My least favorite task about owning a restaurant is doing the schedule.

Well, maybe.

It’s a close second to meeting with our accountant and doing tax work. That’s like homework, only worse.

Making pizzas, baking pastas, throwing dough, grating cheese, slicing tomatoes…. that’s easy. It’s repetitive and you get the same results.

Doing the schedule is difficult.

We have about a dozen employees, and each one needs a day off. Or days off. Or certain hours or evenings or every other Tuesday. Some can serve alcohol. Some can’t. Some can drive deliveries. Some have speeding tickets and are a liability on our insurance.

And then there are the days off to go camping, hunting, take a road trip or see a doctor.

It’s hard enough figuring out my own daily schedule, let alone creating a schedule for a dozen other people.

Not knowing how busy we’re going to be is another problem. If I overstaff, it’s wasted payroll. If I understaff, I have ticked off customers.

I recently noticed that I’m paying about $400 to $500 more in payroll each month because of employees clocking in too early. If every employee clocks in 5 to 10 minutes early for each shift, it adds up. I try to keep my spending to adhere to a 30/30/30 ratio which is the norm for restaurants.

30% food cost
30% payroll
30% overhead

Supposedly that leaves 10% profit. Yeah…. um. No.

Anyway, if the ratio tilts in one way or another I try to reign it in. The schedule is something under my control. Overhead and food costs aren’t.

Except that I hate doing the schedule.

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