Restaurant Scheduling Tips and Tricks


3 Restaurant Scheduling Tips and Tricks

Making the perfect schedule for your establishment can be a daunting task. scheduling can take care of these issues for you with sales projections, cost estimations and goals, overtime alerts and staff work preferences.  Here are a couple tips you can add to the process to make your business run efficiently and profitable.


  1. Rate your team’s strengths and abilities and balance your shifts.

We all have players on our team that have specific strengths and weaknesses.  We use a numeric system and have a total score each shift has to meet to pass the quality test.  As an example let’s use 1 through 3.  We give our top servers a three and newer or less qualified staff a 1.  Each shift has to get to a score of 8 with 4 FOH employees in order for it to pass the quality test.  You may want to require a different minimum score for different shifts for example you want at least a score of 11 on a Saturday night.


With your minimum quality score achieved for each shift you increase the odds the shift will run smoothly and you will be able to turn tables at a maximum rate while, up selling and giving great service.  When you quantify strengths and qualifications then you create a recipe for almost anyone to follow and will free you from having to create the schedule.  It simply becomes a numbers game.


  1. Break your shifts down into smaller time increments.

Some of the most efficiently run operations, for example, McDonalds, breaks their scheduling down into 15 minute increments.  We had put ourselves into hour and half hour blocks for scheduling for years.  We saved over 2.5 hours a day by breaking our schedule down by 15 minutes, which translated to 900 hours a year!  That was an approximate savings of over $8,000.00!


  1. Do not allow staff to clock in early or clock out late without a manager override.

Staff eating up the time clock is a huge expense to restaurants that often goes unchecked.  There are so many variables at closing with regards to customers, side work, BOH and on that it can seem like you can never control it.  We took the average of each week night for example Monday’s for an entire month.  We were able to project that it should take 30 minutes after closing to have all tasks completed and the entire staff clocked out.  We then were able to use that time projection as the golden standard.  If you have a team mate that milks the clock you will be able to pick it off pretty quickly.  Finally if it turns out they are just slow then we would no longer schedule them for closing shifts because it just cost us too much money.  Your entire team will stop clocking in early or late when they have to call for a manager and explain the why behind the excess time.