Timekeeping restaurants is an essential part of managing a successful business. Without proper time tracking, you risk your profits, employees, and customer service.
Fortunately, with the addition of powerful time-tracking apps, payroll software, and productivity trackers, you have more options for fast and effective time tracking to improve your restaurant operations.
Use these tips to track time in your restaurant and cash in on the benefits of knowing exactly how much time is spent, on what, and when, in your restaurant.
Benefits Of Effective Time Tracking
Effective time tracking can revolutionize your restaurant’s management and output. It’ll improve staff productivity, reduce employee stress, accurately manage labor costs, minimize time theft, and increase your restaurant’s profits.
Time tracking allows you to see what your employees are doing and how productive they are. You’ll be able to see which employees are working hard and which ones aren’t as incentivized. This will further improve employee scheduling and restaurant productivity, as well as customer service.
Less Stress For Employees and Restaurant Managers
A time clock app or a productivity tracker doesn’t seem like it would reduce stress. However, effective time management is an excellent de-stressor for restaurant staff and managers.
For staff, it takes the scheduling stress out of their hands. Accurate time tracking also holds management subject to local labor law regulations and ensures that they’ll be paid for overtime hours without human error fudging the numbers.
For managers, time tracking lowers the burden of accurate time tracking. With software and effective time tracking, managers have an easier time paying employees, scheduling future shifts, reducing time theft, and having an overall better approach to restaurant management.
Improved Pay Accuracy and Reduced Labor Costs
When restaurant management is accurately tracking time and integrating it with accounting or payroll software, it improves pay accuracy. There will be less overpaying and underpaying, which in turn saves time and overtime costs.
Effective time tracking also reduces labor costs. When managers are aware of where their teams are and how much they’re working, also how well they’re doing in any given restaurant section, it makes it easier to assign sections and teams that work like well-oiled units.
Staffing smarter naturally leads to staffing less, which reduces labor costs and improves customer service.
Reduce Time Theft
There are many ways in which staff commit time theft, whether maliciously or unintentionally. Whichever the motive, time theft is an expensive oversight, especially in the restaurant industry. Fortunately, when you track time and productivity effectively, you can track the time theft and work at amicably resolving it.
When you reduce labor costs, incentivize productivity, schedule employees to work in the most advantageous teams, and improve pay accuracy, you’ll notice better customer service and more efficient restaurant management.
And what do we get when a restaurant is running at an optimized pace? Increased profits.
Time tracking done right can organize day-to-day operations that you might not even realize are draining your accounts and employees.
Top Time-Keeping Restaurant Tips
Now that you know which benefits to look forward to with accurate and advanced timekeeping, let’s take a look at some timekeeping restaurant tips.
Take Advantage Of Restaurant Software
If there is one thing you should take away from this article, it’s to take advantage of restaurant software. Technology in restaurants has changed the way we run restaurants, and it’s done so for the better.
Many types of restaurant software incorporate time-tracking software.
- Payroll Software: Most payroll software features a time clock app that tracks employee time. If you already have restaurant accounting software, take advantage of the time-tracking features to implement the below tips.
- Employee Scheduling Software: Employee scheduling software is software specifically designed to track employees' hours, assign them shifts, and collect labor data including productivity data.
Besides software that specifically focuses on tracking time and productivity, you can also use restaurant software to automate and streamline many other time-consuming restaurant management tasks. Some popular options include table ordering software, waitlist software, learning management software, and tip distribution software.
Focus On One Task At A Time
Multitasking is not the greatest quality in a business setting, especially in a restaurant. Not only does it reduce work quality, but multitasking can lead to errors that you’ll have to fix at a later stage.
One surefire way to save time and improve the quality of your restaurant work is to focus on one task at a time. Give it your all, ensure it’s error-free, and move on to the next to-do list item.
Plan In Advance
Whether you need to manage inventory or complete an employee schedule, planning and organizing tasks in advance is always going to improve your time management.
Dedicate time every day, or at the beginning of a new work week, to sit down and plan for the coming week. If you have long-term restaurant projects, consider them too. Get your staff involved and settle time off requests as far ahead as possible.
Determine To-Do List Priorities
A to-do list is an effective way to get all your daily tasks out of the way. Unfortunately, time can get in the way of finishing all of them, which is why it’s important to know which tasks to prioritize.
Organize your personal and team to-do list from most to least important. Prioritize completing all the “must finish” tasks as soon as possible before moving on to the other items.
Track Employee Time
For most owners and managers, attendance management is time-consuming and a waste of resources. However, tracking employee time and productivity can be a game changer if you use labor data to guide staffing decisions.
Time tracking and productivity tracking will help you gauge who your best employees are. It’ll also identify weak points in your back-of-house and front-of-house management.
Once you have the data, put the productive employees on the floor during peak season and supplement members' weaknesses with others' strengths. This will streamline FOH and BOH operations for a smoother restaurant experience.
Strategize Employee Scheduling
Use time-tracking software to schedule employees strategically. Schedule your best employees to work on busy days and supplement new or weak staff with experienced team members.
Use time tracking and scheduling software to ensure you always have an experienced and well-rounded team to manage the restaurant. They’ll provide a better experience for customers and be more self-sufficient, affording management time to focus on other tasks.
Keep Track Of Everything
Finally, keep track of your time management changes and other daily management tasks.
Like most business processes, timekeeping requires trial and error. Implement your timekeeping strategies and keep a daily log to note any issues that could affect future timekeeping and positive choices to replicate.
Keeping track of daily management will also prevent you from forgetting future to-do list items and keep you and your staff ahead of schedule.
Improved restaurant operations, better pay accuracy, smarter staffing choices, software automation, and reduced time theft are just a few of the amazing and immediate benefits you’ll notice from effective timekeeping.
Implement the above timekeeping tips and tricks to streamline your restaurant’s time tracking and time management processes.