Scheduling restaurant staff is tricky business, with part-time employees, changing shifts, rushes and slow periods. It also includes people doing more than one job—waiting tables one day and bartending the next, for example. Restaurant scheduling software makes it easy to create consistent schedules, alert employees about their shifts, and allows shift swapping. The best platforms also prepare payroll and sync with point-of-sale (POS) systems for labor forecasting. After considering 14 popular scheduling applications, we chose the seven best restaurant scheduling software for 2021.
Restaurant Scheduling Software
Best overall for restaurants of any size, including those with more than one location
Restaurants that think they are losing money to marginalization and want to better understand labor costs vs demand and sales
Restaurants with fewer than 10 employees
Restaurants concerned with tracking certifications and keeping compliant with labor laws
Restaurants wanting the convenience of a rules-based autoscheduling system
Restaurants that experience seasonal highs and lows
How We Chose the Top Restaurant Scheduling Software
We started our search by looking for scheduling software priced for the family restaurant but with tools that could allow for franchising and multiple locations. We considered mobile apps that allowed for shift swapping and communications as a must. In addition, we considered restaurant functions like integrating with the best restaurant POS systems and keeping compliant with labor and health laws.
Based on our evaluation, Homebase tops our list with a total score of 4.86 out of 5. It has tools that restaurant managers need, such as employee scheduling, time clocks and sheets, team communication, hiring, onboarding, and labor compliance.
To view our full evaluation criteria for the best restaurant scheduling software for employees, click through the tabs below.
RUBRIC SCORECARD CRITERIA:
30% of Overall Score
We favored software that had transparent pricing and even more so at under $4 per employee, per month. Where places charged by location (like Homebase) or required custom quotes, we assumed a restaurant with 20 employees. We also looked for free plans and trials. Homebase, SocialSchedules, and Sling took the lead in pricing.
25% of Overall Score
Here, we looked for the most important features—shift swapping, a mobile app with messaging, PTO management—as well as tools to make scheduling easier, like forecasting and rule-setting for compliance with state laws. Homebase knocked this one out of the park with everything we looked for. However, Humanity and Deputy also scored high, with forecasting coming in higher plans only.
25% of Overall Score
An intuitive interface, a mobile app that is easy for employees to learn, and training and online resources are vital to successful scheduling software—employees especially need to be able to use it with little training. All the software on our list fit the bill, so we also considered integrations, particularly with restaurant POS systems. Homebase and SocialSchedules ranked best overall here.
10% of Overall Score
Our research cannot replace the experiences of real-world users. Therefore, we gave weight to user reviews on popular sites like Capterra and G2. 7shifts and Deputy scored highest here, with praise for the web-based and mobile solutions.
10% of Overall Score
Reports usually run toward shift analysis, tardies, and time-off requests, plus preparing timesheets for payroll. The differentiator here was whether or not you could create unique custom reports. While some allowed this in the more expensive plans, only SocialSchedules and ZoomShift did not have this feature.
- Intuitive interface
- Unlimited number of employees per plan
- Free plan includes job posting and applicant tracking
- Free version only for one location
- Some complaints of login issues with mobile
- Support is not 24/7
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||5.00||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||5.00||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||4.75||OUT OF||5|
Homebase is a scheduling and time clock system with some HR functions for hiring and onboarding, plus rules setting for compliance with state labor laws. It has a mobile app for communicating with your teams, but managers can also create schedules on it as well as approve time off and view time sheets. It integrates with many popular restaurant POS systems, as well as payroll platforms, business tools, and even job boards.
Homebase received high marks in our best employee scheduling software article, and it ranks at the top for scheduling software for restaurants at 4.86 out of 5. The free version, pricing, and forecasting tools make it especially useful for restaurants, and the hiring features are icing on the cake.
Homebase charges by location, with unlimited users. This is great for restaurants with a lot of part-time employees. The Essentials plan is cheaper than nearly all its competitors if you have over 10 employees. Homebase offers job services like job posting boosts at $79 per post, HR professional advisers at $99 per month, and onboarding and document storage for $49 per month. You can get some of these in the Plus or All-in-One plans.
Homebase Stand Out Features
Users praise the free version for having just what they need for managing schedules, but the paid plans can take scheduling to the next level. For restaurants with high turnover, the job board and applicant tracking functions are gravy.
- Free version: Homebase has an excellent free version with all the basic tools you need: an online schedule builder, shift trade capability, templates, some labor forecasting, and the ability to see and approve time off. It allows employee messaging and has some basic hiring tools. You can also save time sheets and reports for 90 days and prepare timecards for payroll. This appetizer to the Homebase software may be all you need. (OpenSimSim/SocialSchedules, Sling, and 7Shifts also have free plans, but none are as comprehensive as Homebase’s.)
