What to Know About Automatic Restaurant Scheduling Software in 2024

Many restaurants are suffering a staff scheduling headache, managing staff rotas with manual processes such as using a pen-and-paper spreadsheet. Today there’s a painkiller for that headache — automatic scheduling, courtesy of specialist software, which we outline in this article.

How many pen-and-paper processes would your restaurant like to get rid of? Maybe your staff are unaware of the time-saving benefits of restaurant software? Talk to us and discover more about today’s greatest options.

What is Restaurant Scheduling Software?

Planning for who work when is a regular routine for restaurant managers. This is to show staff what hours they work in coming weeks and months. As such restaurants create schedules to:

  • create a first-draft staff rota for the team to accept or amend
  • coordinate payroll with a visible mark-up of staff hours
  • communicate changes and key information such as a shift swap

Restaurant scheduling software is the digital form of this process. It allows both restaurants and their teams to access a digital overview, looking at digital management. In short, software:

  • boosts staff communication abilities, with digital channels such as internal app inboxes
  • bolsters payroll, with accurate and timely digital calculations
  • breaks down on unnecessary labour costs, time spent creating manual staff rotas

Software transfers all the everyday scheduling processes to one centralised space, allowing restaurants to build, adapt, and edit digital staff schedules with creation tools — namely including automatic restaurant scheduling.

What is an Auto Scheduling Tool?

Manual staff schedules are thankless tasks. Restaurant managers assigning staff to various shifts need to think hard about the best team members to pick for certain hours. Otherwise, manual schedules can:

  • create schedule conflicts. For instance, a staff member assigned with a wrong time will need to contact their manager to alleviate and change the hours they work,, coinciding with their own available hours. A lot of time and energy goes into the back-and-forth communications to negotiate hours.
  • make amendments to mark out new hours. Sometimes, this can lead to staff confusion. For example, a staff member who has missed an amended schedule may mistake their hours, leading to unnecessary staff activities.
  • reform payroll. With any amendments made, restaurants have to return to the counting desk to reform payroll, making sure it coincides with a team’s contract hours.

Automated scheduling, on the other hand, helps restaurants that have encountered these problems before. In sum, it’s a time saver, that uses specialist online features. Here’s a quick run through.

  • Employees add times when they’re available to work onto a scheduling profile.
  • Notification features send alerts on schedules, through various mediums (email, text, a smartphone app) so everyone is up to date
  • To swap shifts is even easier because an automated system/tool reduces the chance of schedule conflicts
”Calendar” by Dafne Cholet via Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)

How it Works

Automated scheduling is a great tool to create the best restaurant schedules, but managers should always remember a key component that makes them work: human input.

Algorithms don’t absolutely govern the operations of a system’s auto scheduling function. Rather, they rely on a manager’s input. The more information both restaurant employees and managers put into a system, the better and more accurate an auto-scheduling function will work. A system collects employee data via an internal profiling system.

  • Hours available
  • Preferred hours and days in the week
  • Average time it takes to complete tasks within shifts

Staff can adjust their profiles in a staff scheduling system to help create better rotas. It is in everyone’s interest to do so, and therefore this helps create flexible staff schedules for teams to operate within. As such, the human touch is how it works — smart scheduling, in other words.

What Are The Benefits?

An automated system adjusted to the needs and preferences of employees saves restaurants heaps of time.

  • Keep payroll under control. An automated system allows restaurants to predict how much staff is needed. Therefore they can forecast schedules, total hours, and other staff trends, such as bonus pay, all the while keeping monetary budgets under wraps
  • Experience instant scheduling. Software options typically come with a one-click scheduling feature. Factoring in staff availability, costs, and suitability, restaurants can automate an otherwise lengthy process

Manage a better restaurant. Real-time data and updates enable restaurants to make better staff scheduling decisions. With the helping hand of the web, restaurants can now manage better teams.

Bonus Benefits

Automated scheduling is an intelligent way to craft staff rotas on the go. Now restaurants can concentrate on other processes indoors, attending to everyday customer demands.

Auto scheduling automates the tricky preparation that goes into rota creation. Since auto schedule are fast, staff find out their hours sooner, and thus enjoy increased job flexibility. Research has shown that today’s workforce prefer this treatment. A paper by Chicago academics observed the increase in job satisfaction among staff with greater role flexibility

Plus restaurant operators should note that they’re working with a smartphone-ready workforce. Millions of smartphone users worldwide prefer to manage tasks from their palm

Likewise, employees with smartphones appreciate a mobile-first platform that can keep them up-to-date on the hours they work. Increased visibility makes a huge difference compared to the age-old alternative, having to journey to the restaurant back-of-house noticeboard again and again to check up on working hours.

Concentrate On Other Restaurant Duties

Today’s restaurant scheduling software options help foster greater certainty surrounding a vital process in the industry. Integrating other software options can help further boost the efficiency of a restaurant’s indoor processes. For example, like scheduling software, online reservations help restaurants predict the shape of things to come — and they can now use this software for free.

If you liked this guide, read more about Carbonara App’s extra features and digest our article called “5 Myths About Long Queues Restaurants Need to Know” for the best advice on how restaurants should handle steady streams of guests, transforming a customer inflow into a digital waiting list.