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by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 29, 2016

When managing a restaurant, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your cooks and waitstaff are going to show up for their shifts. That’s why you should consider dedicated restaurant scheduling software: It can help you better manage and automate tedious scheduling tasks, while ensuring staff know where they need to be and when.

In this Buyer’s Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose the right restaurant scheduling software for your business, including:

Benefits of Restaurant Scheduling Software
Common Functionality of Restaurant Scheduling Software
How Is Restaurant Scheduling Software Priced?

Benefits of Restaurant Scheduling Software

Still doing scheduling with paper or spreadsheets? As we found in a recent report, dedicated scheduling software offers a number of benefits over manual methods, including:

Increased automation. Tools such as reusable templates and “copy and paste” scheduling can make many tedious aspects of shift schedule management disappear. Employee-facing capabilities, such as automated shift reminders and shift swapping, can also transfer some of the burden to your workers.

Improved communication. With real-time scheduling, workers and managers can stay up to date if a schedule changes or someone is unable to come in. Text or email notifications can also be enabled so everyone is in the know, even when away from a computer.

More accurate scheduling. Keeping track of changing worker availability, preferences and certifications manually can lead to errors. With software, all these factors are tracked automatically—meaning potential shift-scheduling conflicts are identified ahead of time.

Controlled labor costs. Integrating your scheduling platform with your payroll system allows you to accurately compensate employees for the hours they worked, saving you money.

Common Functionality of Restaurant Scheduling Software

There are a number of common capabilities found in restaurant scheduling applications, including:

Time clock integration Keeps track of clock-ins and clock-outs through a wall clock or online Web portal.
Reporting Generates reports about labor budgets, hours worked and more.
POS integration Integrates the scheduling system with your point-of-sale software to forecast sales and labor requirements.
Optimal schedule creation With all important factors tracked, optimal schedules can be created to avoid any conflicts.
Availability and certification tracking Shows you when your workers are available, and which ones have proper certification for things such as ServSafe.
Mobile access Allows users to view and modify schedules and availability from their mobile device. Some systems offer native mobile apps for the best experience.

How Is Restaurant Scheduling Software Priced?

Restaurant scheduling software is usually priced under one of two models: subscription-based or a perpetual license.

Subscription-based A monthly or annual fee to use the software, typically based on the number of employees needing to access it.
Perpetual license A one-time fee paid up front to use the software indefinitely.

Most restaurant scheduling software platforms are cloud-based, which are typically sold under a subscription model. However, there are some on-premise solutions, sold under a perpetual license, that offer more customization and data control. Your business needs and budget will determine what’s best for you.

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