- Forecasting tools: While Deputy has strong labor forecasting tools, Homebase gives it a run for its money. Along with the usual tools, the Budget Forecasting Toolbar also includes the latest weather forecast, so you can plan for another waitperson in the outdoor seating area, or plan on fewer staff when a big snowstorm is coming.
- Scheduling: Even the free plan has schedule templates you can modify and save to reuse, but paid plans include automated scheduling, plus rules for breaks and overtime, already set for your state. You can add notes, set geofencing (a nice tool for caterers), and announce open shifts. Some applications, like 7Shifts, let managers clock out for employee that forgets, but Homebase (and Sling) can do it automatically.
- Employee communications: Your managers can send announcements, conduct employee performance evaluations, approve time off, see employee availability, and get alerts when employees clock in late. Employees can message each other or their team to ask about shift swapping. You can also share events and allow comments. This is pretty typical for most scheduling applications.
- Mobile app: A mobile app is vital for employee communications. At the time of writing this article, Homebase earned 4.8 out of 5 stars with 22,354 reviews for iOS. Android users gave it 4.3 out of 5 stars with 12,098 votes, which is below average for this kind of application. Some users complained of glitches, especially with calendar sync.
- Restaurant features: The by-location pricing is great for restaurants that have high and low seasons, such as those in tourist areas. While 7Shifts and Deputy take the lead in integrations, Homebase nonetheless has many integrations with POS software, making it easy for cashiers to clock in and out. You can set shift notes so that people know if they are on cleaning duty, drive-through, or behind the bar. You can also assign multiple roles and wage rates, a handy tool if you have a waiter that sometimes bartends.
- HR and payroll functions or integrations: Homebase stands out in that it offers hiring tools, a nice addition for such a high-turnover industry. Only the newly revised SocialSchedules (OpenSimSim) does as much. Paid plans include performance management tools, while the top plans include policies. The All-in-One plan comes with advisers, document storage, an employee handbook builder and more. It also offers strong tools for compliances, such as tracking certifications, breaks, and overtime. It even notifies you if labor laws in your state change—another way it sets itself above the competition.
- Ease of use: Homebase gets high marks from users for the desktop and mobile version, with an average of 4.56 out of 5 over multiple user review sites. Users say it’s easy to set up and quick to get the hang of. The mobile app includes scheduling functions, so you are not tied to a computer. Customer service is live via chat, phone, or email, and there are help guides and video tutorials.
- Good customer service
- Reduced price plan for those with only a few people on schedules
- Strong forecasting tools
- Free plan limited in features
- Customers report problems with integrations
- Forecasting only in the Enterprise plan
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||3.75||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||4.69||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||4.13||OUT OF||5|
Deputy is also featured in our best employee scheduling software for its excellence in handling multiple locations and roles. For restaurants, we especially liked its forecasting features, which can help you plan the best staffing for a given timeframe. Its by-employee pricing can make it more expensive if you have a large staff, but the Flexi Plan is a great deal when you have a lot of part-time staff who do not come in regularly. Deputy earned a 4.33 out of 5 for best restaurant scheduling software.
Deputy’s plans start at $2.50 per user, per month, with a minimum monthly spend of $10. While other scheduling software that charge by employee also have a minimum, Deputy’s is the cheapest. It offers a Flexi plan that charges $2 per employee, per week with all the features of the Premium plan if you schedule less than half your employees in a given week. You can start with a 31-day free trial.
Users give Deputy high praise for its ease of use, and the tools are top-notch. It took a hit in our scores primarily because it lacked a free plan. The forecasting tools, which we found impressive, are only in the Enterprise Plan. If this is a deal-breaker for you, consider Homebase.
Deputy Stand Out Features
- Forecasting: Deputy serves up tools that let you predict staffing needs based on trends in sales, deliveries, appointments/reservations, and other signals you can set. Deputy can analyze the information and let you set rules so that you can be sure you have the minimum staffing needed and alert you if you may be scheduling too many people. It can also use the forecasting tools when automatically creating a schedule; most software just give you an analysis.
- Scheduling: Deputy alone on our list has separate plans for scheduling or time tracking, or you can get both in the Premium or Flexi Plans. Scheduling includes drag-and-drop of shifts and compliance rules like break times, work hour restrictions for minors, time off, overtime, and more. For extra ease, use auto scheduling. Time and attendance includes geofencing and creates time sheets for you to approve and syncs them with your payroll software. Also, managers can see who’s on shift, who’s on break, and who’s running late.
