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Restaurant service staff scheduling is crucial and closely tied to
excellent restaurant customer service.

In every way, a balance must be achieved by matching the dining
room service labor needs to forecast business, and would like to
offer two concepts that can improve restaurant dining room service

The first concept is the "on call waiter" who can be scheduled for
any shift necessary. The "on call waiter" function is to call the
restaurant about 1/2 - 1 hr. before the work shift commences food service to see if he/she is needed to come in and work that
particular shift.

The "on call" function is useful in many ways as in the case of
outdoor dining where business literally depends on the weather. If
the weather is right for outdoor seating, the "on call waiter" will
be asked to come in to work. If it's raining, then the "on call
waiter" will not be needed, though the phone call to the restaurant
should still be made. Basically, if the staff is sufficient for
that restaurant shift, then the "on call waiter" will not be needed.

Another useful function for the "on call waiter" is when there is
an extremely important event scheduled, and there can be positively
no staff shortages for that event. Simply by communicating properly
and timely over the telephone, the dining room will be covered
saving the service staff time and the restaurant wasted payroll.

This system is flexible, and should be used with common sense, not
haphazardly. Depending on the situation, there can even be more
than one "on call waiter" for a shift, and by the same token, you
may not even use an "on call waiter" for many of the work shifts.
Every restaurant must figure out what system works best for them,
and make the adjustment.

The second restaurant service staff scheduling concept is the "maintenance runner" which works best when there is more than a food runner working per shift. Once again, this concept will prove how proper staff scheduling is directly tied to improving dining room service.

In a small restaurant, there may be only one food runner needed for
the shift taking food from the kitchen areas to the dining areas.
He/she is responsible for keeping those dining areas and floor
areas clean, since it is be part of the side work.

If this side work does not get done, it is obvious where the blame
lies. (Technically it's everyone's job to keep the restaurant
clean, but it's ultimately the food runner's job to keep the
service/ kitchen areas, waiter food prep areas, and floor areas

Now, on the other hand, a large restaurant that uses 3 runners per
shift is definitely bringing a higher volume of food from the
kitchen areas to the dining areas. So, things will get a bit
messier because of the added food traffic. To compound the problem,
with more than one runner, things will get confusing as to whose
responsibility it is to keep the above restaurant areas clean.

The simple solution to this headache lies within the restaurant
service staff scheduling. Simply put "maintenance runner" on a
pre-designated schedule spot, and rotate fairly. For easy labeling
on the schedule, a simple MR abbreviation next to the name or
shift--- and it's good to go for each needed shift.

The "maintenance runner" will ultimately be responsible for the
sweep up and wipe-up jobs-especially before and after each shift.
Cleanliness, especially floors, will also lessen the risk of bodily
injury such as slippage from an unclean floor.

These simple dining room service scheduling tips will help ensure
that the restaurant is properly staffed while maintaining safety
and sanitation.

Related post: Keep your Staff Happy

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