Not sure how to set your shift schedule? Just follow your customer

Josh Cameron

2 August 2017    |   

I have never met a restaurateur that enjoys doing their weekly staff schedule. It is quite a juggling act, taking into consideration that each employee does specific tasks during different times of the day. So what is the best way to schedule staff shifts? How can you set it up that everybody gets the most out of everyone’s time? I was just at National Restaurant Show in Chicago, where Tanda was one of the exhibitors. It was quite an insightful four days, roaming around the show floor discovering the latest trends in the restaurant industry. At the same time, I got to chat with industry veterans that have been in the industry literally for 50 years. One of them shared with me this easy-to-implement method of shift scheduling. He simply put: your shift schedule should follow your customer. According to him, the best way to properly schedule your shifts is by charting your customer touch points from the moment they enter the restaurant down to when they leave the establishment. This customer-focused approach resonated with me as it aligned with my beliefs on how a company’s staffing levels should be in sync with their customer service structure. Who’s First? Who’s Next? Who’s Last? The people who should clock in first are the first people your customers see. They are the hosts, greeters, or maître ds. They are the ones responsible for greeting people at the door, taking and holding reservations, and guiding them to their table. So they should start ahead of the pack. Once customers are seated, that’s the time servers come in to take their order. This means that they should be the ones who clock in next. People generally take 15 minutes to get seated and order. By this time, you will definitely want your kitchen staff already at their stations, ready to cook and deliver each dish for service. Tables generally turn over within an hour these days. That means your dish washers have to start working an hour and 15 minutes after your first guest enters the restaurant. Now, service is over and guests are departing the establishment. So you may start sending your servers home an hour after your last guest sits down.   Using data from your point of sale (POS), Tanda helps you visualize your customers’ flow through your restaurant. This enables you to match your staffing schedule accordingly.

I have never met a restaurateur that enjoys doing their weekly staff schedule. It is quite a juggling act, taking into consideration that each employee does specific tasks during different times of the day. So what is the best way to schedule staff shifts? How can you set it up that everybody gets the most out of everyone’s time?

I was just at National Restaurant Show in Chicago, where Tanda was one of the exhibitors. It was quite an insightful four days, roaming around the show floor discovering the latest trends in the restaurant industry. At the same time, I got to chat with industry veterans that have been in the industry literally for 50 years. One of them shared with me this easy-to-implement method of shift scheduling.

He simply put: your shift schedule should follow your customer. According to him, the best way to properly schedule your shifts is by charting your customer touch points from the moment they enter the restaurant down to when they leave the establishment.

This customer-focused approach resonated with me as it aligned with my beliefs on how a company’s staffing levels should be in sync with their customer service structure.

Who’s First? Who’s Next? Who’s Last?

The people who should clock in first are the first people your customers see. They are the hosts, greeters, or maître ds. They are the ones responsible for greeting people at the door, taking and holding reservations, and guiding them to their table. So they should start ahead of the pack.

Once customers are seated, that’s the time servers come in to take their order. This means that they should be the ones who clock in next.

People generally take 15 minutes to get seated and order. By this time, you will definitely want your kitchen staff already at their stations, ready to cook and deliver each dish for service.

Tables generally turn over within an hour these days. That means your dish washers have to start working an hour and 15 minutes after your first guest enters the restaurant.

Now, service is over and guests are departing the establishment. So you may start sending your servers home an hour after your last guest sits down.

 

Using data from your point of sale (POS), Tanda helps you visualize your customers’ flow through your restaurant. This enables you to match your staffing schedule accordingly.

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About the author

Josh Cameron

As our Chief Strategy Officer, Josh works across our product and customer teams in the US, Australia, and Asia.

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