The restaurant industry is no stranger to automation; from online ordering to in-store kiosks and even a pancake-flipping robot chef, a growing fleet of restaurants are embracing automation technologies in the name of efficiency and cost control.
Today, nearly everything in your restaurant can be measured and monitored. Thanks to big data, restaurateurs have unprecedented access to business insights that can work in harmony with anecdotes or intuitions to streamline operations, pinpoint opportunities, and improve the customer dining experience.
So why is it, then, that the same savvy restaurateurs who invest in accounting, restaurant point of sale software, or energy management solutions often find themselves chained to their desks week after week, spending as many as 8 hours trying to build the perfect schedule by hand?
Those who have worked under a pen-and-paper scheduling regime know all too well the chaos caused by a communication slip-up or scheduling mishap. Suddenly, your restaurant is understaffed, your team is overworked, and your customers are underwhelmed…all because of a misplaced sticky note.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to ditch the paper and switch to automated scheduling. Not convinced?
Here are five reasons why restaurant scheduling software is an automated restaurant staple.
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1- No more excuses. Tacking the upcoming week’s schedule to a bulletin board and expecting staff to drop by and manually check on next week’s shifts opens the door to human error and excuses. As the name suggests, automated scheduling automatically notifies staff when their hours are available. And because they quite literally have this information in the palm of their hand (making their lives easier—always a bonus!), automated scheduling can lead to a decrease in no-shows, improved accountability, and eliminate last-minute staffing scrambles.
2- Better control over labor costs. Ever wonder how much you’re spending on labor? An automated scheduling solution will provide you with real-time labor and sales data – pulled straight from your restaurant POS – to help you make smart scheduling decisions. When you can automate even your prediction of labor costs, restaurateurs can better align staffing to sales. Nifty features like overtime alerts also help keep your budget in check by alerting you when a staff member is about to venture into overtime.
3- Better control over compliance. As the line of states and cities introducing labor compliance laws (sometimes known as ‘predictive scheduling’) gets longer, there is increasing pressure for restaurateurs to stay across and inline with rules and regulations. An automated scheduling tool helps you steer clear of hefty non-compliance fines by accounting for legislative changes around things like predictability pay, minimum hours, and employee rights of refusal.
4- No-fuss scheduling and availability changes. Pack up those erasers and Post-It notes! With automated scheduling, your staff can submit availability or trade a shift online and without delay, giving you the power to quickly process updates at the click of a button.
5- Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. You set your restaurant up for future success by pairing automation with integration. Choosing a scheduling solution that integrates with your restaurant POS, for example, allows you to block cheeky staff members from clocking in ahead of their scheduled start time, saving you small amounts on labor that can add up to big bucks in the long run.