Table of contents

How to make a restaurant staff schedule

Good management of a restaurant schedule is essential, because your team is at the heart of your business. You need well-rested, smiling staff to satisfy your customers and keep your establishment running over several periods.

In such a dynamic sector, where teams change frequently and sometimes at the last minute, it's important to anticipate rush periods as much as possible by drawing up your schedules in advance and having extras on hand.

In this article, you'll find all our advice on how to create the schedule that best suits your restaurant.

Book a free POS Pro demo

How do you organise your team schedule?

The aim of this kind of planning in the restaurant business is to enable your team to manage all the weekly customers in the best possible conditions. To draw it up, start by determining all the tasks that need to be carried out on a daily basis (cashier, kitchen, room service, washing up, etc.) and the resources you have to cover them.

Positions to include in the schedule

  • Waiters

  • Bartenders

  • Dishwashers

  • Manager

  • Cooks

  • And more!

It's important to define your posts clearly, because the distribution of tasks will not be the same if you have multi-skilled employees (who can also unload products, wash dishes, work at the till, etc.). It's also at this preliminary stage that you can choose to dedicate one of your employees to managing delivery orders (or click & collect orders) during busy periods of the day.

Choosing your opening times

If you want your restaurant to run smoothly, you'll need to have staff on hand all the time. The ideal solution is to rotate your staff, respecting their rest periods. This is the first option available to you: assign each employee a department or work schedule, then alternate. This will ensure fairness between your team members, but also their versatility, as they will be able to switch from a lunchtime shift to an evening shift without a hitch.

Alternatively, you can create a schedule where your employees' hours are the same every day. This will enable them to know what to expect and organise their lives outside work accordingly, but it can also become redundant.

What rules need to be taken into account before drawing up a schedule?

Respect rest periods

Whether you opt for a fixed or rotating timetable, make sure you comply with the HCR collective agreement.

In the catering industry, the rules are as follows:

  • Daily Breaks: Workers are entitled to 11 consecutive hours of rest in each 24-hour period. This is often referred to as the "daily rest period." For example, if an employee finishes work at 10:00 PM, they should not start work again until 9:00 AM the next day.

  • Breaks during shifts: During a working day, workers are generally entitled to a break if they work more than 6 hours. The duration of the break is usually at least 20 minutes and should be taken away from the workstation.

  • Night Work: There are additional regulations for night workers. They are usually entitled to an uninterrupted 11 hours of rest during each 24-hour period and free health assessments.

Beyond the rules imposed, it is important that you listen to your team's requests and recommendations (if a shift swap is requested, for example).

However, if you have to change your schedule, remember to give plenty of notice, as not everyone will have the reflex to go and look (and will no doubt have other activities planned). Make sure your schedule is easy to understand, by using a colour code to distinguish between your employees, for example.

Know the specifics of each contract

There are different types of contract available in the restaurant business: seasonal, extra, temporary, permanent or fixed-term. Since the conditions differ from one contract to another, make sure you are aware of them before drawing up your restaurant's schedule. For example, for a contract of less than 24 hours a week, the hours must be grouped together; you cannot spread these hours out over the whole week.

What are the best staff scheduling software packages?

Now that you know all the theory behind good planning, it's time to put it into practice! There are various tools available for organising and showing your employees the hours they will be working:

Trello, Excel and Google Calendar are all good tools for many restaurant owners, as they're easy to use and easy to share (via email) with lots of people. The only drawback is that you can't go much further than sharing a schedule.

If you want to go further (create schedules, make changes, communicate with your team and even process payslips), we recommend using integrations that are compatible with SumUp POS. This way, you'll have all you need in one place!

Book a free POS Pro demo

Liza Giraud

We'll help you find a tailored setup. Request a callback

Free delivery. 30-day money-back guarantee.