- Employee communications: You can share messages and announcements on the newsfeed and get notified when they are read. Everyone can send updates, make comments, and collaborate on the mobile app. Workers can trade shifts with qualified teammates.
- Mobile app: Deputy’s app earned 4.8 out of 5 with 3,419 reviews for iOS and 4.5 out of 5 with 8,553 votes for Android. The praise was overall good, if non-specific, and the complaints were few and varied. Along with Humanity, it’s the best mobile application for scheduling.
- Restaurant features: While you can find most of these tools in the other software on our list, Deputy provides the whole enchilada. It alerts you if you accidentally schedule a “clopening”—where the same person closes one night and opens the next. Rather than presenting the information as a task list, it does shift analysis so that you can see if you’ve overstaffed. Like 7Shifts, it can record video announcements to post on the newsfeed—a great tool when demonstrating a new recipe (or the best way to bus a table fast). You can also set up health screening for employees, something the restaurant business is concerned with even outside COVID-19 worries.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: Like SocialSchedules, Deputy helps businesses in Fair Work Week jurisdictions stay compliant by recording schedule amendments, calculating the required predictability pay, and capturing employee consents to change. With 31 integrations, Deputy competes well against other software on our list, but stands apart in its variety.
- Ease of use: Users on multiple review sites gave it an average of 4.7 out of 5 across the board. This puts it top of the pack, tied with 7Shifts and Sling. There are videos, a good selection of how-to articles, and unlimited 24/7/365 chat support.
- Easy to use
- Free plan
- Unlimited locations and employees per plan
- Auto Scheduling in highest plan only
- No forecasting tools
- Free version does not include a time clock
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||5.00||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||3.88||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||3.94||OUT OF||5|
Sling is scheduling software that only offers a time clock in its paid plans. Nonetheless, the free plan provides great scheduling and communications tools. We especially liked the task tools, which help make sure your employees get all the detail work done while assuring managers that standards are met. It integrates with several restaurant POS systems. The price makes it a great choice for very small restaurants that need the basics of scheduling and time tracking.
Sling’s free plan is good for those who just need to create and share schedules, as you need a paid plan to use the mobile time clock. Thus, for a full free plan, consider Homebase. However, with plans at $2 and $3 per employee, per month, it’s supremely affordable, especially if you are a small business with under 10 employees. (Some of the location-based software like Homebase are better deals if you have more than 10 employees.) Like Zoomshift, Sling only charges you for people who use the app each month. However, it goes farther: If someone is deactivated after you paid that month, it gives you a refund.
Sling earned 4.32 out of 5 for restaurant scheduling from us because of its pricing, ability to create custom reports, and ease of use. It lost points because it doesn’t offer live support and its forecasting and compliance features are not as strong as other software on our list. If you need these tools, we suggest Deputy, Humanity, or Homebase.
- Task features: Openings, closings, deep cleans, and inspection preps all work better when the staff knows exactly what to do. Sling offers a robust tasking function that lets you assign tasks to individuals or teams, create and save task templates for recurring duties, and provide manager feedback.
- Scheduling: You’ll find most of the tools on Sling in other programs, but we especially liked how it tracked track unavailability and time off because you can use it for compliance as well—for example, create unavailability rules for minor workers so that you don’t schedule them during school hours. The Business plan lets the software automatically assign shifts based on availability and qualifications. The time clock lets you set limits on when early employees can clock in and, like Homebase, will automatically clock them out at the end of the shift. This can help cut labor costs.
- Employee communications: Sling offers both messaging and an interactive news feed, so you can keep your employees up to date on the latest news, whether it’s a new policy or a reminder to push the nachos. Employees can use the app to request shift swaps and get reminders about shifts and clocking in.
- Mobile App: While not the top-rated mobile app among users, it was the most consistent between operating systems. Sling’s mobile app earned 4.7 out of 5 with 21,900 reviews for iOS and 4.6 out of 5 with 3,758 votes for Android. It had few complaints and was overall considered easy and dependable.
- Restaurant features: Sometimes employees may hold more than one position—waiter and bartender, for example. Many apps will let you apply different wages, but Sling will alert you if you try to schedule someone for a job when they are already working a different one. In addition, you’ll find tools to help you stay compliant with labor laws for minors, monitor overtime, and set up tasks for common restaurant chores.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: It’s easy to tackle payroll by approving time sheets on desktop or mobile and exporting them to your payroll processor or as an XLS or CSV. It integrates with popular restaurant POS systems like Toast, Square, and Restaurant Manager, as well as Gusto for payroll. It’s working to expand its integrations as well. If you can’t wait, consider Deputy or 7Shifts.
