ShiftZen Technologies

Let's Make Work Fun Together

Making an Employee Restaurant Schedule During the Holidays

The holidays mean time off for most people. Many businesses shut down for a day or two, some closing up shop for an entire week or longer. The restaurant business is the exception and in many cases the holidays are a critical point in the life of a restaurant. The business generated during November and December allows lots of restaurants to survive the doldrums of January and February. A restaurant’s employee schedule is important and central to success of the restaurant. Here are a few tips on scheduling during the holidays:


Set expectations with your staff- Be upfront with your staff. Let them know this is your busiest time of the year and not everyone can take time off for the holidays. Whether you have a “request off” notebook or use a restaurant scheduling software system where employees can request off, let your employees know a request is exactly that-a request. No guaranteed time off unless the restaurant is closed. Not all requests can be granted and the restaurant has an obligation to the customers first and foremost.


Make your core staff’s schedule early- In a perfect world you have your schedule made out two weeks or a month ahead of time. The restaurant business is not a perfect world and schedules are often only a week out due to the nature of the beast. Make an effort to schedule your management team and core staff at least two weeks out during the holidays. You’re going to be busy and it’s a lot easier to flesh out a schedule with your part-timers rather than building one from scratch.


Schedule a little heavier during off-peak hours-Generally you write your employee restaurant schedule heavy with staff during peak hours and a skeleton crew during off-peak hours. The schedule you write during the holidays may be a little different. Since many people are not working during the holidays, they may not abide by their usual schedule. Breakfast, lunch or dinner may come a little earlier or later. Schedule an extra staff or two (particularly front of the house) to take care of that increased off-peak hour business.


ShiftZen can bring some joy to your holiday scheduling. ShiftZen all-in-one restaurant employee scheduling solution that merges the staffing needs of your business with your employees' diverse needs and availability. Employees can use ShiftXChange to give or pick up shifts and managers can take advantage of features like simultaneous scheduling for multiple weeks, posting on the restaurant’s “wall”and monitoring time off. Visit for more information to start a free 30-day trial today.