Food! Tasty and delicious food! We love going outdoors to fill our bellies, taking with us our friends, families, business partners, etc. Typically, we move to a good-looking restaurant or a food franchise, or trusted uncle Joe for smoking ribs.
In every such joint, we can see that everything runs as per the schedule. With the advent of restaurant booking apps, the timings, serving, and other activities are being organized via finger taps, making the scheduling process much tighter.
So, how do these food centers manage such a constricted schedule? How do they manage the work of so many employees? Not every staff member is going to available all the time.
What if the chef is on leave? To manage all these employee management issues, we need to practice a proper schedule and assign the work shift and roles accordingly.
All of these can be done on paper, but as you can visualize, for a big food joint with over 1000 employees, paper scheduling doesn’t seem a good idea.
In these situations, we can use software products called Restaurant Employee Scheduling Software. With these tools, the owners or manager of a restaurant can quickly formulate the work shift of so many staff members.
The products are usually like employee scheduling products like Tracker Pal, ScheduleBase, etc. The difference is that it is designed explicitly for managing restaurant shifts.
- We can add a restaurant, its location, divisions, etc. in a very detailed manner.
- Adding new staff members and coordinating their roles and shifts is darn easy.
- It can also incorporate the time clocking feature with its sister app 7punches.
- It comes with a handy log-book, task listing, and comprehensive reports on sales data, staff engagement, etc.
- Very responsive customer support, along with a good developer team that employs customer suggestions.
- The process of adding staff members might seem cumbersome. But, once done, it makes staff management more manageable.
- The time clock can have more exhaustive features. Users need to log out to access the time punching app. Also, the admin dashboard is needed in the time clocking to monitor staff members in a more detailed setup.
- Task manager and Reports section need a little bit of brush up in contrast with other similar tools.
Among the list of such schedulers, we need to work our way with 7shifts. 7shifts is Saskatoon, Canada based Restaurant employee scheduler tool, founded recently in the year 2014.
The story is rather unusual here. The founder saw his dad work hard for managing his employees in different locations and building those hefty schedules.
To ease up this procedure, Jordan Boesch(founder), decided to build 7shifts. Since then, more than 150k restaurants across multiple continents use 7shifts.
The product primarily hosts on a computer-based cloud platform. However, the product is also provided for other prevalent devices like iOS and Android. The platform over each of these devices is connected via a joint account.
Staff members can receive a notification on their mobile apps for their schedules. Along with this scheduler, 7punches, another sister product that is like a time tracking tool, thrives for logging work time, attendance, and payrolls.
7shifts has received many appraisals from organizations like Startup Canada, Restaurant Tech Map, etc. It is one of the top apps for managing the entire shift of restaurant franchises, even if the food joint operates in multiple areas.
So, let’s review this scheduler program and see how we can manage employee shifts, in case we open our food hub.
Signup and Set your Restaurant
Before using the 7shifts app across any of the platforms, you need to create an account on their app. This account can either be an admin account or a staff account.
From the admin account, they can create a new timetable and manage the staff consequently. Of all these, the staff login account can be created by putting the name of the restaurant account. This will permit the staff member to become part of the 7shifts scheduler by merely using the restaurant ID.
Once done, the admins will be asked to input specific details like restaurant name, address, number of joints, etc. and then add the size of the workforce.
In the next section, we can access either a demo account or begin from scratch. It is better if you check the demo account first. It has all the work schedule preset, and it will be helpful for the novices to learn from it quickly.
For now, let us move to the central console. In the main dashboard, users can engross in multiple activities like sales charts, staff requests, and activity logs.
Besides, we can also view the staff members currently working on. From here, there are subsequent sections to configure schedules, time tracking, log-books, tasks & engagement, and the work-shift reports.
All these encompass the features of this restaurant manager app. Once you are done with these demo sections, and after understanding them, start a fresh new account and begin adding your staff members.
Hit the Start Fresh button, and all these demo data will be removed. Now, you will have to input real employees, round the clock.
From now, you’ll add new employees initially. To add new personnel, there are many things you need to undergo first. These include creating the rough structure of the organization first.
This is done by adding locations of work, the work schedules, job roles, departments, etc. We will shortly review that too. For now, once the restaurant staff members are added, punch the time shifts and voila! The tracking begins for the staff members.
Next on, we will be reviewing the process of employee addition and then schedule management. After all, that is what this product is for.
Adding New Employees and Creating their Schedules
There is no point in lurking around in the main panel since we haven’t added any staff member data yet. To do that, we will have to add the employee information.
There are several criteria to be filled before any employee assignment. Let us assess this entire process.
Adding Staff Locations, Roles and Other info
From the several tabs above, head to the drop-down menu on the top right, the one which shows your profile pic, and pick a Location/Role option.