- Ease of use: While Sling didn’t receive as many user reviews as most of the software on our list, it did generate a solid 4.56 out of 5, averaged across multiple third-party review sites. Managers enjoyed the ease of use and said the free plan gave them everything they needed. Employees also thought it was easy and appreciated the reminders. There are video tutorials and illustrated how-to articles, but support is only by email.
- Drag-and-drop scheduler
- Compliance and overtime rules
- Limited number of employees per plan
- Many of the features are in the highest plans
- Live support via ticket only
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||4.38||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||4.13||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||4.06||OUT OF||5|
7shifts is designed specifically for restaurants, but that didn’t stop it from making our list of best employee scheduling software. For restaurant scheduling software, it nearly tied with Deputy at 4.3 out of 5, losing points because it does not offer live support. If you’re franchising, you might find the plans worth considering. It offers similar tools to Homebase, but at a cheaper price.
7shifts offers a very basic free plan—just enough to whet your appetite—and a 14-day free trial for any of its other plans. It charges by location rather than employee, so it can be cost-effective if you have a large workforce; however, it does limit the number of people on each plan. Homebase’s pricing is slightly more expensive, but it allows unlimited employees.
Large franchises with multiple locations can get custom pricing with the Gourmet Plan, which includes everything in The Works, plus task management, operations overviews, training support, a machine-learning auto scheduler, and more.
7shifts also has an a la carte menu:
- Operations overview: $6.99 per month, per location
- Task management: $12.99 per month, per location
- Sales data import: $100 one-time fee
- Account setup: $150 one-time fee
We like 7shifts for its multi-location functions, especially in the Gourmet Plan and add-ons. Even so, users in single restaurants also praise the application. It offers a buffet of tools for easy scheduling, time tracking, shift monitoring, and labor compliances. Plus, it integrates with a multitude of POS and payroll software services.
7shifts Stand Out Features
- Multi-location tools: Several of the software on our list have by-location pricing and let you manage multiple locations. 7Shifts stands out in letting you work with them together or individually when needed. After all, your busy downtown location is going to have different scheduling and task needs than your less trafficked restaurant on the edge of town. You can connect all the locations and switch between them, both on mobile and desktop. With the Operations add-on, you can compare multiple locations’ sales, labor, and employee engagement data.
- Scheduling: While 7Shifts has some great scheduling features like templates and rules, auto scheduling is only with the Gourmet Plan. Other applications have this function in cheaper plans. The time clock stands out from the competition not only in that it can integrate with your POS, but also that it records clock-ins/outs when the Wi-Fi is down and syncs later.
- Employee communications: Reminders and messages help keep staff arriving on time and informed of upcoming events or news. Employees can trade shifts, request time off, and change availability all on the app, with manager approval and schedule updating. The announcements can be sent by text and email as well. Like with Deputy, you can upload videos such as instructions for preparing a new dish.
- Mobile app: This app earned 4.7 out of 5 with 730 reviews for iOS and 4.5 out of 5 with 2,574 votes for Android. Users gave it good reviews up until the last update, which seems to have introduced some glitches in Android. (The complaints are from June 2020, so check on Google Play to see if they’ve fixed the glitch if that concerns you.)
- Restaurant features: Of all the scheduling software we considered, 7shifts alone was made specifically with restaurants in mind. It integrates with about two dozen POS systems, most of which are focused on the restaurant industry, as well as with ExpandShare, a restaurant training solution, and HigherMe, a hiring app for restaurants and retailers. 7shifts has COVID-19 screening questions for the safety of your staff and diners. It also has a tip reporting feature, including a tip pooling function.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: In addition to the POS integrations, it connects with more than a dozen payroll systems like QuickBooks, Gusto, and ADP. Missed or late shifts are flagged to ensure payroll accuracy. The scheduling tools help you maintain compliances for breaks, split shifts, and overtime. The manager logbook, something only a few applications like SocialSchedules have, makes it easy to identify opportunities or problems and communicate between shifts. One standout is the end-of-shift feedback survey to make sure you identify problems before they boil over.
- Ease of use: 7Shifts is one of the top user-rated scheduling software applications on our list, with 4.7 out of 5 across multiple review sites. It’s gotten rave reviews, (as of this writing). Employees and managers loved the interface and said it was easy to use and that the support team was great. Support is only available by ticket, so that’s high praise. You will find video and illustrated how-to articles, plus templates and guides.
