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8 Things to Set Up Before Creating an Online Employee Schedule

Being prepared is half the battle and scheduling is no exception. If you’re going to get your online employee schedules created fast, efficiently and accurately, you’ve got to set up your system first so that it does the heavy lifting for you later. Here are ten things you’ll want to have set up before you […]

Being prepared is half the battle and scheduling is no exception. If you’re going to get your online employee schedules created fast, efficiently and accurately, you’ve got to set up your system first so that it does the heavy lifting for you later. Here are ten things you’ll want to have set up before you start creating schedules.

Set Up Labor Categories

A labor category is a way to subdivide and organize your schedules and job codes. Basically, this information is controlled in the form of a hierarchy: labor category > schedule > job code. Common labor categories include; FOH, BOH, store or salary.

Set Up Schedules

Setting up schedules allows you to put employees with certain job codes (more on job codes in a minute) into a specific schedule. These are typically front of house, back of house, bar, busser, chef, managers, catering, delivery or any other special event schedule you might need to recreate on a consistent basis.

Set Up Job Codes

Job codes are the specific duties that the employee will perform as well as their pay rate. An employee can have multiple job codes and schedules if they work in several positions. Servers can be runners, bartenders can also be servers, for example.

There’s also something called a primary job code, which is a way to indicate that while an employee may be able to work several positions, they have a primary position in the store that they work the most.

Set Up Shift Information

Shift information refers to the day parts that are configured for your restaurant which in most cases is breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most restaurants are set up with two day parts, AM or PM. Though some restaurants have a need for an early morning or late night shift depending on hours.

Set Up Scheduling Locations

Locations can be used to tell a server or cook exactly where they will be working. In the case of servers, the restaurant’s dining area is usually divided into sections and each person is assigned to one. So you could create sections 1 through 10, and then tie them to the server job code.

Then, when you are scheduling people with that job code, you can specify what section they will be working in. Since locations can be named anything, you could apply these same steps to kitchen staff and specify whether someone is working the grill, salad, etc.

Add Certifications and Skill Level

Not every employee is created equal, which is why it’s helpful to be able to have the certification and skill levels available in a scheduling system. These variables can help managers make better decisions about who to schedule and where based on certain characteristics.

In some cases, like in HotSchedules, managers can put a date on certifications so they know when their employees need to get them renewed.

Set Parameters for Time-Off Requests

As we’ve already established, flexibility is important to employees in the restaurant industry. At the same time, there have to be some rules to ensure that the operation stays open and turns a profit, which is where parameters around time-off requests come in handy. A feature like this allows managers to set the last possible day an employee can request off.

The cut-off day gives employees a period of time to put in a request and helps managers set expectations around staffing needs-especially around high volume seasons or events.

Ask Employees to Submit Time-Off Requests

As you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to get any long-term time off requests in the system. These are things like class schedules, child care, doctors appointments, other part-time jobs or even jury duty.

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