Restaurant scheduling software facilitates scheduling processes in the restaurant industry. With its automation and simplification capabilities, this innovative software enables effortless creation, management, and communication of employee schedules, freeing up valuable time and effort for restaurant managers.
A restaurant scheduling app empowers managers with shift management, availability tracking, time-off request management, and seamless communication, allowing them to optimize staffing levels, adhere to labor regulations, and boost operational efficiency. Thanks to a restaurant schedule app, there is no need for manual scheduling. If you are curious about the top scheduling software for restaurants, check the details below!
What is restaurant scheduling software?
Restaurant scheduling software is a type of software that focuses on efficiently managing and organizing employee schedules within restaurants and other food service establishments. This software significantly enhances efficiency and accuracy by automating and streamlining the scheduling process. It eliminates the manual effort of scheduling tasks, allowing managers to easily create optimized schedules.
If you encounter a problem of a restaurant being understaffed and every day you wonder if all shifts in your restaurant will be covered appropriately, using a restaurant scheduling app might be a solution for your business. This software is crucial in ensuring proper staffing coverage and maintaining a smooth operational flow in the restaurant industry. It enhances team communication, fosters improved work-life balance, and enhances shift predictability.
How can restaurant schedule app help?
Restaurant schedule app usually has the following features:
- Shift management: restaurant managers gain the ability to create and tailor shifts according to specific staffing needs, employee availability, and labor regulations.
- Employee availability and time-off requests: Employees can input their availability in the restaurant scheduling app and request time off directly through the software. Restaurant managers can see these requests and accept them.
- Schedule publishing: Once the schedule is created, restaurant scheduler empowers managers to easily publish it online or distribute it to employees through email or mobile notifications. Employees can check their schedules anytime, anywhere, and stay informed about updates or changes.
- Shift swapping and trading: Certain restaurant schedule software facilitates employee-requested shift swaps or trades by notifying eligible employees and managing the approval and notification process. This feature promotes flexibility and collaboration among staff members.
- Labor cost management: Advanced restaurant schedule app can help managers in labor cost optimization. Restaurant managers can use the restaurant scheduling app to analyze labor demands, forecast sales, and customer traffic, and provide valuable insights on scheduling efficiency.
- Communication and collaboration: Many scheduling tools include built-in communication features such as messaging or chat functionality. These features foster seamless communication and coordination between managers and employees, allowing them to address scheduling matters, clarify shifts, and resolve any conflicts or concerns that may arise.
- Reporting and analytics: Restaurant scheduling software often provides reporting and analytics features that help managers track labor costs and monitor employee attendance and punctuality
Restaurant schedule software can have part of or all of the features described above. Moreover, the restaurant scheduling software can be cloud-based or installed locally on a computer, and it may integrate with other restaurant management solutions, for example, there can be POS integration and payroll software integration.
How can I choose the best restaurant scheduling software for my restaurant?
Selecting the best scheduling software for restaurants depends on the following:
- The number of employees
- Preferences of your restaurant staff
- Operational systems you already use in your establishment
Optimal compatibility between the chosen scheduling software and employee preferences fosters better collaboration and productivity.
What apps are used for scheduling?
Many restaurant software apps are available on the market. For this article, we analyzed offers and opinions on over 18 employee scheduling software and chose the 12 best restaurant scheduling software. They are as follows:
- When I Work
- Buddy Punch
Features comparison matrix
Below, you will find a comparison of the selected restaurant scheduling app software.
|Feature||7shifts||Deputy||HotSchedules||Homebase||When I Work||Sling||Schedulefly||Planday||Jolt||Bizimply||Buddy Punch||ZoomShift|
|Shift Swapping/Trading||Not in every subsription|
|Labor Cost Optimization|
|Mobile App||Yes, but it is paid extra|
|Reporting & Analytics|
We described each restaurant scheduler with its pros and cons below.
7Shifts is a dedicated restaurant schedule software designed specifically for the restaurant industry, addressing the unique scheduling challenges faced by this sector. This scheduling system provides a mobile app that lets employees conveniently access their upcoming shifts and availability and submit time-off requests directly from their phones. Managers, on the other hand, can utilize the mobile app to efficiently handle shift scheduling, communicate with employees, and oversee the scheduling calendar.
Restaurant owners can choose from 4 plans:
- Comp, a robust free plan of this employee scheduling solution.
- Entrée, which costs $29.99 per month/location and is best for small/medium-sized restaurants or low-location franchises
- The Works, which costs $69.99 per month/location and is the best software for small/medium-sized multi-location restaurants or low-location franchises
- Gourmet, which costs $135.00 per month/location that has advanced customization and dedicated support. It is the best restaurant scheduling software for enterprises or mid-market brands that are corporate/franchise-owned
There is a free 14-day trial for testing this restaurant employee scheduling software.
