1. Streamline Scheduling
Labor management may be one of the biggest pressures facing the restaurant industry now, but with a little help from computers, it’s also one of the easiest ways restaurants can buy back efficiency. Yet many restaurants either rely on hand-written schedules or computer-generated schedules that don’t scale to the complexity of the current labor landscape.
Hand-written schedules, for example, are time consuming to create. Not only do they require managers sit in a back office instead of helping team members or restaurant guests, but they require managers have in-depth knowledge of sales patterns attributed to weather, holidays, and local events. Those aspects are difficult enough for an experienced manager to keep in mind, but even more so for new managers. Mistakes in scheduling can cause overspending on payroll when it isn’t needed and understaffing if, for example, a manager forgets to account for a big convention in town, potentially risking guest satisfaction.
Bad schedules can also put an entire brand at risk. As more cities and states throughout the nation enact predictive scheduling laws that place requirements on how businesses schedule hourly employees, it has become even more difficult for restaurant leaders to keep up with regulations—particularly for multi-unit operators doing business in multiple regions. Not only can predictive scheduling mistakes lead to costly fines and penalties, but they also create reputational liabilities.
Better schedules also make for happier employees and managers, and happy managers and employees are less likely to look for new opportunities. Yet keeping employees happy can sometimes be at the expense of a good schedule. Shift swap and time-off requests, for example, mean a lot to employees, but managing the requests and remembering to schedule accordingly can be a headache for restaurant leaders who have to figure out how to cover for absent team members. Computers, however, can generate a schedule that keeps employees and managers happy by balancing workload demands with employee availability.
Automating scheduling can reduce the strain on managers and ensure all these factors and more are taken into consideration. Now that some scheduling software such as the HotSchedules Clarifi platform integrates AI technology that can take predictive scheduling regulations into consideration, for example, restaurants can help make their teams more productive.