Why do Restaurants Need to Automate Shift Bid Process?

Employee scheduling is a complex and challenging task, especially for those in the restaurant industry. Your employees may take days off or change their timings, throwing your schedule off the mark.

How many times have you scrambled to find someone to cover for your staff at the last minute?

Chances are, you have to do this quite often!

Your employees are not always after money and want the flexibility to meet their personal needs. This makes scheduling difficult for restaurants, where the staffing need is not consistent. So how do you plan for such situations?

The answer lies in taking help of automated shift bid! Shift bidding allows your staff to choose their own timings from a list of available shifts and also determine the cost. Most organizations use a scheduling software which lets employees bid online on shifts using a website or app. Then the solution uses preset rules to select the best candidate for the shift.

Today, we are going to show you how the automated shift bid process increases employee engagement and help you run your operations better. But first, let’s find out why modern automated shift bidding is more useful than creating manual schedules.

The Risks of Manual Shift Bid Process

Employees today want to utilize technologies that can make their life easy and simple. But most restaurants till now have depended on low-tech or manual shift bid process. As a result, they have been losing out big time on efficiency and productivity.

Creating manual shift bids would require a business to make uncountable phone calls or email exchanges. You may also have to pass the paper calendar from one employee to another, asking them to mark their bids and availability.

Then the management would take time to determine who will be awarded the bids. Such a manual process is time-consuming and lacks a centralized approach to collect and assess bids. On top of that, they can result in many disadvantages such as-

  • Increased errors or mistakes in the employee roster
  • Inadequate coverage or too many workers working at the same time
  • Many employee requests are lost in the paper trail of manual shift bid
  • Other employees can see the bids of colleagues
  • The management must be aware of each employee, their strengths and weaknesses in addition to labor laws

The disadvantages of manual shift bidding make it unsuitable for the evolving needs of the restaurant industry. That’s why many have shifted to the automated shift bid process.

How Automated Shift Bidding can Help Restaurants

Automated shift bid process eliminates the risks of manual shift management. Many employee scheduling solutions provide a shift bid feature for restaurants to make the most of their employees.

Automated shift bidding relies on a rule-based engine to analyze and rank the bids. You can customize the rules and make them adapt to meet your establishment’s unique needs. For example, you can choose to rank bids based on experience and cost, and the solution would do that exactly in very less time.

Automated shift bids also make the process less labor-intensive, reduce errors and make the whole workflow transparent. You can always guarantee a fair bidding and selection process, increasing the trust of your employees in the system.

Scheduling solution with shift bid feature can account for any rules you want to use- qualifications, experience, skillset, seniority, location and so on. Automated shift bidding is not only used by restaurants but also those who depend on part-time and on-call staff.

Advantages of Automated Shift Bidding

Automatic shift bid brings a host of advantages for the employees, owner and the organization. Some of the things you can count on are ease of operations, effective schedulings and time savings. Let’s breakdown the benefits one by one.

1. How Automated Shift Bid Benefits Employees

Here is a look at how automated shifts are a good idea when it comes to increasing productivity.

Increases Employee Engagement

In 2018, the restaurant industry had a turnover of 74.9%.

You may wonder why so many of your employees always end up quitting! The main reason, more often than not, is low employee engagement. Using shift bid process is one of the easiest ways to give back the control to your employees and increase engagement.

Your staff can choose shifts according to their convenience and get a feeling of being in control.

Brings Fairness on the Table

Managers need to handle shift bidding in a transparent, fair and equitable way. This is necessary for keeping staff morale high and also to increase engagement.

When your employees think that you have been unfair in scheduling, they are more likely to complain about favoritism. Even minor errors can cause serious damage and rob trust from the leadership. It may also result in employee turnover.

Using automated shift bidding solutions allow your employees to have trust in the process. They know the whole thing is automated and it is the machine that is making the selection. So fairness and transparency are always guaranteed.

Allows Flexibility

Shift bidding allows your employees to arrange their routines to make room for lifestyle needs. Whether they need to pick up a kid from school or go to college themselves, shift bid offers them the option to stay flexible.

