Restaurant Schedule Tips: Five Ways To Manage Personnel And Reduce Costs

By Jerome Chiaro

A restaurant schedule covers three areas of restaurant operations: kitchen, food service, and maintenance. In separate spreadsheets, include employee assignments, short descriptions of each task, the task period, and the expected output. If needed, include the name of person whom the employee has to submit a report.

Create an accurate and organized schedule for each area of restaurant operations to manage personnel, to control expenses, and to organize tasks:

1. Make a restaurant schedule for employees to work in rotating shifts.

Reduce labor costs by managing the work hours of your employees. Assign them into shifts. Each group should overlap the other. One group work as a skeleton crew during dull business hours, and another group work extended hours during peak periods. Rotate your employees so they work extended hours at least once a week. Others can take up the slack as substitutes in case an employee takes an emergency leave of absence.

2. Make a restaurant schedule for payments and purchases.


Setting up dates for paying the rent and the bills for water and electricity guides you in setting up dates for purchasing ingredients and other food supplies. Replenish your inventory only when you do not need to pay any bills during that week.

3. Make a restaurant schedule for staff budget meetings.

When drawing up your restaurant’s weekly or monthly budget, involve your staff during budget meetings. Schedule a monthly budget meeting, which you and your staff can discuss ways to cut costs and improve the bottom line. If you need to change suppliers for a less expensive one, then you, your manager, and your chefs should agree that the new supplies would still produce the same quality and flavor of the menu as before.

4. Make a restaurant schedule of tasks for each employee.

Assign an employee to open the restaurant early in the morning. A service crew should be there to prepare the place for the day’s opening. Their tasks include mopping up the floor, arranging the tables and chairs, setting up the table napkins and place mats, and distributing the menu and place cards on the tables. An accompanying kitchen crew cleans the utensils and kitchen equipment and prepares the ingredients for the day.

At the end of the day, the same process happens, but in reverse. Tables and chairs are rearranged, the floor is mopped, and the table napkins and other table ornaments return to storage. The kitchen crew clean up the kitchen area, store the remaining food and ingredients, prepare the necessary ingredients, sauces or marinades for the next day’s menu, and turn off all kitchen equipment except for the refrigerator and freezer. The day’s trash is thrown into the garbage bin, all lights are turn off, and the curtains and signs are drawn close.

To prevent delays in menu preparation, strictly implement this schedule and provide restaurant checklists to each employee to remind them of their responsibilities. The restaurant manager should be there to oversee the employees.

5. Make a restaurant schedule of specials or free-for-alls

Specials and buffets entice many diners to eat at your restaurant, but during these times, expect increases in workload and in inventory costs. Your employees will have to double their efforts and you will surely need more supplies to accommodate more diners.

Predict the demand and you will understand how to accommodate the supply without going over budget. For example, replenishing your inventory on Wednesdays prepares you for the onslaught during Friday night specials.

These five tips in making a restaurant schedule are not inclusive of each other. Paired with a strict management of costs and personnel, they become effective tools for managing your restaurant business.

About the Author: Jerome Chiaro is a Restaurant Owner & Consultant out of Orange County, CA. Did you know that 95% of restaurant owners and managers spend over 55 hours per week slaving away at their restaurant! He can help you WORK LESS and PROFIT MORE… Claim your copy of his

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