What is Scheduling Software / App?
Scheduling software helps the organizations to schedule employees, book events, reserve rooms, and any other resources. In addition, most businesses use a scheduling program to manage both external and internal activity planning through tools that include allocation, a shared calendar and forecasting, and any resource management features. Popular examples of scheduling apps in real life situations are salon scheduling app, restaurant scheduling app, and many more apps.
What is a Restaurant Scheduling App?
Restaurant scheduling app allow restaurant owners and managers to organize their shift schedules easily, and quickly, and possibly send bulk text messages to employees to fill shift changes at the last minute.
With this type of scheduling system, managers and employees can check exactly what the schedule looks like for the next several shifts, clock in and clock out. They can also receive and send texts instead of using a whiteboard or spreadsheet to manually track.
In addition, restaurant scheduling software may be integrated or used alongside restaurant POS systems, restaurant management software, and other back-office software which includes employee management tools and accounting software.
For software to qualify for inclusion in the restaurant scheduling category, the product must be able to carry out the following:
- A calendar should be created to track employee shifts
- A list of those currently employed in the company must be maintained
- There should be an option to clock in and clock-out
- Features specifically designed for the need of the restaurant industry must be provided
A restaurant scheduling software helps business managers and owners to schedule their staff meetings by enabling easy and quick scheduling management. Other processes include; updating employees and creating schedules with business communications becoming more automated, workplace satisfaction, and increased productivity.
Benefits Of Scheduling Software
1. Boost Productivity
Online scheduling apps help to save time and allow users to focus more on other important tasks by eliminating the need for phone conversations to schedule stakeholder meetings. In addition, with the scheduling application, the end-users can book resources on the go through mobile application functionality, and other remote workers can manage their schedules without visiting their employer’s office.
2. Enhance Collaboration And Reduce Conflicts
The scheduling system provides a centralized platform that is used to store all calendars and makes any changes that are necessary to keep users on the same page. In addition, schedules are accessible to all employees within an organization, which helps to facilitate efficient resource utilization, enhance collaboration, and reduce scheduling conflicts.
3. Reduced No-Shows
Scheduling software can send automated text and email reminders to attendees, and calendar application integration alerts users to any scheduling conflicts. These reminders help to prevent late cancellations and no-shows by allowing users to cancel or reschedule their appointments or meetings within the system.
Typical Features Of Scheduling Software
Here are some of the features that should be included in any scheduling software:
A. Calendar Management
Can be used to create and manage schedules using multiple calendars.
B. Online Booking
The software allows users to schedule appointments online via kiosks, booking portals, and/or mobile devices.
C. Group Scheduling
It helps users automatically find available meeting slots across multiple or different calendars.
D. Automated Scheduling
Review resource availability to automatically generate schedules based on business needs, employee availability, and qualifications.
E. Real-Time Scheduling
It allows users to schedule an appointment and make bookings based on real-time availability.
Things You Need To Consider When Purchasing Any Scheduling Software
1. Business Intelligence And Reporting
One of the reasons why managers purchase scheduling software is the need to keep a close eye on resources utilization and team performance for effective planning.
Therefore, they should shortlist scheduling programs that can track resource usage and provide performance and utilization insights/metrics.
However, these metrics can be used to reduce operational issues which include; no-shows, overtime, and resource underutilization.
In addition, small businesses with greater needs can look for solutions that offer reporting and dashboards capabilities.
2. Mobile Access
A lot of small businesses can accelerate growth by leveraging digital initiatives which include bringing your device (BYOD). This will help them to fully benefit from such initiatives.
More so, businesses need to move toward a culture that can allow employees to work from anywhere and companies who are exploring such changes should shortlist scheduling programs that can offer mobile access.
They should also evaluate the capabilities of any offered mobile applications before making a purchase decision.
In this article, we will explore the top nine (9) of the best restaurant scheduling apps to help you run your restaurant like a well-oiled machine. In addition, the scheduling software does not only mean improved organization and efficiency for your team, but staff will appreciate the ease of communication that follows.
Best 9 Restaurant Scheduling App
TimeForge is a workforce management (WFM) solution that helps business operators and HR professionals with absence management, applicant tracking, onboarding, attendance, sales, and labor reporting, payroll processing, employee scheduling, HR certification, and document tracking, all from a centralized dashboard.
The AutoScheduler is a feature of this restaurant scheduling app that enables professionals to create and forecast schedules within minutes, which can then be texted or emailed to employees. The attendance module of this software helps to track clock-in and clock-out times.