Deputy is the right restaurant scheduling software, offering a range of robust scheduling features and time clock functionalities. They provide advanced scheduling capabilities that allow businesses to create optimized schedules, track employee availability, manage time-off requests, and handle shift swapping. Additionally, their time clock feature offers seamless time tracking, ensuring accurate attendance records and streamlined payroll processes.
There are 3 plans to choose from:
- Scheduling costs $3.50 per user per month billed monthly. It is a good option for those seeking an improved method to schedule and communicate with their team
- Time & Attendance costs $3.50 per user per month billed monthly. It is a good option for companies that need to track attendance and export timesheets to payroll
- Premium costs $4.90 per user per month billed monthly or $4.20 per user per month billed annually. It is a complete restaurant employee scheduling software and time & attendance solution with reporting.
If you have a business with more than 250 employees and custom configuration needs, you can ask about the Enterprise pricing. You can try all key features during a free 31-day trial.
Following the merger with Fourth in 2019, HotSchedules became integral to its technological ecosystem. This cloud-based software solution is tailored to the needs of the restaurant and hospitality industry. HotSchedules offers a wide range of features, including employee scheduling solution, labor management, and communication tools. Leveraging these capabilities streamlines employee management, enhances communication among staff members, and ultimately optimizes operational efficiency and employee productivity within the industry.
There is no pricing information on the HotSchedules website without requesting a demo. You can start a 30-day free version to check this restaurant employee scheduling software.
Homebase is an employee scheduling software designed to help small business owners from different industries, including the food& beverage, retail, hospitality & leisure, and others. Their solution aims to save time for busy owners by offering streamlined scheduling, time-tracking capabilities, and team communication tools. With Homebase, restaurant owners can efficiently manage employee schedules, track work hours, and improve the operational efficiency of running a restaurant business. Homebase is one of the most popular restaurant scheduling apps available for free.
Homebase offers 4 plans for one-location companies and those with multiple locations. They are as follows:
- Basic is a free version for 1 location for companies with up to 20 employees
- Essentials costs $20 per location per month and concerns the unlimited number of employees. It helps to improve the tracking process and shifts management as it includes advanced scheduling, advanced time tracking, and team communication tools
- Plus costs $48 per location per month and helps to boost productivity. It includes all features for the Essentials plan, and, additionally, hiring, PTO & Time Off Controls, and Departments & Permissions
- All-in-one costs $80 per location per month and includes, apart from the features of a Plus plan, employee onboarding, labor cost management, and HR & Compliance
5. When I Work
When I Work is a comprehensive shift scheduling and employee management tool. It offers intuitive scheduling features and efficient communication tools. With its user-friendly interface and powerful scheduling capabilities, When I Work is an efficient and effective scheduling tool for businesses of all sizes, optimizing workforce management and overall operational efficiency.
There are two pricing plans to choose from:
- Standard costs $2.50 per user monthly
- Standard with Time & Attendance and On-Demand Pay costs $4.00 per user monthly
- Advanced cost $6.00 per user monthly
- Advances with Time & Attendance and On-Demand Pay costs $8.00 per user monthly
Sling, now known as Sling by Toast after being acquired by Toast in July 2022, is a comprehensive employee scheduling, communication, and management solution. It is an employee scheduling software designed specifically for restaurants. The key features include employee scheduling, time tracking, payroll management, internal communication tools, labor cost optimization, and reporting capabilities.
There are 3 subscriptions to choose from
- Free version includes basic features like shift scheduling, organizing and managing employee work schedules, time-off requests, available shifts, etc.
- Premium costs $2.00 per user per month billed monthly or $1.70 per user per month billed annually. Apart from the features available in a Free plan, it also includes tools for tracking time and optimizing labor costs.
- Business costs $4.00 per user per month billed monthly or $3.40 per user per month billed annually. Apart from the features available in a Premium plan, it also includes tools like kiosk time tracking, reports, etc.
Sling offers a 15-day free trial, allowing you to explore the software and select the plan that best suits your requirements.
Schedulefly is a web-based scheduling software designed specifically for the restaurant industry. It was created in 2007 to offer restaurants an organized, but simple way to schedule and communicate with their staff. Some key features and functionalities include intuitive scheduling tools, real-time shift management, messaging, and communication capabilities, and streamlined employee onboarding.
Schedulefly offers simple monthly pricing with all features included in this restaurant employee scheduling software. It looks as follows:
- 19 or fewer staff – $30 per month
- 20-39 staff -$40 per month
- 40-59 staff – $50 per month
- 60-79 staff – $60 per month
- More than 80 staff or Seasonal Business – you have to request for a quote
You can also try Schedulefly for free during a 30-day free trial.
Planday is a cloud-based employee scheduling platform that helps companies to improve their workforce efficiency. It is available in multiple countries and is an employee scheduling software for multi-location restaurants. Planday offers the following features:
- For scheduling: shift planner (where you can plan shifts and monitor how many hours a given employee is scheduled to work) and a mobile app through which a restaurant manager can message employees and restaurant staff can add their availability preferences, request vacation, easily swap or trade shifts.
