Maximizing Efficiency with Top 10 Restaurant Scheduling Software & Apps

Top 10 Restaurant Scheduling Software & Apps: 5-Out · 7shifts · Harri · ZoomShift · Sling · Homebase · When I Work · HotSchedules · Humanity · TimeForge

Restaurant Software
Labor Optimization
Top 10 Restaurant Scheduling Software & Apps: 5-Out · 7shifts · Harri · ZoomShift · Sling · Homebase · When I Work · HotSchedules · Humanity · TimeForge
Erin Watkins

Restaurant scheduling software is a game-changer in the complex world of restaurant management. The challenge of efficiently managing staff schedules in an industry known for its dynamic and fast-paced environment is immense. Restaurant owners are often tasked with the delicate balance of aligning workforce availability with fluctuating customer demands, all while striving to maintain high service standards and operational efficiency. This is where the pivotal role of the restaurant scheduling app comes into play.

These sophisticated tools are specifically tailored to meet the unique challenges of the restaurant industry. By offering features like real-time shift updates, easy shift swapping, and integration with other restaurant management systems, these apps revolutionize how restaurants handle their most critical asset - their staff. The implementation of such employee scheduling software not only streamlines the scheduling process but also significantly enhances staff satisfaction and retention, a key factor in an industry known for its high turnover rates.

In the competitive realm of the restaurant business, leveraging the power of efficient restaurant employee scheduling software is not just an operational choice but a strategic necessity. By adopting these advanced scheduling tools, restaurant owners can ensure optimal staff utilization, leading to improved operational efficiency and superior customer service. This strategic adoption allows them to focus more on the core aspects of their business, like culinary excellence and customer experience, knowing that their staffing needs are expertly managed.

2 restaurant managers are using restaurant scheduling software for the shift.

Key Features of Restaurant Scheduling Software

1. Shift Swapping

One of the most significant features of restaurant scheduling software is the ability to manage shift swapping efficiently. This functionality allows staff to request shift changes or shift swaps directly through the app, which restaurant managers can then approve with ease. This level of autonomy not only empowers restaurant employees but also reduces the administrative burden on managers. By simplifying the process of shift swapping, restaurants can ensure they are always staffed appropriately without the last-minute scramble to fill shifts.

2. Real-Time Updates

Real-time updates are a critical component of modern shift scheduling software. This feature ensures that any changes in the schedule are immediately reflected and visible to all staff members. It helps in minimizing confusion and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Whether a shift is swapped, a new schedule is published, or a shift is canceled, real-time updates keep the entire team informed and prepared.

3. User-Friendly Interfaces

The effectiveness of any software largely depends on its ease of use. Restaurant scheduling apps are designed with user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and easy to navigate. This is crucial in the restaurant business, where time is of the essence, and not everyone may be tech-savvy. A straightforward interface allows for quick schedule creation, easy viewing of shifts, and hassle-free management of employee availability and time-off requests.

4. Mobile Accessibility

Given the nature of the restaurant business, mobile accessibility is a vital feature of scheduling software. The ability to access the scheduling tool on a smartphone or tablet means that managers and staff can view and manage schedules on the go. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for on-the-move management and staff who need to access their schedules outside of work hours or when away from the restaurant.

5. Time Tracking

Time tracking is a crucial component in restaurant scheduling software, going beyond mere attendance recording. It meticulously logs work hours for each staff member, which is vital for precise payroll calculations and maintaining labor cost efficiency. This feature is especially important in adhering to labor laws and regulations, preventing any inadvertent violations due to overtime or underpayment. Additionally, time tracking offers clear insights into labor patterns, helping management make data-driven decisions for future scheduling, and ensuring that labor resources are utilized most effectively and economically.

6. Task Management

Task Management is an increasingly important feature in restaurant scheduling software. It allows managers to assign, track, and manage tasks efficiently within the same platform used for scheduling. This integration streamlines restaurant operations, ensuring that all staff members are aware of their responsibilities and deadlines. Effective task management leads to more organized workflows, enhances team productivity, and ensures that all necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner. This feature is essential for maintaining high service standards and overall operational efficiency in the dynamic environment of a restaurant.

6. Integration with Sales Forecasting Tools

Integrating restaurant scheduling software with sales forecasting tools is a game-changer. This integration allows for staffing levels to be adjusted based on predicted future sales volumes. By aligning staff schedules with forecasted sales data, restaurants can optimize their labor costs and ensure they have the right number of staff at the right times. This not only helps in managing the workforce efficiently but also contributes to better customer service during peak hours.

Advantages of implementing employee scheduling software.

Advantages of Implementing Employee Scheduling Software

1. Time-Saving

One of the most immediate benefits of implementing restaurant scheduling software is the significant amount of time it saves. Traditional scheduling methods are often time-consuming, involving manual adjustments and constant back-and-forth communication. Employee scheduling solution automates much of this process, allowing managers to create, distribute, and adjust schedules more efficiently. This automation frees up valuable time that can be better spent on other aspects of restaurant management, such as customer service or staff training.

2. Cost Reduction

Effective scheduling is key to controlling labor costs, one of the most significant expenses in the restaurant business. Restaurant scheduling software provides tools for more accurate staffing, helping to avoid overstaffing during slow periods and understaffing during peak times. By aligning staff schedules with customer demand, restaurants can reduce labor costs, reducing wastage while ensuring sufficient staff to deliver excellent service.

3. Improved Staff Satisfaction

The flexibility and transparency provided by scheduling software can lead to improved staff satisfaction and morale. Features like shift swapping and mobile access allow employees to have more control over their schedules, accommodating their personal needs and reducing conflicts. Higher satisfaction levels among staff often translate to lower turnover rates, which is especially beneficial in the restaurant industry where staff retention can be challenging.

