The benefits of online scheduling, attendance, and more
In this blog post, we discuss why labor management software for restaurants and food service businesses is key to success. Today’s business challenges require a new approach to labor management, especially in the food service industry. Any manager in this industry knows that balancing employee availability with a company’s needs is difficult. One reason for this is that it’s difficult to predict when your business will be busy. Businesses like restaurants and food trucks, for instance, vary daily in terms of customers.
Of course, this is only one aspect of managing employees. Other things to consider are labor costs, PTO, payroll, and compliance, to name a few. Fortunately, establishments can now maintain their workforce, cash flow, overhead, and other important tasks with smart labor management software. Some of the many advantages of a workforce management system (WFM) for restaurants and other businesses in the food industry include:
- Better efficiency
- Increased revenue
- More engaged workforce
- Complete customizable software
- Labor compliance
Features and Functions of Employee Scheduling Software
With employee scheduling software, a restaurant or caterer can quickly generate timetables, better enforce schedules, have more accurate forecasting, and monitor labor costs. By utilizing the employee scheduling app, workers can also communicate and trade shifts when an emergency arises. This feature is extremely helpful in restaurants since schedules are always changing with each season, during holidays, and with local special events.
With the latest labor management software, maintaining employee schedules is a whole lot easier.
Online scheduling software should be intuitive, user-friendly, simple to edit, and easy to customize to fit the needs of your café, fast food, food truck, or catering business.
Some of the functions and features include:
- Full data exports
- Organize by region or groups
- Interactive shift planning
- Access through a mobile app
- Employees can enter and update their availability
In businesses such as restaurants, it’s very important to have a well-organized schedule that can be altered on the fly. Oftentimes, schedules need to be changed at a moment’s notice. This is especially true with businesses that are located in tourist-heavy or resort areas. Quite often, a restaurant or catering business can be extremely slow for the week, and then, without warning, the clientele more than doubles. It’s during this time that extra team members should be called in to cater to the influx of customers.
Creating employee schedules using advanced software is at least 75% faster than ready-made templates or drop-and-drag methods. Plus, it drastically reduces scheduling errors and staff shortages. When it comes to bookkeeping, labor management software offers reports that show a daily roster and the approval or denial of shifts. It also gives your employees access to PTO and sick leave info, creates a compliant schedule that includes breaks and lunches, and limits unintended overtime.
Why Efficient Scheduling is Key
With an efficient scheduling process, you only need to make small adjustments to achieve optimal results. For example, it’s vital to schedule the needed staff when a big food event is on the horizon. You must ensure you have enough employees scheduled for the occasion and have extra staff ready on standby in case you need them. Efficient scheduling helps eliminate errors, save time on making schedules, and monitor overhead and unexpected overtime, which means you ultimately reduce costs.
By encouraging your employees’ involvement with the scheduling process, you create a functional and positive environment for everyone. In return, workers are happier and more productive, which helps your bottom line.
Important Labor Metrics for Businesses
Experts agree that to manage revenue properly for a business like a diner or café, you need to set a target labor performance metric and then evaluate the metrics of the actual labor performance. The evaluation is critical for measuring labor costs and revenue. However, with time tracking software, you can monitor and easily manage the labor costs of your business. Time tracking software entails a variety of features, such as:
- Labor reports
- Administering schedules
- Incorporating payroll
- The ability to control overtime costs
By decreasing overtime, monitoring labor costs, and streamlining payroll, you will quickly save a lot of time and money. Labor metrics are greatly improved by utilizing labor management software. To calculate labor metrics, you can use one of the following:
- The utilization of resources – The utilization of resources is the main key to labor metrics. A business needs to calculate the total hours worked by including their revenue generated by the staff or tasks that are critical to producing revenue. For example, if an employee worked 45 hours during the week, had an eight-hour sick day, and five hours that are non-billable, then only 32 hours actually generated revenue. Their resource utilization is about 75%. So, if your company’s goals are to retain a billable staff at 80%, then the aforementioned employee is below the objective by 5%. Over time, that 5% threshold will cost you quite a bit of overhead. Instead of getting rid of a trained employee, you can find opportunities to turn the “lost” hours into generating revenue.
- Billable utilization – Billable utilization is based on the total hours worked or the target hours that are regarded as billable labor. For instance, 40 hours a week is the standard for full-time workers. The billable labor for that week would be 40 hours.
One of the biggest labor costs, especially in the food industry, is unassigned hours. Basically, unassigned hours are in reference to hours that are spent waiting for assigned billable labor. Not only do unassigned hours cost businesses substantial amounts of money, but they also waste precious hours and time that could have been easily utilized. Unfortunately, the intricacy of matching up the time and resources with the appropriate work for customers can be extremely complex.
