Please enjoy this blog from our great friends at Ameego, the restaurant scheduling and labor management platform.
Aside from temperature compliance and food comps, what are some of the biggest ongoing challenges for restaurant managers? If your mind envisioned next month’s blank schedule calendar, the binder of handwritten time-off requests or the stack of month-end reports that show you’re spending too much on staff, you’re not alone. Scheduling and labor management tend to fall near the bottom of managers’ favorite tasks, somewhere in line with changing kegs during Friday night happy hour.
What if instead of dreading making the schedule, you looked forward to it because you had tools, data and insight to build a schedule that would keep customers, staff and your bank account happy?
Focusing on labor management and creating a scheduling strategy can have enormous benefits for productivity, and your team and guests.
3 Benefits of Labor Management & a Scheduling Strategy
1. Reduce labor costs
Mention the phrase ‘minimum wage’ to a restaurant operator these days, and watch his face wince.
Across North America, restaurants are facing increases in minimum wage. Even the smallest increases spread out over years will be painful because that money can only come from one place: the bottom line. At the same time, in many places, food costs are on the rise. And yet, with the influence and sharability of reviews, it’s more important than ever to dish up amazing food and service.
How can you possibly meet all those expectations and turn a profit? Schedule smarter. Scheduling software aligns clocked hours with daily sales so you can staff the floor according to sales, to the hour. It’s true. What time does that June Friday night happy hour rush ebb so you can send home your split-shifters? Could they start later or be cut earlier? Now you know. That’s the instant value of a scheduling strategy.
2. Increase staff happiness
When you find that star bartender or the server who can take 10 tables with her eyes closed, wouldn’t it be great to keep them around for a long, long time?
We all know what’s it like to go a few weeks understaffed. Servers are stressed and overworked. Morale goes down. And it’s not much better when you’re overstaffed, sending people home early time and again, or keeping them with not enough to do and not enough tips to make.
Now that you have insights about what triggers the need for fewer or more bodies, and to ensure you have stars on the floor when you need them most, you can create a schedule that will keep your team happy.
According to this University of Warwick study about the link between employee satisfaction and productivity, “…happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”
And, when restaurant staff are happy, so is someone else….
3. Deliver a Better Guest Experience
What difference does it make if table five gets their drinks in two minutes or 12? What’s really at stake when a table doesn’t see their server for half an hour? Two words: complaints and comps. Neither of them do your restaurant any favors.
In 2014, Consumer Reports conducted a survey about Americans’ most common restaurant complaints. ‘Slow service’ was a complaint for 51 per cent of respondents. Other all-too-familiar service and timing follies ranked high:
• Impolite or condescending servers, 72 per cent
• Tables not ready more than 15 minutes past reservation time, 50 per cent
• Feeling rushed to leave by the server, 61 per cent
With data-driven labor forecasting and scheduling, however, you know you have just the right number of staff on the floor to maintain the kind of elevated guest experience that generates rave reviews and return visits. When staff can not just stop by their tables but also truly listen to diner feedback, they’ll be able to build the kind of loyalty that makes a big impact on profits.
Scheduling mindfully creates this cycle where staff want to do their best and guests get the best. Both lead to a better culture that leads to more of the same: smiling faces and nice profits.
With the ability to access valuable information and plan effectively—not just for next week but next year—focused labor management and a scheduling strategy is kind of like your expediter for growth and success.
Ameego online restaurant scheduling software helps managers create the perfect schedule in minutes and increase restaurant profits. As a mobile-friendly online scheduling program with tools such as labor forecasting, POS integration, time tracking and team communication, Ameego truly is your restaurant’s best friend.