This article discusses why it is important with a good employee schedule. The article is relevant for any small business depending upon their employees for driving revenue either directly or indirectly. Target readers are managers and owners of restaurants, diners, cafés, retail shops, call centers or even pet care services. Anyone messing about with shift scheduling actually.

So why is it important with a good employee schedule?

The answer is a combination of many factors.

First of all – employee salaries are probably one of the (if not the) biggest expense that you have if you are in the retail, restaurant, service or hospitality industry. That given – it is quite clear that if you can keep this expense as low as possible you should be able to save a lot of money. So we’ll just fire all the employees then… I guess not because..

Second to this – you wont get very far by not having anyone on the employee roster. Employees are the ones who indirectly generate your revenue – perhaps even directly if you sell services. If you are not serving people online then you need someone to face your customers – being it in the restaurant, the café, the diner, your retail shop, your pet care services center, your office, your call center, your veterinarian clinic – you name it. People serve customers, take orders or handle operations in the way they see most fit. If there is not enough people to take care of your customers then you will lose revenue. This can happen in many ways:

If there are fewer people at work – then chances are that customers will get a poorer service and thus a bad experience. Ultimately if it is a busy day then people might leave your place just because it looks insufficiently staffed. Second, if they actually do sit down at a table they might leave before they are served – talking about the experience to all their friends. Third, if they actually get served, they might just not put that second order for an extra cup of coffee because they can’t be bothered with the waiting time.

How much does that cost you? It depends of course on your prices and the amount of customers that you have on that day – but it can easily result in several hundred dollars per night you are understaffed. Apart from that then there all the stories and bad PR that the customers who actually stood the waiting time will spread – that’s hard to measure, but bad PR can kill you in the long run.

Whenever you are under staffed – the other guys have to do extra work, run faster, serve more customers etc. As an employee you will have a heck of a time running between customers to try and satisfy everybody knowing that you probably don’t. That’s simply not cool and will definitely ruin the opportunity to up sell with a better wine, another meat dish, dessert etc. If that’s how your employees experience it then it will result in poor service for the customers and a very low morale for your employees. Eventually employees may quit because of this – how much does it cost you to train a new employee?

Balancing it out
So it seems that it makes good sense to be well staffed – on the other hand there are the salaries to think of. From a management point of view It seems like it is important to balance things out. Having sufficient staff while keeping costs to a minimum.

A good employee schedule is important because it will help you serve your customers in a satisfying way while keeping your salary costs to a minimum. An online shift scheduling tool could help you achieve this without drowning in administrative tasks.

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