The Best Restaurant Scheduling Software For Your Business

Lauren Christiansen10/27/2021

What is Restaurant Scheduling Software?

Restaurant scheduling software is a system that automates the process of creating and maintaining an accurate schedule for your restaurant. It can streamline your operations, free up time for your restaurant's staff, and increase the profitability of your business.

What is Restaurant Scheduling Software?

Did you know that it can take up to 3 hours a week to manually perform staff scheduling? Back before computerized systems took over the business world, managers had to use a pen, paper, and good organization skills during the scheduling process. While small diners may still be able to do this, larger establishments can't afford to. There's too high of a potential for error and too many other time-consuming tasks to complete. Thankfully, restaurant scheduling software is here to help.

Restaurant scheduling software is a program designed to let restaurant managers quantify and streamline their restaurant operations so they can have a more productive and profitable restaurant. Restaurant scheduling software is a centralized hub for all other processes in a restaurant. It is used to find and book staff, track inventory and even take orders. These easy use solutions also be used to keep tabs on restaurant supply costs and labor costs. Restaurant scheduling software is typically integrated with an optimized POS solution or point of sale software.

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Why is Restaurant Scheduling Software Important?

Restaurant scheduling software is the answer to problems you never knew you had. Did your restaurant suffer from missed bookings or lost customers because you didn't know when your servers would be available? Did you spend too much time on the phone with your employees scheduling shifts? Does your restaurant have a hard time recruiting new servers because you can't offer enough hours to your employees? If so, you would probably benefit from restaurant scheduling software.

Restaurant scheduling software improves communication between managers and staff. The system allows employees to put in time off requests or adjust their schedules. They can also view their upcoming schedules for the week, and managers can make quick adjustments. After any change in the system, each involved employee or manager is notified through their mobile devices. Restaurant scheduling software also increases employee engagement and boosts retention rates. Frequent schedule changes or mistakes are upsetting to employees who are trying to manage their personal lives and work lives.

Restaurants can also save a lot of money with restaurant scheduling software. Labor costs are expensive and they cut into already thin profit margins. These costs are also much higher when managers make frequent scheduling errors or schedule too many people. With an optimized system, managers can make sure they have just the right number of people on the floor at the right times. Managing schedules properly also improves customer satisfaction, which increases the number of return visits and brand loyalty.

The best benefit of restaurant scheduling software is that managers have a lot more time on their hands. Owners and managers have a lot of Back Office work to do, and scheduling is a meticulous and time-consuming task. Rather than spending hours manually scheduling the workforce, they can finish the job in a few minutes. This provides more time to focus on customer service, hiring and training, and increasing revenue.

So now that you know why restaurant scheduling software is so important, you may be wondering which system to invest in. This is a tricky and complex answer, as the type of solution you need depends on the restaurant size and business requirements. However, there are Best Restaurant scheduling software to choose from. Read ahead to learn the top 5.

1. Plum POS

Plum POS is a point sale solution that is great for all business types. It streamlines the sales transaction process from beginning to end so you can increase revenue. It also is compatible with the majority of restaurant systems and inventory management solutions. Best of all, it offers an employee scheduling solution and Predictive Scheduling with a mobile app.

Restaurant owners can manage employee schedules with a few simple clicks. They can also handle benefits administration, organize tasks, and send instant notifications to workers. Employees can check their schedules on their mobile phones, request time off, and clock in/out.

These POS systems improve the accuracy of payroll data and help restaurants save money. It also ensures restaurant owners can manage all types of processes from one centralized location. Plum POS offers a great customer support system and an easy installation process. This workforce management tool is a great option for small diners, cafes, large chains, or other types of food service establishments.

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2. 7Shifts

7Shifts is a full-service program that streamlines all scheduling for restaurant staff. It helps with time tracking, intuitive scheduling, and optimizes communication. There is an automatic schedule builder engrained in the system, which is similar to Plum POS functionality. It comes with a mobile app so staff can view and swap shifts or handle their benefits.

Potential cons include subpar customer service that is incapable of reproducing an error and/or fixing it. There is no edit button on real time reporting features, so managers have to reprint an entire report if there is one single error written in the query. It's also very challenging to print up a report and the process requires several different steps. 7 Shifts is a good option for some restaurants that don't mind these bottlenecks. This cloud based tool is not great for those who need frequent changes and don't have the time to print up numerous reports.

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3. Wrike

Wrike is employee scheduling software that several different restaurants and retailers use to optimize scheduling. It offers a free version that streamlines time tracking, shift swapping, performance reports, resource management, and other Human Resources related tasks. One benefit of Wrike is that it can integrate with over 400 different programs. This user friendly solution is a great option for small business owners or office teams. However, it is not specifically geared towards the restaurant industry like Plum POS is.

Users complained of a non-intuitive interface that was challenging to navigate. Other users had unauthorized charges and had a difficult time resolving them with customer support. This scheduling tool is also on the pricier side compared to other restaurant software solutions. Their justification for the expense is the quality of service along with the software's top-notch functionality that ensures compliance with labor laws. This may not be the best option for large chains that need a solution specifically designed for restaurants.

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4. Coast

Coast is scheduling software that comes with a free scheduling app. It makes it easy to assign schedules, request time off, swap shifts, and optimize team communication. One benefit is how easy and intuitive the interface is. Users claim the mobile app's simplicity and rich features are its top benefits. Large chains owners may like Coast because they can manage and oversee schedules from multiple locations. Another cool benefit is the seen feature, which tells managers when employees have viewed their schedules.

Downsides include an inability to save schedule templates, which is frustrating for busy owners who may need to go back in and edit work. There is also no auto-scheduling feature, and integrations with other software systems are limited. Pricing plans are fairly inexpensive and depend on business requirements and users per month.

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5. HotSchedules

HotSchedules was created to eliminate the meticulous aspects of employee scheduling for restaurants. More than 7000 restaurants and retailers around the world enjoy the benefits of HotSchedules for this very reason. Key features include the ability to create a restaurant schedule based on historical sales, which can save a lot of money. HotSchedules also provides quick mobile access on several devices and apps. It integrates well with various POS solutions to optimize productivity and efficiency.

One big downside is that, unlike other providers, HotSchedules doesn't offer a free mobile app. There is also a lag time if you want to gain access to certain features such as task lists. If you want to use all of the features available on HotSchedules, be prepared for the challenge. Users warn that it requires some technical knowledge and the process can be confusing. It is also far easier to use the mobile app than it is to use the system on a desktop. The HotSchedules restaurant scheduling app comes with a 14-day free trial, and its other plans are not available through the website.