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By: Restaurant Voice Staff

Shift Scheduling for Part Time Employees

New managers always get to do the scheduling. No, it is not a form of punishment, although to do it well, it may seem like it.

Scheduling is one of the most important tasks in a restaurant for when you finally post the schedule you have really signed the checks for each of your employees. You have authorized your restaurant to spend that amount of money on each of your employees.

But what you have also done is played a huge part in determining how much each employee will make in tips and salary.

In the case of servers, this schedule means the difference between comfort and anguish. A good schedule means not having to worry about picking up extra shifts to pay the rent. A bad schedule means hustling, perhaps even picking up an extra job if it continues.

Managers in charge of schedules should not take this lightly as it means so much to the profitability to the restaurant, but also to the financial well being of your employees.

This responsibility also includes your part-time employees.

Every restaurant has its share of full-time and part-time employees.

The fact is that part-time employees can and should be your best employees. After all, they shouldn't burn out, they should have the best attitudes, since they view the customers as their ticket to accomplishing whatever goals they have.

Some rules to follow in dealing with your part-timers:
Rule one Remember that they are part-timers. Do not schedule them for more than they said they can work. Even in the worst bind, resist over-scheduling them. But, when you do get in a bind, just ask them. Don't threaten. Don't demand. Many, if not most, will add shifts. This is probably the number one problem that causes more terminations and ill will than all the others combined.

Rule two Most part-timers are part-timers for a reason. School, another job, or domestic situation. If in school, they have a social life, classes, homework, and tests to balance. If not in school, possibly kids, husbands or wives, or parents require their time and attention. Many times, it is a delicate balance with any added shifts being too much. They will be forced to leave and look elsewhere.

Rule three Have the same expectations and standards for part-timers as you do with full-time employees. It is essential to be fair and consistent with all rules for everyone. Part-timers will overlook a lot of flaws if they know that everyone is treated equally.

Rule four They want to feel that they are part of the team. Communicate to them. Spend the time to get to know them as individuals and not just a body that you need to staff the restaurant.

Rule five Honor part-timers schedule requests when done in moderation. I've seen part-timers who could not get a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday off no matter how many requests they tried. Everyone wants and needs a weekend off every now and then.

Rule six Keep your restaurant fun. Your restaurant can run with an atmosphere of professionalism right along with everyone having fun. They can coexist. Keep things in perspective. Just like the basics of food service, with hot food served hot, big things should be treated as big, but small things should be treated as small.

About the author:  This article was written by our staff. To contact us with your questions, use our contact page.

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