4 Ways to Make Scheduling Easier at Your Restaurant

Colleen Egan, Writer

Whether you’re operating a fine-dining restaurant or quick-service restaurant, creating schedules can be a daunting task. Not only do you need a good understanding of your employees’ day-to-day work, but you also need to consider the laws and issues around work hours and wages mandated by federal, state, and local government.

There can be a lot more at stake than you might realize, so here are some ways to remove pain points for both you and your staff.

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Centralize the calendar.

Even with staffing schedule templates or complex spreadsheets, schedule management can quickly spiral into chaos if there’s no centralized calendar. There are many solutions that integrate with your POS and can help you schedule and communicate with employees.

Look for a mobile option that also allows employees to stay on top of changes and check in even if they’re not at the restaurant, so you can keep everything sufficiently staffed.

Use employee management tools.

Many employee management tools enable employees to clock in and out, which helps ensure shift check-in accuracy and combats abuses like time theft. Square Employee Management even allows you to view sales by employee and adjust staffing by determining your slowest and busiest times.

Adhere to predictive scheduling rules.

Employees deserve to know the days and hours they’re working and to have a sufficient rest period between shifts. If the schedule changes or they don’t get that rest period, then they deserve a higher rate of compensation. That’s the crux of surveypredictive scheduling, also known as “fair scheduling,” rules.

These regulations, which have already been enacted in cities like San Francisco and New York, protect restaurant and retail employees, who are especially vulnerable to unfair scheduling practices like being on call or “clopening.”

When employees clopen, they are required to work both closing and opening shifts with fewer than 10 hours of rest time in between. The highly unpopular practice was scrutinized in 2014 when Starbucks came under fire for this and other irregular scheduling methods. Today clopening is banned under most predictive scheduling legislation.

Integrate payroll with your employee management system.

How confident are you that you’re in full compliance with federal, state, and local government laws regulating the restaurant industry? From payroll taxes to the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tip credit, complying with myriad (and ever-changing) regulations can be overwhelming, especially for time-strapped small business owners.

Tools like Employee Management can be a game changer, especially when integrated with Square Payroll. After your team has clocked in and out for their shifts, you can import their hours to Square Payroll and let payroll run automatically.

Square Payroll can help you stay up to date on new taxes and regulations, pay W-2 and 1099 employees, file federal and state payroll taxes, calculate overtime, and initiate direct deposit payments. That way, you can spend more time focusing on the most important aspect of your restaurant: the food.

Colleen writes for Square, where she covers everything from how aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their passion into a career to the best marketing strategies for small businesses who are ready to take their enterprise to the next level.