Make everyone happy and create the perfect schedule every time? That’s every restaurateurs’ dream, but more often it’s a nightmare. Making the perfect schedule is a daunting task, especially if you have a big staff, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

Here are 3 tips to help make shift scheduling easier for you.

1. Invest in cloud-based software

With all the technology out there, there is no excuse for not using a scheduling software to make life easier. There are a lot of companies out there with different software, so spend some time researching and see which is the best one out there for your particular needs. Most companies offer 30 day free trials, so test drive more than one to compare.

When looking at software, be sure to look for one that is cloud-based, so that employees can view it from anywhere. They will easily be able to see if there are any scheduling conflicts, and can coordinate with coworkers if they need to swap shifts. By doing this all within the software, it cuts down on employees needing to give their personal information to the whole staff, as well as miscommunications between staff members or between staff and management. Look for a software options that has a mobile app, making it even easier for employees to navigate right from their phones. You can also consider software that has the ability to automatically input holidays and local labor laws, so nothing catches you by surprise.

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2. Gather as much info as possible

It’s everyone’s goal to get the schedule perfect on the first time, but with a big staff that’s a challenge. Before you start to schedule, gather as much information from your employees as possible so you can be consistent in scheduling. Everyone’s time is valuable, so be respectful to  part-time and full-time employees equally and you’ll foster loyal relationships with both. Be sure each staff member is trained on how to get information to the manager ahead of time, and also how to deal with scheduling conflicts that may arise.

3. Use data to forecast business

If you’re already using Upserve, you know how useful the data we provide can be. Maximize all that data and use it to help you schedule. Data can help you forecast busy days, weeks, and shifts and find overall patterns. This will help guide you so that your restaurant is not over or under-staffed for a shift. You can also use data provided on your individual employees to balance out talents for the best team per shift. Try to get a mix of weak and strong employees, as well as new hires and veterans to keep each shift successful and running smoothly.

Don’t forget, be ready to roll with it. As soon as your schedule goes live, it will inevitably require some changes, but if your staff is trained on how best to make those changes, it will be a breeze.

Find out how Upserve Workforce can make shift scheduling easier in your restaurant!

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Kristin lives on the West Side of Providence with her wine blogger husband. When she's not co-hosting their monthly wine tastings, she's planning her next travel adventure and daydreaming about Spanish jamón. She can often be found pouring over travel guides at her favorite neighborhood spot, Nick's on Broadway.