How to create efficient and flexible rosters for your restaurant

Ask any restaurant manager and they will tell you that their greatest challenge is building staff weekly rosters. Scheduling employees for a restaurant is far more challenging than any other business, such as office, retail store etc.

Most businesses operate between the hours of 8 or 9am until 5 or 6pm in Australia. Employees work in a set time and creating these rosters is a rather easy job for managers. However, restaurant managers are faced with a far more challenging job to schedule employees who are often university students and have flexible, yet different availability times each week.

There are many online software and/or Apps that can help you create these rosters but sometimes the best models are the basic ones.

Pen and Paper spreedsheets are inefficient and can take a long time to create. Having an App that automates your roster is the better approach that will keep your staff, accountant and employees happy.

Here are a few easy steps that can get you over the line, and quickly.

Work out the hours

The first step is to refer to previous weeks/times and get a basic understand of staff hours at that period. Try and replicate the hours to work out how many hours you will need for each day of the week. Once this step is done, you can now link hours with staff names based on their titles.

Example: if you require 10 man hours for your coffee making section, you would link these hours to known barista.

Trim hours and cost

Once you have a well formed roster for the coming week, your next step is to minimize cost. This can be easily achieved by swapping names of staff. For example, if you have an experiences manager on site, you can swap a waiter for a much younger waiter or waitress.

Busy shifts for experiences staff

For most restaurants and cafes, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busy days. For these days you would want your best and most experiences staff. It is also important to note that management rewards are not connected to performance of busy shifts, most notably the sharing of tips.

Allow staff to download roster on their phones

There are a few cool apps that are free and allow you to create and push your roster to your staff. The way it works is simple. Once a roster is created, a push notification is sent to your staff mobile phones. When they open their App, they are shown a weekly roster, day-to-day with the location and hours. have a cool and great app for creating rosters and managing staff clock ins.


Creating a roster for a restaurant is a challenging job. Microsoft Excel can help you with this but you are better off with downloading an app or a software program that can help you manage these rosters.

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