The ability to choose your own shifts also work great for hourly and part-time employees.

Makes Employees Feel Valued

Empowering your employees with shift bidding not only creates trust but also makes them feel valued. By taking an active part in the scheduling process, your staff becomes more proactive in their job.  They will be more likely to take initiatives and give the best as they feel like a part of the organization.

Offers Convenience

With manual shift bidding, employees would need to make several calls to know about their shifts. They would need to make their bids on paper and keep waiting for the call of confirmation. Automated shift bidding eliminates all the hassles out of the process. ‘

Employees can use a mobile app or website to place their bids. If their bid is selected, then they would get notifications instantly. They don’t need to make any calls or keep checking their bids. The whole thing becomes easy and simple.

2. Why do Employers Love Automated Shift Bids

Reduces Administrative Costs

Automated solutions bring the advantage of administrative cost savings which is also true for scheduling solutions. You can eliminate paper and make the whole process automated. The establishment can also save costs on calling and maintaining paper records.

You can also cut down the cost of human labor required for manual shift bidding.

Saves Valuable Time

As a business owner, you want more time to grow your business and increase your profits. No entrepreneur likes to be tied down with repetitive and time-consuming tasks like collecting bids, assessing them and finally making the selection.

Automating the whole process results in considerable time savings for the administration. Time that you can spend on productive tasks like attracting more business.

Improves Accuracy

Automated shift bidding cut downs the chances of errors and mistakes. You don’t have any human involvement in the process and that automatically makes bids more accurate.

The rule-based engine of scheduling solutions also doesn’t make any wrong selection. It will always pick the employee with the best rate who meets all applicable conditions (skills, experience, availability and so on).

Increases Scheduling Efficiency

A holistic process for shift bidding ensures that you don’t have to make last-minute changes or hire employees on contract. Obviously, there will be exceptions, but automating your shift bidding increases the efficiency of the process. You will have fewer no-shows and employees are also likely to be more punctual.

The administration can also rest assured knowing all employees have been notified in due time.

Satisfied Employees

Automating shift bidding results in higher engagement and increases employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees are valuable assets to any company- they are less likely to quit, they give their best efforts and care about your business objectives.

Their satisfaction will reflect in their performance and improve your customer service- something which is crucial for businesses in the hospitality industry.


While scheduling, you may need to comply with state or federal labor laws. For example, you will have to pay a premium to employees who work split shifts in some places. There may be restrictions on maximum working hours for some people like underage employees. You will need to factor in and stay abreast of such laws to avoid penalties or legal hassles.

You can program scheduling solutions to accommodate all applicable labor laws. If someone has to be paid a premium, then it will automatically be considered by the program once you set the rules. So you can guarantee compliance with laws without checking each and every bid manually.

3. How Automated Shift Bid Benefits Your Establishment

Increases Productivity

Automated shift bidding increases productivity on several grounds-

  • Your managers have more time to ensure a smooth service
  • Your administration is not tied down with day-to-day scheduling and can work productively
  • Effective scheduling leads to better service and successful shifts
  • Employees can focus on their work instead of spending time in manual bidding
  • You get the best candidate for the shift

Improves Bottom Line

You will be able to save a lot of expenses which will improve your bottom line. For starters, we have removed the administrative costs by automating shift bids. You also can save the cost of hiring contractual employees as your own staff is highly likely to turn up on the right day and time.

Your employees also work more efficiently and serve your customers with a smile. That also makes customers happy and encourages them to spend more. They are also likely to become your loyal customer once they start liking your hospitality and service.

So you have many ways to increase your revenues.

Automated Shift Bidding for Business Success

Most restaurants are making the move towards scheduling solutions to take advantage of automated shift bidding. When something makes your establishment more productive and creates satisfied employees, there’s hardly any reason not to go for it. So pick a scheduling solution that meets your business needs and make way for higher profits and excellent customer service.

You can also ensure you always have the right person for the job by taking help of automated shift bids.