In addition, it has fingerprint scanners and time clocks that managers can use to track time and attendance and enforce their schedules with ease. Also, the Human Resources module helps to provide a one-click hire and fire functionality and also manages onboarding documents, staff reviews, and certifications.
More so, TimeForge’s Payroll feature is used to help HR professionals to get rid of recurring tasks by helping to automate recurring tasks and get rid of manual overheads. Hence, the solution helps to offer integration with property management, point of sale, and e-commerce platforms. Additionally, support is provided through email, online portal, and phone.
TimeForge is seen as the best all-in-one labor management software suite that is available for service industries, restaurants, and retail. TimeForge is easy to use.
- It is easy to use
- online employee scheduling and timekeeping
- allows for centralized management through the full employee lifecycle
- Allows for manager logbooks
- Application tracking
Offers a free trial version, for other pricing, contact the customer support
It is best For Human Operations personnel and Resource Managers. In addition, it is scalable to any size of business and suitable for everything from independent stores to franchises and enterprise-level chains.
- Easy to use
- Great customer support
- Progress can be automated and tracked
- Limited access through mobile
CrunchTime is seen as the leading global labor and food operations platform that is available for the restaurant industry. This application offers tools for food cost control, managing inventory orders, franchising, prep and safety, forecasting, scheduling of labor, supply chain tracking, labor law compliance, vendor alignment, and enterprise reporting.
Also, this cloud-based solution helps to consolidate all restaurant management functionality into one single platform to optimize workforce efficiency, streamline the management of data and workflows, reduce food and beverage costs, and optimize all foodservice operations.
This application is specifically designed for multi-unit restaurant operators and offers a wide range of industry-specific features which includes centralized franchise management, actual vs. theoretical food cost reports, a food prep workstation tool, labor management, and staff scheduling and compliance, menu engineering with recipe modeling, supply chain management, etc.
In addition, crunchTime facilitates inventory reports, reporting with forecasting tools, performance analytics, and real-time business intelligence. However, the solution can integrate with third-party POS providers like Toast, Oracle Micros, Par, NCR Aloha, etc. for automatic exports and bi-direction data flow that synchronize data across platforms.
- Accounting Integration
- Activity Dashboard
- Appointment Scheduling
- Automated Scheduling
- Barcode / Ticket Scanning
- Billing & Invoicing
- Ease of use
- Perfect POS and Vendor interaction
- Great customer service.
- Based on reviews, users could not get accurate data from franchisees that are unwilling to use the product.
Contact support for pricing details
3. 7shifts App
7shifts is a popular restaurant scheduling app. It is specifically designed for the restaurant business to help managers and owners to reduce the effort in scheduling and streamline their communication. To date, its reach extends to over 300,000 restaurant pros around the world.
- Auto-scheduling based on system intelligence, such as forecasted demand;
- Editable timekeeping (for management) for faster payroll and more accurate reports;
- Recurring or one-time task list creation for your entire team, specific to their shifts;
- A Manager Log Book which centralizes notes, customer complaints, and more across restaurant management;
- Easy communication tools that encompass time off requests, shift swaps, and instantly-published schedules.
- Manager Log Book is a unique feature that keeps all management in the loop;
- Automated forecasting makes instant scheduling possible;
- Great user-friendly functionality;
- Targets and caters to restaurants specifically;
- Real-time sales vs. labor reports.
- The desktop app and mobile app do not sync correctly with pre-shift times;
- Potential issues with POS integration;
- Limited data generated from reports;
- The mobile app is more developed than the website (i.e. more sales and labor analytics reported).
Free Plan is available and includes simple scheduling for one location.
- The Appetizer plan is available for $17.99 monthly.
- The Entree plan is available for $39.99 monthly
- The Works plan is available for $69.99 monthly
This restaurant scheduling app was first founded by two Wisconsin natives in 2009 and was launched by the digital marketing agency Tailwind Creative. Both founders had the goal of developing a product that gave business owners the tools to solve staff scheduling problems.
Since its humble beginnings, ZoomShift has grown into a software product that services companies like Amazon and Fox. It’s a favorite for retailers, restaurant owners, and other deskless workforce niches.
- Efficient scheduling (i.e. ability to copy work schedules, encourages employees to swap shifts directly, and more);
- Time tracking with GPS and mobile time clocks to ensure employees start and finish shifts on site;
- Ability to block early clock-ins, overtime, and edit missed punches;
- Alerts employees before their shift to reduce no-shows;
- Schedule sharing via emails, messages, and push.