4. Accuracy in Scheduling

Restaurant scheduling software enhances the accuracy of the scheduling process. With features like automated conflict detection, managers can avoid common scheduling errors such as double-booking or scheduling someone who is unavailable. Accurate scheduling ensures a smoother operation, as the right staff is available at the right times without any last-minute surprises.

5. Impact on Reducing Scheduling Errors

One of the critical impacts of implementing employee scheduling software is the substantial reduction in scheduling errors. These errors can lead to operational disruptions, increased labor costs, and even legal issues in cases of non-compliance with labor laws. The software helps maintain compliance with work-hour regulations and reduces the likelihood of mistakes that can arise from manual scheduling.

6. Improving Overall Restaurant Operations

The overarching benefit of restaurant scheduling software is its positive impact on overall restaurant operations. Streamlined scheduling leads to a more organized and efficient operation, with staff adequately aligned with customer demand. This efficiency can improve the overall customer experience, as well-managed staff are better able to focus on providing high-quality service.

5-Out sales forecasting tool with scheduling function.

10 Best Restaurant Scheduling Software & Apps in 2023

1. 5-Out

5-Out, known for its sales forecasting, also is one of the best employee scheduling software. The app merges sales data with scheduling to optimize staffing according to demand, enhancing labor cost management and service. Its main features include shift management, team communication, and handling time-off requests. This capability positions 5-Out as an effective solution to manage multiple locations, streamlining restaurant operations across different sites.

  • Pros: Integrates sales forecasting with scheduling, user-friendly interface, tailored for restaurants.
  • Pricing: Contact 5-Out directly for a demo.
  • Scheduling App Availability: Available on iOS, highlighting 5-Out's commitment to accessible and efficient staff management.
The screenshot of the 5-Out dashboard shows the restaurant schedule.

2. 7shifts

An employee scheduling software designed specifically for the restaurant industry, 7shifts facilitates efficient staff management and profitability with strong third-party integrations.

  • Pros: User-friendly, robust POS integrations, auto-scheduler in higher plans.
  • Cons: Features are limited in lower plans, the free plan is limited to 30 employees.
  • Pricing: Free; Entree at $29.99/location/month; The Works at $69.99/location/month.
  • App Availability: Yes.

3. Harri

Harri offers a suite of workforce solutions for the hospitality industry, focusing on employee management.

  • Pros: Specialized in hospitality, comprehensive HR, and workforce management features.
  • Cons: Limited detailed information available.
  • Pricing: $48/post
  • App Availability: Yes

4. ZoomShift

Ideal for small and seasonal restaurants, ZoomShift offers an intuitive interface for schedule creation.

  • Pros: Easy use, color-coded schedules, labor cost forecasting.
  • Cons: Frequent updates, occasional crashes, mobile app limitations.
  • Pricing: Free trial; Starter at $2.5/user/month; Premium at $5/user/month.
  • App Availability: Yes.

5. Sling

Sling excels in managing staff across multiple locations, providing a free version that supports unlimited users and locations.

  • Pros: Budget alerts, sales data projections, overtime minimization.
  • Cons: Mobile app notification issues, limited time clock customization.
  • Pricing: Free version available; paid plans upon inquiry.
  • App Availability: Yes.

6. Homebase

Known for its comprehensive free plan and ease of use, Homebase is a great option for small teams.

  • Pros: Comprehensive free plan, forecasting tools, automated scheduling, POS integration.
  • Cons: Higher learning curve, user limitations on the free plan.
  • Pricing: Basic (Free), Essentials ($20/month/location), Plus ($48/month/location).
  • App Availability: Yes.

7. When I Work

Aimed at hourly workers, When I Work simplifies scheduling and team communication.

  • Pros: User-friendly, and effective for various business sizes.
  • Cons: Limited detailed information available.
  • Pricing: at least $2.5/user/month
  • App Availability: Yes.

8. HotSchedules

HotSchedules is known for its comprehensive scheduling and workforce management tools, tailored for the restaurant industry.

  • Pros: Robust feature set, industry-focused.
  • Cons: Limited detailed information available.
  • Pricing: Contact HotSchedules for pricing details.
  • App Availability: Yes.

9. Humanity

Humanity automates employee scheduling and conflict management, focusing on compliance.

  • Pros: Simplifies shift creation, optimizes with historical data, insightful reporting.
  • Cons: Limited detailed information available.
  • Pricing: Contact Humanity for pricing details.

10. TimeForge

TimeForge is a workforce management platform that automates tasks and reduces manual overheads.

  • Pros: Automates tasks, and integrates with POS and eCommerce systems.
  • Cons: Limited detailed information available.
  • Pricing: Contact TimeForge for pricing details.
  • App Availability: Yes

As we conclude, it's clear that restaurant scheduling software plays a critical role in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of restaurant operations. From streamlining shift management to integrating with advanced sales forecasting tools like 5-Out, these solutions empower restaurants to adapt swiftly to dynamic business needs. The top 10 software and apps we discussed offer diverse functionalities to meet varied requirements, ensuring that every restaurant can find a tool that aligns with its unique challenges. Embracing these technologies means embracing a future of optimized labor management, cost savings, and improved customer experiences.

Interested in optimizing your restaurant's employee scheduling with sales forecasting? Discover the power of 5-Out by booking a demo today. Experience firsthand how integrating your scheduling with insightful sales forecasts can transform your restaurant's efficiency and customer service.

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5-Out is on a mission to maximize the profitability of every restaurant, using machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analysis to automate smarter, better decisions.