Six Scheduling Tips To Create A Productive Staff Roster

Categories Business Tips

Creating a staff roster for your hospitality establishment is more than just penning an employee’s name in a time slot that needs to be filled.

It’s an endeavor of balance, productivity, and management.

Productive Team

Get it right and you have a productive team working in unison and a smoothly-run establishment. You have the right staff on shift at the right time, and customers leave happy and satisfied.

Get it wrong and disaster strikes. No shows, schedule conflicts, and under-staffing take center stage, and staff morale and productivity go down the tubes.

Improve Customer Experience

Customers are ultimately left with a less-than-stellar experience and may not come through your doors again.
Remember that planning, creativity, and foresight are essential ingredients for your success.

Here are six tips to help you create a perfect staff roster that encourages a productive team, meets business demands, and delivers an exceptional experience to your customers…

1. It’s Time To Go Digital

Want to make your life a whole lot easier? Then consider pushing away the out-dated method of pen and paper and opt for technology.


Online scheduling systems offer convenience, accuracy, and accessibility. These cloud-based platforms can help you create schedules in one click, manage availability and time-off requests, forecast staff costs, and improve communication between yourself and your employees.

Having all of this information at your fingertips can dramatically improve your efficiency and productivity, as well as save you hours of precious time that you can use elsewhere to boost your business.

2. Schedule Your Busiest Days First

Most managers pull together their roster using the traditional Monday to Sunday approach.

But scheduling your busy shifts first can help ensure that the most skilled and experienced staff are available to cover these hectic times of the week.

For example, if you are a restaurant manager and Thursday evening marks the start of your busy time then this is the day you should start planning your roster shifts.

Once your busy days are scheduled then you can work your way back to fill the slower times of the week.

3. Keep Your Employee Strengths In Mind

It’s important to consider your employees’ individual strengths when compiling the roster. Take time to evaluate the gifts of each individual and how best you can utilize that strength to improve the efficiency of your establishment as well as improve the customer experience.

Scheduling Based On Experience

Scheduling a new hire for a chaotic weekend lunch shift may not work well to your favour. However, covering that shift with experienced servers who can recite the menu and specials in their sleep might be your better choice. This doesn’t mean unfairly pigeonholing an employee into only one specific role.

With time, training, and mentoring, new employees can eventually move into those busier shifts. But in the meantime, it allows you to consider your current business demands and to meet them effectively.

4. Be Aware of What’s Happening in the Community

Knowing that your hospitality establishment does not operate in a vacuum will help you gain a greater awareness of community events that may affect your business.

If you are a family restaurant located next to the local movie theater, know that avid moviegoers are usually hungry after the movie and will visit your restaurant with a hearty appetite.

Schedule Extra Staff When Needed

Schedule extra staff to accommodate their needs and capitalize on these peak times. Take time to do your research and know what local events are happening close to you.

Perhaps an upcoming convention, town fair, hockey tournament, or even the Saturday morning farmers’ market has the potential to bring in more business for you.

Don’t miss out on this important step.

5. Allow Time For Your Staff to Check the Schedule

This mean scheduling your roster far enough in advance in order to give your employees enough time to check if the shifts align with their availability and to allow them to make change requests if necessary.

Avoiding last minute changes are in your best interests to help avert the disastrous outcome of finding your establishment short-staffed because the missing employee was unaware of the shift change that occurred an hour ago.

Using an online platform can help with this task because staff members need to click an ‘approve’ button to each shift that they are scheduled.

As a manager, this is a key feature because it allows you to track the shifts that have been approved and which ones still need to be filled. It also makes the staff accountable for their commitment.

6. Consider Your Staff’s Needs

Keeping your employees happy and engaged is key to a productive workforce. This is not an easy task as conflict and tension can wreak havoc on a staff’s morale and motivation to perform well on the job. You can do this by considering what they need to be inspired and fulfilled.

Consider such ideas as sharing top-paying shifts among the staff, avoiding back-to-back shifts, and ensuring they have enough time off to rest and recover.

This can help avoid resentment and build cohesion among your team.

Honouring Time-Off Requests

Honoring reasonable time-off requests and shift changes are equally important. Keeping your staff happy can only mean a win-win situation for everyone because a contented team leads to an efficient running establishment and satisfied customers.

The challenges of creating an effective staff roster can be minimized with the use of the above tips and techniques. Take your time, execute scheduling with skill and precision, and manage your time with an efficient online scheduling platform.


9 Staff Roster Tips that every Forward-Thinking Manager Should Use

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