- Fast and helpful customer service;
- Displays the total number of hours worked per week per employee, to comply with schedule caps;
- Greater employee accountability due to alerts before shifts;
- Easy-to-use UI.
- Limited color blocking options for positions;
- Employees cannot message the billing liaison directly;
- Load time could be faster;
- Most program features are not available offline;
- There are some discrepancies between the app’s functionality and the desktop version (i.e. ability to open or create new shifts is only available on the computer version).
Offers a 14-Day Free Trial for any of the below plans.
- The Starter plan is available for $2 a user per month.
- The Premium plan is available for $4 a user per month.
- The Enterprise plan is available for an undisclosed price.
OpenSimSim offers scheduling specifically for restaurants, so owners and managers can make decisions for their business based on centralized information. Their hospitality expertise has helped them provide customers with knowledge and insights into the restaurant industry.
- Simple employee schedule adjustments (Android, iOS, and web app capabilities);
- Private and group messaging capabilities;
- Easily-shareable schedules;
- Automatic shift alerts for employees before a shift begins;
- Labor cost tracking to predict and prepare for future labor needs.
- Great customer service with online chat;
- Straightforward view of schedules, and simple schedule creation;
- Ability to message entire staff, or a handful of employees;
- The app is free to download;
- Intuitive and easy-to-use software;
- Updates staff automatically when scheduling changes are made.
- Few account integration options with other software;
- Tutorials are completely from an employer’s perspective, which makes onboarding employees more difficult;
- Weekly schedule change notifications are sent to all staff, rather than just the staff that are on the schedule that week;
- Messaging features could use better organization.
- Free Plan but limited benefits
- The Starter plan is available for $12.99 per month.
- The Premium plan is available for $33.99 per month.
- The Enterprise plan is available for an undisclosed price
Sling is a time tracking, scheduling, and communication software that is available for companies whereby employees work in shifts.
In addition, Sling incorporates messaging, task management, scheduling, time tracking, and reporting functionalities that allows employees and managers alike to organize all aspects of their work on a single platform.
This restaurant scheduling app offers a free trial is available and for other custom pricing, contact the customer service
7. PAR Data Central
Restaurant Magic was founded a very long time ago with a single vision of providing restaurant operators better access to their operational data.
However, by using this access, operators can optimize schedules, make faster decisions, implement predictive ordering, and create a positive impact on their bottom line.
Restaurant Magic was acquired by Par and renamed to Par Data Central. This software also helps to provide insight into some of the largest multi-unit franchisees that are available in the world.
This app has a free trial is available and for other custom pricing, contact the customer service
Deputy is a cloud-based human resource management (HRM) solution that provides companies with employee management and scheduling functionalities. In addition, this rostering application can help to calculate overtime and provide capabilities to schedule staff.
However, if a team member cancels their shift, the managers can send a shift request to the next available staff member and fill the shift’s space.
After the time/attendance and scheduling, this software also incorporates other features that include a communication platform that creates a way to generate announcements in a single space that is made available for all employees.
Deputy also supports integration with several payroll platforms on the market and also offers performance management functionalities to the users.
This restaurant scheduling app offers a 30-day free trial requiring no credit card required.
Other pricing plan are:
- Scheduling: $2.50/user/month
- Time & Attendance: $2.50/user/month
- Premium: $4.50/user/month
- Enterprise: Please contact customer support for Enterprise pricing
- Flexi: For businesses that run large, short term events like conferences, catered functions, and festivals and also give access to Premium features for $2/user/week
9. Sirenum Staff Management
Sirenum Staff Management is a cloud-based solution that specializes in large-scale staff scheduling. This software caters to security industries, staffing, transport, and care. Additionally, the primary features include time and attendance, employee scheduling, core human resources (HR), onboarding and workforce analytics, personnel tracking, and payroll.
- However, the onboarding module allows users to manage recruiting and documentation processes. In addition, it also manages the information collection, insurance, and document signing.
- More so, the human resources module offers employee details, payroll, disciplinary information, performance, and leaves management features.
- While the scheduling module allows users to manage staffing levels, leave approval, and notification management.
Sirenum costs around £3 per staff member per month for a simple organization that is managing 1,000 workers on the platform. In addition, it offers volume discounts for users, all that is required is to contact the support.