In this new panel, admins can assign locations, departments, and roles to various employees. From this point, begin with the location info.
Admins need to add all the location information, which means every joint around the city, country, or world. Meanwhile, if you are doing it on a majestic level, the setup will work great on a worldwide scale.
In the location info, the street address, restaurant name at a location, and time zone have to be added. These three fields are mandatory, for apparent reasons.
The next part is where we specify the hours of operation, holidays, and a feedback system for each location. The street address is connected to the map feature, and so you cannot add things randomly. Add the street name, and it will pop up the relevant area, which you must pick correctly.
Now save these changes. Add every location around the world for all your restaurant joints. The product can be applied to entire food chains across the globe, but it is better to manage them country wise, especially if you are someone like KFC, Dominoes, MCDonald’s, etc.
Once done, it is now time to move to the next location, i.e., Departments. This is the part where we specify the divisions like BOH and FOH.
BOH is back of the house, and FOH is Front of house, used in most restaurants. Now, onto the next part, we add roles to these departments.
As per the above examples, BOH has roles like chefs, dishwashers, cleaners, chopping guys, etc. For FOH, we can assign roles as in manager, waiter, desk cleaner, supervisor, security guard, etc.
Overall, this is a perfect way to create a hierarchy for restaurants. Each of these pointers, from location, departments, and roles, can be used as filters in the scheduling and employee management part.
Once done, we now pick the process to add employees into our work shift.
Adding New Workforces
7shifts offers the users with a feature to add staff via two methods, i.e., one from the employee management screen and other from the scheduling screen. The latter is to be discussed afterward.
For now, the employee's tab can be accessed from the profile menu. In the current panel, you can view the list of all the added employees. You can directly filter the members by location too.
In case you have made a spreadsheet of staff members, you can import it to this section. Former users mostly utilize this. It is still better to add them separately. It’ll take time, but it’s much better organized that way.
In the employee addition screen, we can see the fields like name, email, user-type, etc. In this menu itself, you have to pick the location, department, and role of a member. After that, set up the payroll information and personal notes.
Once done, you’ve now set the staff list. One crucial step is now over. If there are lots of employees, it may take much time to add new members. The import feature has given the required fields to be included in the spreadsheet.
Be mindful and export CSV file after this work. In case this list is reset by anyone, at least you will have a backup of the employee list, and you can edit that spreadsheet and import it in future instances.
All in all, the process is lengthy in its own accord. If you have a preset spreadsheet, you can import and edit it here. Compared to other Restaurant managers like Light Speed, Toast, Dine Time, etc., 7shifts provides almost similar experience in adding staff.
Things can be eased a bit more if they include the location/role section here itself. Nonetheless, we can now form a schedule for our restaurant and assign shifts.
Using the Schedule Maker in 7shifts
Making the right work shift is a core requirement in managing a restaurant. Without proper timings and managing shifts of many staff, you can’t dream of being big.
For that, head to the Schedule Tab on the top navigation bar. The work schedule process here is based on future roles. The interface you see isn’t finalized.
To begin with, you can select the work location first from the filter menu. After that, pick the departments, and it will display the list of staff.
You can sort it based on roles or time frames too. Currently, we sorted it via roles. The UI is optimized to minimize the strain on your nerves.
In front of each day, there is a + sign. This is used to add the work shift details on that day. Click it and see what we can add here.
The first detail is the work shift timings. Add the shift timings there. We can pick all the weekdays if the person follows weekly work hours, else pick individual days.
Add a note to the work shift. This is crucial, too, as it is received by staff as alert notification. Admins can add more work to the same day with the same procedure. It is truly amazing to see such a detailed scheduling process.
Based on the roles, once these schedules are assigned, we can move to the next step. Now, use the drop-down menu on the side and save the new schedule with a name. This new template can be accessed later for other members.
We can even sync these schedules with apps like Google Calendar, iCal, etc. In the same section, we can even add events from the calendar tab. The events tab allows a user to add multiple events on a single date.
The templates section offers the admins to add new templates for schedules. Remember, we saved our template in the above process that can be accessed here directly.
The configuration process for each of these templates is quite easy. Here, we can even augment the total sales target and the labor cost target. It is relatively easy via the scheduling’s preset templates. Later, export it to the main scheduling panel and edit new things there.
To conclude, we can add the sales data from the sales tab. This will help finalize the scheduling charts. To do so, 7shifts provides a spreadsheet to be filled and uploaded. Besides this section, we have the option to add the labor target too.
Overall, 7shifts has worked vehemently to provide an in-depth scheduling feature. From the admin process to other modifications, things are pretty much leaner to control.
