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The Next Generation of Labor Management & Optimization

When it comes to managing schedules, labor, and forecasting, the restaurant industry is a mixed bag on the maturity scale. Many are looking to solve the scheduling and communication components. As brands mature, so do their needs around labor, sales forecasting, and compliance. During the Labor Management & Optimization Session at the 2017 HotSchedules Spark Conference, […]

When it comes to managing schedules, labor, and forecasting, the restaurant industry is a mixed bag on the maturity scale.

Many are looking to solve the scheduling and communication components. As brands mature, so do their needs around labor, sales forecasting, and compliance.

During the Labor Management & Optimization Session at the 2017 HotSchedules Spark Conference, the focus was on more advanced ways companies can tackle their most pressing labor challenges.

The three presenters of the day – Casey Clinkenbeard, SVP of Product Management, Chris Sundgren and Erika Chee, both product managers – focused in on three high-level themes and some of the recent feature updates to happen in HotSchedules in 2017:

  • Compliance
  • Intelligent, Integrated Forecasting
  • Employee Engagement

1. Compliance: Help Your Managers Manage Risk

From The Fight for 15 to the overturned Overtime Rules and now Predictive Scheduling mandates, it’s been a busy couple of years on the wage and labor compliance front.

The HotSchedules team has been on the tip of the spear of these compliance issues, working closely with customers and industry leaders to understand how to best help managers navigate the often uncharted waters.

Sundgren highlighted some of the key updates to come out in 2017:

Minors & School Calendars

Teenagers make up about 30 percent of the limited service workforce – and there are limitations on when they can work and what they can do during their hours. HotSchedules helps managers by:

  • Configuring multiple age ranges
  • Defining school and non-school working restrictions
  • Aligning their work to pre-populated School Calendars
  • Sending managers warnings and alerts when they may be at risk for non-compliance using employee Time Punches

Read more: Maintain Compliance with Configurable Labor Rules

Predictive Scheduling Legislation Requires Additional Oversight & Tracking

We can’t talk about labor compliance these days without discussing the activity happening around predictive scheduling legislation in States like Oregon and Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City.

During the session, Sundgren discussed the broad issues, legislation, and risks that restaurant, retail and fast food operators will be dealing with if they are affected. He also described ways employers can mitigate some of those risks.

Read More: Are You Prepared for Predictive Scheduling Mandates?

Time & Attendance Matters Even More as Labor Regulations Evolve

As states, cities and municipalities labor regulations shift, operators need more accuracy around things like time card transactions that aren’t directly controlled by the employees. These are things like needing to adjust the shift start or end times. From a compliance perspective, managers shouldn’t have to wait for payroll to call to find out they may have missed something or made an error.

Clarifi Time & Attendance has been enhanced to:
  • Streamline the pay period review process
  • Help managers with compliance-related decisions
  • Webclock management and alerts
  • Payroll reporting & exports

Read more: Alleviate Compliance and Payroll Hassles with HotSchedules Time & Attendance Module

2. Forecasting for Demand, Predicting Staff Levels

Catering, delivery, mobile ordering and take out. Consumers have spoken and they want more options for where and when they eat. The Netflix effect is real – and it’s changing the way operators run their businesses. The good news is that consumers are eating food prepared outside the home more than ever before, they just aren’t necessarily dining in. How operators adapt to the dynamics of consumer preference and technological advances could be the difference between top line growth and a slow and steady decline.

  • HotSchedules rolled out several new forecasting features in 2017:
  • Forecasting by revenue centers
  • Getting visibility into labor drivers as a reporting metric and breakdown of sales by category
  • Weather forecast adjustments

Read more: New Intelligent Forecasting Features Helps Operators Meet Changing Consumer Demands

3. Employee Engagement

If there was ever a central source of truth for hourly employees – it’s the schedule. It’s the one place you know 99.99% of the time they are going to check. Combine the employee schedule with messaging and boom – you’ve got a secret weapon to engage employees.

Read more: Quick Start Guide to Employee Engagement for Restaurateurs

 


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