Tips and tricks for a successful roster

In 5 steps to the gastronomy roster

It is not easy to create a good duty roster, as you have to take many factors into account at the same time.

We will show you what is needed to create a good duty roster and how to do it in five steps.

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Requirements for a good roster

1. A good roster nowadays requires digital data processing: this is due to dynamic changes. Every good roster is arrived at through an iterative process. This means that you must be able to add, delete and change layers quickly and view the result or changes dynamically each time. At the same time, it should be possible to keep track of all necessary information.

2. The duty roster must be adapted to the circumstances of the respective gastronomic business: Every business is different, this is mainly related to the concept and the staff. For example, some restaurants work with requested times, others with free requests and some don’t have them at all.

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Step 1: Preparation

The following factors should be taken into account in advance:

– The sorting/grouping of employees according to employment and qualifications.

– Accurate planning of staff requirements based on factors such as weather, expected customers and expected turnover. This may take a while, as historical data should be accounted for appropriately. You should also make sure that you are aware of all availabilities and absences and that these are also clearly visible in the weekly schedule.

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Step 2: Planning of permanent staff (full-time and part-time)

In order to ensure good utilisation of the duty roster, you should fill in the specified requirement in a reasonable way, taking into account the employee-related framework conditions.

When planning, the hours worked so far in the month or year must of course be taken into account in order to build up or reduce overtime in a targeted manner.

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Step 3: Planning of temporary workers

The first thing you should check is the availability of your employees. Identify gaps in the roster and fill them in effectively with temporary staff. It is important during this step to keep a clear overview of the conditions relating to tax and social security in order to prevent subsequent corrections and to avoid potential under staffing. Mini-jobbers, for example, may earn up to 675 euros in one month without any problem, but the annual limit of 5400 euros must be respected.

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Step 4: Identify problems

It is also important to identify your own problem areas and counteract them in a targeted manner. Are there gaps in the roster or over staffing, how flexible am I in the face of unforeseen changes (e.g. illness, weather conditions)? If necessary, you have to go back to step 2 (planning of permanent staff) at this stage to make adjustments.

Perhaps permanent employees have minus hours on their work time accounts and can be scheduled in when there is a shortage of staff, or there are days in lieu that have accumulated and can be used up during periods of over staffing. The cycle must continue until all staffing gaps are filled.

Step 5: Reflection

Before preparing the next duty roster, the previous duty roster needs to be assessed. The best way to start is by analysing differences between planned and actual times and then evaluating the results. A good tip is for the operations manager to record a short commentary at the end of each day on the planned demand and the actual volume.

This is how it could look, for example: A turnover of 2500 € is planned, but today the business was overrun, in particular in the period between 12 and 3 pm. During this period, the service was clearly understaffed, so everyone worked a little longer than planned. One reason for this may have been the good weather, which nobody expected.

To sum up

The duty roster is an important tool and has a significant impact on staff costs, turnover, staff and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, well thought-out planning reduces the time and effort required for subsequent corrections of working hours and prevents unpleasant surprises at the next customs or tax audit.

However, it is important to be familiar with the staffing requirements and to keep the individual needs of your business in mind. A good duty roster balances fairness and economy, which ultimately benefits the business, the staff and the customers.

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