According to the latest report on the digital transformation in the restaurant sector, carried out by TechFood Consult and Basque Culinary Center; among all management operations, work shifts management is the second most controlled operational task for restaurants. 81% of surveyed say that they have the staff’s shift management under control, and of these, 31% say they use digital tools for this task.
This means that 69% of restaurants still perform this operational task manually or without the support of digital tools. This is completely inefficient and in some cases totally unfeasible. In this article we tell you why.
Good shift planning is very important
Good shift planning for employees is essential to providing customers with exceptional customer service. If at a time of high customer traffic you do not have the necessary number of employees to serve them, waiting times will be long, and consequently the customer experience will be bad. Therefore bad planning directly influences the opinion of your customers and the profitability of the restaurant.
But it doesn’t work just to have the number of employees aligned with the number of tables and diners at any given time. You have to get the perfect employee in the right place at the right time. Only in this way will you be able to optimize the human capital of your business. This is important knowing that at the end of each month, the labour cost can represent up to 40% of the total costs of the establishment.
This percentage can be reduced by minimizing staff turnover (whose numbers in catering are very high), increasing the productivity of employees in the restaurant and making the most of each person’s working hours. In each and every one of these goals, good shift planning can help enormously.
Smart planning makes it easy for employees to reconcile their work and personal lives by communicating work shifts early and taking their preferences into account. This increases employee engagement with the restaurant, significantly reduces job turnover and increases employee productivity.
In addition, smart shift planning takes into account all the variables that influence the process, such as local and national regulations, labour agreements, employee-specific information, etc.
How is it affecting your restaurant to manage work shifts manually?
Scheduling work shifts manually may be worthwhile if you have a small number of employees, but industry difficulties such as seasonality, different employee profiles, or different applicable regulations mean that being guided by experience or intuition is not enough to make a restaurant profitable. In fact a mismatch can have a very negative impact at the end of the month.
Many restaurants and cafes still use Excel to generate work shifts, and this is reflected in the figures, 90% of restaurants that close, is due to poor planning of restaurant assets.
And the fact is that generating optimal planning is a very complex task. There are many variables that influence, and if you also want employees to be able to provide shift preferences, things get complicated.
The consequences of not using smart shift planning tools for employees are multiple:
- Decreased employee engagement with the restaurant
- Decreased employee productivity
- Increased staff turnover
- Waste of working hours
- Increased labor costs
- Increased waiting times for customers
- Deterioration in customer service
- Increased customer dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty
- Increased bad reviews of the restaurant
- Loss of sales and profitability every month
Leaving this complicated task to the Restaurant Manager, with no proper tools and technology, does not seem like a very smart strategy in today’s restaurant industry.
There are currently a multitude of staff management tools on the market that automate this task and take into account current regulations. These solutions save Restaurant Managers a lot of time in planning. But none of them is focused on increasing the productivity of each employee in the restaurant and significantly increase sales and profitability.
What options do I have to improve the shift management?
As I mentioned in the previous point, staff management tools can help, but they don’t take full advantage of restaurant data. Only a smart solution based on technologies such as advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence, allow to know in advance the future demand, identify the optimal workforce size at all times and plan the schedule of employees with a single click, meeting the needs of the business and ensuring employee satisfaction.
These solutions allow:
- Predict the demand that a restaurant will have at every moment of the day, hour by hour.
- Optimal dimensioning of the workforce adapting to the predicted restaurant demand.
- Plan in advance the schedules and tasks of employees taking into account their capabilities and the needs of the restaurant without forgetting their preferences.
- Give employees the option of being an active part in the management of their schedule, expressing their preferences and requesting changes of shifts with other colleagues easily through an agile mobile application.
Thanks to these solutions staff and tasks planning of the restaurant is much simpler and more agile. It is easy to contain labor costs, improve customer and employee satisfaction and increase the final productivity of the business.