- For time tracking: punch clock, which enables location-specific time tracking. There are also reporting features that allow a restaurant manager to monitor staff costs and see the trends in the number of hours and shifts worked by each employee. It helps to check the weekly restaurant revenue and compare it with salary costs. You can view the proportion of your income allocated towards salaries. This feature empowers you to devise an optimized schedule that aligns with your business’s financial well-being.
- For staff management: it facilitates communication with employees, restaurant managers can send updates to restaurant staff when they punch in. It also ensures compliance with legal regulations. The system can also generate reports, which can be integrated with payroll systems.
To sum up, Planday’s primary objective is to streamline employee scheduling, improve communication, and optimize workforce management across diverse industries, including hospitality, retail, leisure&entertainment, healthcare, and more. By providing a comprehensive platform, Planday simplifies creating schedules, facilitates effective communication, and enhances overall efficiency in managing workforce operations.
There is no free plan, but Planday offers a 30-day free version for testing this scheduling tool. There are 3 subscription models to choose from:
- Starter: recommended for small businesses. It costs €2.99/user/month
- Plus: recommended for small and medium-sized businesses. It costs €4.99/user/month (it starts at €74.90 per month and includes 10 users)
- Pro: recommended for large businesses. It costs €6.99/user/month. (it starts at €399.50 and includes 50 users).
Large businesses can also ask about custom pricing.
Jolt is an all-in-one platform that helps businesses manage their workforce more effectively. Their features include:
- employee scheduling,
- task management,
- time tracking,
- compliance tools
Jolt aims to simplify employee management and scheduling, help teams work together better, and ensure everyone works efficiently. Different industries use their software: restaurants, retail, hotels, etc. Jolt is used by chains like Burger King, Zaxby’s, Dairy Queen, and Subway.
According to Jolt’s website “Jolt customizes its offering depending on your exact needs. We offer each product a la carte, or in bundles at a discount. Please contact sales to find out exactly what Jolt can offer you.”
According to the information on Capterra, the monthly pricing starts from $89.99.
Bizimply is a cloud-based employee scheduling software specifically created for small and midsize businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors. It caters to establishments like hotels, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Apart from scheduling, Bizimply provides features for managing employee attendance, shifts, timecards, payroll, and generating business reports, offering a comprehensive solution for workforce management in these industries.
According to the information on the Bizzimply website, “Pricing depends on the number of employees, locations, and products that you would like to buy. After a short conversation & assessment, one of our specialists will be happy to share our transparent & economic pricing.”
According to the information on Capterra, the free trial is available, and the pricing starts at £100.00 per month.
11. Buddy Punch
Buddy Punch is a time-tracking and employee-scheduling software offering various features to help businesses effectively manage their workforce. It simplifies and automates time tracking, attendance management, and employee scheduling processes. This software enables businesses to track employee work hours, efficiently manage time-off requests, generate automated timesheets, and streamline payroll calculations.
There are two pricing plans in Buddy Punch:
- Standard (time tracking for any size business) costs $2.99 per user/month billed annually (or $3.49 if billed monthly) + $19 base fee per month.
- Pro (time with Scheduling) costs $3.99 per user/month billed annually (or $4.49 if billed monthly) + $19 base fee per month.
Contact Buddy Punch for a quote if you are interested in Single Sign On (SSO) and API Access.
ZoomShift offers a streamlined and cloud-based solution for creating and managing employee schedules. With ZoomShift, you can easily handle employee availability, time off requests, overtime, and shift conflicts. The software lets you conveniently publish work schedules and send notifications to keep employees informed and engaged. By providing these features, ZoomShift simplifies the scheduling process and enhances communication within your team.
There is a 14-day free trial. Then you can choose one out of two pricing plans:
- Starter (for growing organizations) costs $2 per active team member/month
- Premium (for organizations of any size) costs $4 per active team member/month
If you are interested in priority support & personalized onboarding, you need to contact ZoomShift for a quote.
- Restaurant scheduling software automates and simplifies the scheduling process. It also reduces manual tasks and optimizes employee schedules.
- Restaurant scheduling software improves communication between managers and employees.
- One of the key features of a restaurant scheduling app is enabling real-time updates, notifications, and messaging features. Thanks to that, all employees know about schedules and any changes or updates.
- Most restaurant scheduling solutions offer labor costs management features that help restaurant managers and owners optimize staffing levels
- Employees can use restaurant scheduling software to input their availability, request time off, and swap shifts with colleagues
- Using a restaurant scheduling app helps to ensure labor compliance with legal regulations regarding maximum working hours, break requirements, and other labor laws.
- Specific scheduling software solutions provide integration capabilities with point-of-sale (POS), payroll, and HR software. Such integration ensures smooth data exchange and reduces potential errors.
- Scheduling software is a management solution that often provides data-driven insights on labor costs, employee attendance, and restaurant employee scheduling efficiency.