- by Alex Alper |
- September 4, 2020
- Food Service | 9 min read
Make the Most of Workforce Management Tools
In the restaurant industry, there’s nothing as difficult to predict and manage, nor as necessary, like your employees. Foodservice is plagued with thin profit margins and conversely high turnover rates amongst staff. All of this can make it challenging to balance workforce management without alienating key employees who seem ready to leave at the drop of a hat.
Thankfully, there are now restaurant technologies saturating the market, making it easier to handle your staff without sacrificing their loyalty or happiness.
The Importance of WFM
WFM, or workforce management, is more necessary in the restaurant industry than perhaps most other businesses. The labor pool for restaurants was shrinking before COVID-19, forcing them to compete to recruit suitable candidates. Additionally, retention is famously poor in the industry which makes efficiency doubly important, since constantly hiring and training new staff costs a lot of time and money. Other aspects of the business need to streamline to offset the loss.
Workforce demographics are changing, which means a necessary shift in employers’ mindsets during the recruitment period. Previously, younger people used to enter the workforce in food service but that’s become less and less common over the years. Now more people over thirty are looking to fill those same positions, and restaurateurs need to appeal to that new base while considering their different wants, needs, and expectations about a job. For starters, older workers seek full-time positions but expect benefits and perks in return, such as an established and suitable work-life balance. However, older workers are also more likely to stay at a job for longer periods of time, making them an asset to management. That alone can offset the greater face-value costs.
Scheduling also has a tremendous effect on morale. Again, employees value an appropriate work-life balance, so when or how you post schedules can be an even greater retention predictor than pay. Ideally, managers should post schedules two or more weeks in advance, even a month if it’s possible. Most shifts can be scheduled this far out, especially if there are any employees with set hours whom you can workaround. Even if you need to make adjustments, later on, employees should give them time to plan their days out rather than have a schedule that varies from week to week and usually gets posted just a few days beforehand. That’s not sustainable for most people over time and will correlate directly with higher turnover. Already, fair scheduling laws are affecting restaurants in this way, if they haven’t significantly influenced your district already. A lot of WFM software will help you create schedules with minimum human input and automatically navigate compliance for you, so you dont have to work or worry.
Although all these aspects of the job play a factor in employee happiness, and their retention as a result, the pay is still a major consideration for anyone entering the restaurant industry, so management needs to give it some thought too. Let’s consider one of the most prevalent payouts for waitstaff: Tips.
Depending on your restaurant’s current system, you may want to consider tip allocation to remedy some of the disparity between the front and back of the house. WFM software tracks and manages tip pooling while automatically complying with laws and regulations surrounding the practice, so your staff is happier and you don’t have to worry either. Consider forgoing allocation if your front-of-house workers make less than standard minimum wage though, or risk upsetting them instead. Like every other aspect of restaurant management, payment is a balancing act that WFM software can make stress-free.
WFM Software Saves the Day
Keeping all of this in mind is tricky at best, if not downright impossible to handle on your own. That’s why investing in technology that can manage these tasks for you has such a significant positive impact. WRM software can automatically do a lot of this work, which creates happier employees and less work for management.
eatOS offers a Point of Sale system designed with your needs in mind. This all-in-one smart hub of information generates reports in real-time so you can track and manage all of the different factors that go into making your workforce run smoothly. The ideal Point of Sale, eatOS devices can: eatOS offers a Point of Sale system designed with your needs in mind. This all-in-one smart hub of information generates reports in real-time so you can track and manage all of the different factors that go into making your workforce run smoothly. The ideal Point of Sale, eatOS devices can:
- Schedule and track employee shifts in real-time, sending out manager alerts when employees forget to take a break, work overtime, and even when they clock in or out.
- Handle time-off requests as well as track absences and vacations on one comprehensive, easy-to-use calendar.
- Prevent time card fraud with geofencing capabilities made possible by GPS. Only allow employees to clock in or out when they’re actually on the premises.
- Create employee profiles so you can more easily manage and view their information. Set schedules, permissions and even birthdays or time-off allowances, all from one handy screen.
- Manage payroll with an integrated API that will auto-populate information into your preferred payroll management software, in real-time. If you use software like 7Shifts, employees can easily trade shifts with minimal manager interventionthough of course, you can still monitor from any device connected to the company network. This makes for happier employees which leads to better retention over time.
- Export payroll data directly from your dashboard to Excel, CSV or whatever software you prefer to use so you don’t have to spend more time on payroll and accounting. Instead, you can focus on making sure your operations run smoothly.
Workforce management can seem much more intimidating than it is, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Schedule a demo with eatOS and let us help you manage your workforce more easily while improving efficiency, profits, and employee satisfaction all at the same time.
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