How Predictive Scheduling Works for Restaurants

Wages and labor costs are on the rise. As competition for jobs increases, so does compensation. Add that to market increases in health care costs, minimum wage regulations and overtime. What you get is a recipe for an expensive workforce. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your scheduling practices are up to par.

Paper and Pen Scheduling Costs Money – The high cost of labor means overscheduling can quickly eat into your bottom line. If you are writing out your weekly schedule the old-fashioned way, there’s a good chance that you are over or under scheduling. This eats into the bottom line and puts unnecessary stress on your staff.

Predictive Scheduling – Labor costs can be minimized with specialized scheduling software. These solutions use customer data to estimate your expected volume at any given time. They then create shifts that will perfectly allocate the workforce to the expected customer volume. As a leading solution in predictive scheduling, Data Central’s Scheduling Module increases managers’ productivity and drives down labor costs. The program allows you to forecast based on your chosen metric (sales, guest count, check count, entrée count, etc). The result is a quickly generated schedule that ensures the right amount of skilled staff at any given time.

How Does it Work? – The software works based on a schedule matrix. You as the restaurant owner would determine which forecasting parameters you need and prepare a set of staffing rules for the software to follow. For instance, you will tell the program how many servers and staff you need on hand when you expect 20 vs 200 customers. Using advanced forecasting algorithms, the software will then determine how many shifts of each position to schedule at a given time. This is all based on expected traffic to make sure you have just the right number of servers, line cooks, cashiers, etc.

Easy to Use Employee Allocations – If your managers prefer to keep hands-on control, the matrix can be set to populate only open shifts. Your managers can then drag and drop team members into these shifts. The matrix will determine how many shifts are needed and what the best clock in/clock out times are.

Automate Your Schedule – For the most automated experience, you can have the system allocate skilled team members to each time slot. Your employees and their positions are stored in the system. Special considerations are factored in: break time, overtime, vacation and time off. The scheduling software then determines the appropriate number of positions based on forecasted sales, and populates team members to make sure all stations are covered.

If you have ever gotten a headache trying to shuffle around shifts with breaks, vacation and overtime, then you might want to look into predictive scheduling. With Data Central’s scheduling module, those hard to manage shifts will soon become an afterthought. To find out more about our advanced scheduling and other modules, please call us at (813) 288-2633 (toll free – 1(800) 933-4711) or visit our website at restaurantmagic.com.