep your schedule running smoothly and ensure that you always have the proper staff on hand at any given time.