Labor management software eliminates the guesswork and utilizes the unassigned hours efficiently and effectively. This means workers are more productive, and your business is more lucrative.
How Human Resources Software Can Benefit Your Bottom Line
Human resources software can decrease administrative burden as well as liability. In truth, HR software is extremely beneficial. Using HR software for your café, bakery, catering business, or food retail store can drastically reduce labor costs and workload for your human resource department. You’ll enjoy benefits in the following areas:
- Ensuring compliance – Adhere to legal standards and protocols by keeping documents on file and organized.
- Overseeing employee time and attendance – Save time and money by integrating this centralized management with your payroll process.
- Recruiting and hiring candidates – Recruit candidates who have the expertise for a particular job, and analyze and examine the prospective workers’ data to determine if they are a good fit.
- Creating custom HR documents – Create and track custom HR documents, such as acceptance letters or I-9s from new hires.
- Managing leave and time-off requests – Stay compliant by keeping track of accrued paid time off, sick leave, vacation, and more for your employees.
- Conducting disciplinary actions – Labor management software helps streamline the process by providing the appropriate data and resources.
Labor management software can also help your human resource department post ads on job boards and networks, offer pre-screening questions for potential workers, track, and filter candidates for a central dashboard, and assist with scheduling interviews or receiving resumes.
A Labor Management System Helps Your Business Stay Compliant
Adhering to labor standards and compliance is vital for both small and large companies. When a company is not in compliance, they can easily lose their business license, particularly in the food service industry. An innovative and efficient platform that helps staff members develop their skills and meet labor standards could actually save your business. In truth, labor management software can also help maintain compliance standards for both new and existing employees.
Typically, a labor standard is utilized to reduce risk. With labor management software, there is effective employee protection, proficient workforce development, and professional public administration support. Some of the benefits for adhering to labor standards include:
- Scheduling employee tests and classes
- Enforcing (has set time for testing)
- Keeping updated with the latest labor standards
TimeForge: Smart Labor Management Software for Restaurants and Food Service Businesses
At TimeForge, we strive to offer top-of-the-line labor management solutions for all types of food industry businesses. With our simple setup and award-winning software, labor managing just got a whole lot easier.
We offer a full labor management platform for all types of business, small and large. With our quality software and more than 13 years of combined experience, our team can help your company thrive.
Some of our offerings include:
- Team messaging
- Task management
- Online logbooks
- Employee schedules
- Powerful yet simple reports
- Timekeeping and time clocks
- Human resources and compliance
- Mobile apps for managers and staff
- Payroll and point-of-sale integrations
- Applicant tracking, hiring, and onboarding
You will have the ability to make employee schedules in seconds, monitor overtime, auto-fill shifts, build schedules around an ever changing food industry by using a user friendly template, and keep your workers happy by allowing them to enter their availability. And on top of all that, the software is fully secure.
Furthermore, you can track and manage your employees’ attendance, manage their overtime, enforce schedules, and design the way you want your employees to clock in and out.
Our labor management software even helps you stick with labor standards and compliance by:
- Managing sick time and leave
- Enforcing mealtimes and breaks
- Managing holiday and vacation pay
- Getting automatic alerts about compliance issues
Additionally, our innovative system can help you:
- Automatically calculate paid time off
- Manage employee availability and time-off requests
- Notify employees of the status of their requests
- Track and manage requests with ease
Smart Labor Management Apps
TimeForge offers two smart and simple mobile apps that are designed specifically to interact with the platform. One app is for employees, and the other app is for managers and other administrative personnel. These innovative apps make it simple to communicate and stay organized even with busy schedules. Not only do you save time scheduling, but you also keep employees happy and well informed of any schedule changes.
The mobile app for employees allows your staff to request time off, trade shifts with fellow workers, view their schedules, and check their time cards. The app also supports clock ins, clock outs, breaks, lunches, and even holidays. The manager mobile app has even more potential, such as checking real time sales, editing schedules, looking at labor data, and identifying coverage gaps in the schedule.
Keep employees engaged and accountable with other services that include timekeeping, team messaging, and task management. TimeForge delivers a full workforce management (WFM) solution designed to keep your company well balanced and extremely efficient. You may even be able to integrate software you already use, such as Dinerware or Restaurant Manager, to further streamline your labor management system.
Contact Us for Workforce Management Solutions
Whether you’re a food vendor, a restaurant, a caterer, or an entrepreneur, we can help your business thrive with our smart labor management software.
At TimeForge, we have an online help desk as well as a knowledge base section you can search for answers. We can help you with simple resolutions and time management solutions for your business. Whether you require assistance with getting started on our software and apps or need more information about our products, our team of experts would be more than happy to answer any questions.
And don’t forget – our software includes a free trial!