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Strategic Scheduling Stimulates Successful Shifts & Shopper Satisfaction

Why do we as managers take for granted the phenomenal opportunity we have in making deliberately great employee schedules? Why is it that we copy and paste the same shifts for the same employees every time? Why do we allow ourselves to lose great people because we didn’t take a few extra minutes to write […]

Why do we as managers take for granted the phenomenal opportunity we have in making deliberately great employee schedules? Why is it that we copy and paste the same shifts for the same employees every time? Why do we allow ourselves to lose great people because we didn’t take a few extra minutes to write strategic, performance-based schedules? Why did we let the drama play out negatively because we chose the wrong actors? These questions could go on and on. I believe the answer lies somewhere between complacency (managing the status quo) and plain old convenience. It is simply easier to take the last schedule and reuse it, despite its negative impacts and significant cost.

A wise restaurant operator once enlightened me with the idea of the “perfect shift”. You know, the shift where everything goes right and all customers are blown away by an impeccable experience. This is just a romantic idea meant to inspire managers, right? Maybe not. I believe you can achieve this goal by focusing on a few key things:

Number one is visualizing the shifts you are planning and knowing the skills of the players involved, as having the right people working together is often half the battle. There is an old British military adage that goes something like this: “Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance”.

Number two is properly distributing great shifts among your A players. These employees, when properly scheduled, can elevate the performance of those around them. They are often the best marketing investment you can make because they help you create a positive emotional connection with your guests and increase overall patronage.

The third and final key to this philosophy is ensuring that you as a manager view this process as an investment and not another task on your endless to do list. Managing is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it can also be one of the most rewarding once you’ve mastered strategic scheduling. Thus, I propose a new adage: “Strategic scheduling stimulates successful shifts & shopper satisfaction”.

Our country was founded on the idea that happiness is something you pursue, a notion reflected each time you strive for the elusive perfect schedule. Can you or your business afford to take this opportunity for granted?

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