One touch scheduler: bye bye spreadsheets and hours of aggravation, hello one touch and done!

1/17/18 8:00 AM Lindsay Gillanders

Once upon a time in a land called Winnipeg, a bunch of young adults met while working in a downtown restaurant. Bartenders. servers, cocktailers, and supervisors, these dedicated employees loved everything about their job and were the best of friends. Life was wonderful.

One day, two of the particularly industrious friends saw their manager struggling to make the weekly schedule. Things were melting down in the restaurant and the manager didn’t have any time to help because he was struggling to keep all of the staff requests and abilities straight. Who was qualified to close the dining room again? Was it Tuesday or Thursday that ‘Hunky Tony’ wanted off? When was the monster truck rally that was going to flood the restaurant with requests for ribs and Budweisers?

While running diet pop to table 23 at a ridiculous rate (who the heck drinks that much soda?) the young friends thought to themselves that surely there had to be an easier way to make a schedule, What if there was a program that already knew when Tony needed his day off, and if Kimmy was qualified to close? Wouldn’t that make things easier? The manager would be able to help in the restaurant during the lunch rush and not be bothered with hours of scheduling foolishness.

Thus Ameego was born!

(Note, this story has been edited slightly for clarity. The full founding of Ameego tale includes a lot more Red Bull and a bizarre antidote about a handheld POS system, but that’s irrelevant for now).

So why are we telling you this? Because those friends are now the Ameego team! A lot of us have been in the restaurant industry for a long time and we understand how things work. We know that you have certain staff for certain things and that managing staff requests can be like herding cats. Of all of the fun features that Ameego possesses, the one-touch-scheduler is something that we’re truly proud of and a feature that all restaurants can find heaps of value in!

Creating a restaurant schedule that is balanced and profitable isn’t easy. There are so many moving pieces it can take HOURS to get it right. Balancing the needs of the restaurant while managing book off requests, skill sets, and weekly availability is nothing short of a nightmare. But a good schedule it is the best way to ensure that your customers, your employees, and your owners are happy so it’s worth investing hundreds of hours a year in it right? Well, kinda. The perfect schedule is definitely worth investing in, but the hundreds of hours part isn't needed. You just need to automate your scheduling with Ameego!

Labour control

This might be the biggest reason why owners and managers never revert back to manual scheduling once they try automated scheduling! Once you’ve got the deep historical data that Ameego provides, you can make pretty accurate sales projections for any given week.

Here’s where it gets simple, and valuable.

  1. No need to tell Ameego what your projected sales are. It already has that info!
  2. Tell the Ameego scheduler what your labor percentage goal is (scheduling managers can only schedule according to the budget approved by the GM).
  3. Let the Ameego scheduler schedule staff within that budget, and ensure you stick to it with ongoing notifications.

Instead of ‘scheduling in the dark’ you’re scheduling to your sales and budget!

Overtime watch

It’s easy, in this flying-on-your-feet industry, to ask one or two servers stay an extra hour tonight, and a bartender tomorrow and three girls on Saturday. And before you know it, your labor costs are way over. With automated scheduling, you have the numbers and tools at your hands to make decisions that will allow you to avoid overtime costs.  

For example, there are settings to control the max number of hours a week an employee can receive without going into overtime. This setting automatically prevents any overtime from being scheduled! The only overtime that could get scheduled would be forced by a manager, and even then they would receive notifications and warnings that they are about to schedule overtime.

No over or under scheduling

A lot of manual restaurant employee scheduling is really just guessing (Two servers for Friday lunch in the lounge? Two servers on the patio?). And you continue doing what you’ve always done simply because that’s the way you’ve done it. And if there are slow days or crazy rushes, well, you roll with it. What if you had a better way of knowing exactly how many staff you need on the floor, not just for the day, but right down to every 15 minutes?

Automated scheduling allows you make informed choices based on historical sales data that can dive past sales, all the way to meal counts for the quarter hour. This isn’t just a Saturday in March you’re scheduling for, it’s 11:30 am on the March 16 you’re talking about, and now you’ve got a whole new level of insight at your fingertips. With that, you can ensure staff shifts begin and end when you’ll actually need those specific bodies on the floor. You’re always just a few mouse clicks away from the perfect schedule.

And of course, save time with Ameego!

Let’s face it, trying to do all of the above on your own every week or every other week would take hours, and it’s not apt to be as proactive about balancing costs and skills on the floor.

And automated scheduling isn’t at all trying to replace the scheduling manager, it’s simply giving them more time to spend on customers rather than sitting in an office doing paperwork.

If you're saving two, three, four hours a week on the schedules or more, what could your managers be doing instead (probably helping us run diet coke to table 23!).  Over the course of a year that's over 100+ hours that can be redistributed from sitting on the computer, into driving better results at your restaurant.  

How can your operation use restaurant scheduling software to align sales with labour spending and save thousands? Ameego! Book your free, no obligation demo today!.

Topics: Restaurant Labor Control, Restaurant Scheduling, Restaurant Sales and Labor Forecasting, Guest Experience