Once you are done with the final schedule for each location, departments, and roles, you can utilize the publish button, and it will finalize a schedule and notify all the staff members via email or phone. You can even put on an emergency schedule and inform the employees via phone and email.
Time Clocking after Publishing the Schedule
Now that the schedules are published, it is time to follow it. Well, how do you track the work shift of employees then? Unlike those IT jobs, you cannot install a time tracker on every staff, especially someone like a chef, waiter, or another pantry member.
For that, we need a simple punch in and punch out type time-tracker. Fingerprint work shift trackers offer such individual tracking, but that is too complicated for such fields.
To compensate that, 7shifts offers a simple punch IN/OUT timer feature. This timer can be accessed in the Android app or from the desktop.
The app and the desktop cloud both have the time clocking feature. In the Time Clocking section on desktop, use the final section. From there, the interface logs you out of the account and open a clock panel instead.
In the Punch Tool, insert the employee number assigned, and hit Punch IN. This will confirm that a staff member is now on a work shift. The good part about the desktop app is that the admins can manually assign such clock INs/OUT.
For a mobile app, the process is almost the same. The different part is that it is much easier in the 7punches app on the phone. However, every time-clocking report is first submitted for approval, which is natural. Once the admins approve a sheet, your shift is registered.
Admins can add tip money too from the approval window. Overall, the process is sleek, and the fact that admin approval is mandatory makes it confined. Strict monitoring isn’t possible in such jobs. The productivity can only be judged by superior staff members monitoring the subordinate folks.
Nonetheless, this is a minimal feature for Time Tracking by 7shifts and workable as elementary monitoring. The time approval menu in the mobile app and on desktop cloud is the same, except that over desktop, it is much easier to read.
Manager’s Log-Book in 7shifts
Another useful feature for managers worldwide is a logbook. As much naïve it may sound, it is necessary as a personal record diary. It helps in future sales and employee management decisions.
To aid the managers in much better ways, we can use this manual logbook from 7shifts. So, what does this online logbook show?
The logbook in 7shifts looks like a real-life book. It contains all the crucial data-fields like daily sales, employee issues, maintenance reports, weather, shift notes, and customer complaints.
On the top of this panel, we can see the data on total sales, labor, weather, and average shift score. There is a send button on the top, using which we can configure these reports to be sent to the managers and assistant managers.
The next tab here offers us to add categories. Apart from the preset categories as above, we can add our own. The field of content includes regular texts, numbers, percentage values, etc.
There is a drag feature to rearrange the logbook items. Lastly, use the search button to find a log-entry based on the keyword you remember. It can become hectic if you have 100+ entries, and unlike a paper logbook, we can easily search an entry based on that keyword we wrote in it.
All in all, it was undoubtedly a great feature from 7shifts.
Listing Tasks, Collecting Staff Engagement Data and Reports
This is an integration of 7shifts with its sister app called 7tasks. Using this app, users can manage the tasks assigned and integrate it with the payroll.
Though on the cloud app, we need to add these tasks. The program is in beta but worth trying. 7shifts offers an underlying task creator. All we need to do is pick a date and time of the task and assign the written instructions.
The program is fundamental, and so don’t expect it to be like a team organizer software. You can pick the number of days in the week, recurrence mode, location of tasks, etc.
Overall, there aren’t too many issues in formulating tasks. Now, when it comes to integration with the app 7tasks, the cloud interface is interlinked across devices.
On the phone, download the 7tasks app and login into your account. Punch the employee ID to see the assigned tasks. As you complete the steps, mark them as complete.
Other than this, we can also get benefits from the user engagement data via the Engage Panel; where 7shifts collects data from the work schedule and collaborates it to form engagement data.
Stats like most reliable staff, total sick leaves, late entries, shift scores, etc. give an excellent short overview of the work environment.
Generating Work Reports
In the final section, we can perceive the net output of each user. We also need more data on company sales, profits, etc.
This is done automatically by 7shifts in the Reports Section. The report generator can aid with actual data on worked hours, wages, schedules, time offs, shift pools, etc.
Any of these reports can be exported in CSV format. The results are much faster to attain if you have POS data attached.
We satisfactorily conclude 7shifts here. In the feature-list above, we left out minor stuff like time-offs, shift pools, and internal chat feature. These are very common and are part of most work shift tools.
7shifts has indeed left us satisfied. The entire management system can easily be implemented on a global as well as local scale with high efficiency.
The features in it are effortless. No prerequisites for learning it. However, it is better to give control of sales data to experienced folks.
The pricing of the product is reasonable. The support features are feasible, along with many popular integrations for POS and Payroll work. They offer preset templates too for work shifts, time tracking, staff management, and so.
All in all, 7shifts is one of the perfect places to manage your restaurant’s employees and their schedules efficiently.