No one understands the need for time off better than the hospitality industry. It’s your job to make sure your customers have a great time when they go out to see their friends and family. But do you value time off when it comes to your own staff?
You don’t need to be told the value of time off from a personal perspective, but from a business standpoint, it can pay dividends in terms of turnover, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Vacation time builds resilience, reduces burnout, and increases job satisfaction. And in the restaurant business, a happy server means a happier customer.
Millennial workers (and the younger generation just now reaching working age) may be more likely to take all of their entitled vacation time than older generations. They recognize that vacation time is an important part of work-life balance. It’s necessary to restore and rejuvenate, letting them come back to work reinvigorated.
It can be tough for restaurants to figure out how to cover for someone for an entire week, but part of the challenge of managing time off requests is that they’re not all created the same. Sometimes you have an employee who wants to take a long trip, other times you may be juggling multiple requests for a single day off, not to mention holiday schedules and making sure everyone gets a fair amount of time off.
How can you handle time off requests in a way that’s fair to your employees, keeps your restaurant covered, and doesn’t take up all your time?
1) Develop a Policy
Develop a policy for taking time off that makes it easier for you to accommodate requests. Define how far in advance requests need to be made and how they have to make the request (either an app or a form). Make it clear if there are “No Time Off” dates – it might be Valentine’s Day for fine dining or St. Patrick’s Day for an Irish Pub.
2) Communicate with a Restaurant Scheduling App
Keeping track of time off requests can be a hassle if your employees are asking you in person, texting you, and emailing. Manage all your team’s time off requests in an app like 7shifts, a scheduling app that’s easy for both managers and employees to use. With group chats, individual messaging, and group announcements, it’s easy to create and share schedules, as well as communicate with staff.
Your scheduling app should absolutely integrate leave management software into its platform. When you use a scheduling app like 7shift, employees create leave requests that you can approve at the click of a button. When you go to make the schedule, you’ll quickly see who has time off scheduled.
A scheduling app can help you reduce errors and cut down the time it takes you to create a schedule by up to 80 percent. Find out more information at 7shifts.com and calculate how much you could save with a scheduling app.
3) Encourage Staff to Take Time Off
American workers are taking less time off than ever before, but as a manager or restaurant owner, you should be encouraging staff to take their entitled vacation time. Increasingly, employees across industries value more time off as much or even more than a raise. Working at a restaurant where taking time off is respected and encouraged can be a major perk.
Time off requests don’t have to be a headache. Develop a policy for balancing time off and use a scheduling app. Make scheduling easy.