- Mobile scheduling
- Strong labor law compliance tools
- Free version
- Basic plan stores data for only 28 days
- Glitches in mobile app
- Starter plan does not have a time clock
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||5.00||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||4.06||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||4.31||OUT OF||5|
SocialSchedules (formerly OpenSimSim) is scheduling and time clock software with strong compliance tools. We rated it 4.21 out of 5 on our list of best employee scheduling and recommended it there, as here, for businesses that are concerned not just with labor laws but also tracking health and other certifications.
In the news: In the second quarter of 2021, OpenSimSim started rebranding as SocialSchedules. It’s also making product changes. While the OpenSimSim plans still hold, there are different features in the new SocialSchedules plans. We’ve reviewed OpenSimSim, with comments about SocialSchedules.
SocialSchedules has a free plan for one location and 10 scheduled workers. It lacks a time clock and stores data for only 28 days lowering it’s overall score. Homebase’s free plan offers more functionality. However, the paid plans for SocialSchedules start at $15.99 per location, per month, making it somewhat cheaper than Homebase, but it still limits departments, which Homebase does not.
SocialSchedules Stand Out Features
- Compliance: Many of the scheduling software we reviewed have some form of setting pay rates, limiting hours, and checking for compliance breaches like overscheduling a person. However, SocialSchedules sweetens the pot with tools that track certifications and alert you when an employee’s certificate is about to expire. In addition, you can create disclaimers for employees to read upon clocking out, a good way to get written agreements to changes in schedules or policies, which can help with Fair Work Week compliance.
- Scheduling: SocialSchedules has schedules and templates, but stands out from the rest with its custom availability feature. Employees can create multiple availability sets with their own start and stop dates. That makes it easier for them to plan a vacation, or adjust for the school year starting. Even more, managers can lock days, where workers cannot drop or trade a shift on that day. This could be useful for important events, like hosting a wedding reception.
- Employee communications: As with most restaurant scheduling software, you can alert employees to the new schedule, send private and group messages, make announcements, and send reminders. Workers can trade shifts, or managers can invite an employee to take on a shift. Like with Homebase and 7Shifts, managers also have the advantage of a logbook for tracking receipts, sharing images (like of the refrigerator that didn’t get cleaned during closing), and loading documents.
- Mobile app: The mobile app, called SocialSchedules, earned 4.5 out of 5 with 391 reviews for iOS and 4 out of 5 with 324 votes for Android. Users praised the user interface, but some people had problems after the latest update, such as finding features and having to go through more steps to do the same things they did in the past. If your workers are depending on their apps, check out Humanity.
- Restaurant features: Like 7shifts, SocialSchedules has a tips reporting function as part of the time clock. It integrates with several restaurant POS systems including Heartland Restaurant, POSitouch, Restaurant Manager, and Square. The certifications tracking lets you keep track of food handling training and other certifications important to your business. In addition, you can tag shifts so waiters can know where they are working and send offsite addresses with maps for people who are delivering to or catering an event.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: The bulk of the HR functions lie in the compliances and certification management. Managers are quickly informed of breaks in the rules, such as clocking in early from a break. You can run reports needed to see how your staff is performing, and if you have POS software, you can pull in sales information, create labor vs sales reports, import timecards to payroll, and more. SocialSchedules recently added recruiting tools specifically for restaurants. In this way, it competes with Homebase.
- Ease of use: Users on average gave it 4.5 out of 5 across multiple review sites. Users found it far superior to Google Calendar or Excel, and easier to use than QuickBooks Time or When I Work. There are illustrated how-to articles on the website and a chatbot that can also reach a live person. The Enterprise plan includes dedicated live support, and there are set-up services available.
- 24/7/365 support via live chat
- Strong compliance tools
- Mobile app is easy to use, has excellent ratings
- No free plan
- $100 minimum monthly spend
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||3.75||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||4.69||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||3.88||OUT OF||5|
Humanity was recently acquired by TimeClock Plus (TCP), a leading workforce management solution. Humanity is adding its scheduling capabilities to TCP’s platform, and TCP will bring Humanity customers access to additional tools and integrations. We liked the Humanity toolset, which includes customized rules, a platform that updates with labor laws (something we only saw with Homebase), and auto scheduling. We give Humanity 4.19 stars in our evaluation and look forward to seeing how TCP expands that rich feature set.
Humanity offers three paid tiers: Starter ($3.50 per user, per month), Classic ($5 per user, per month), and Enterprise (custom pricing). It also has a free trial. Unlike most of the applications on our list, Humanity has a $100 per month minimum ($80 per month if you purchase than annual plan), which may make it too pricey for smaller restaurants.
Users say the interface is simple despite all the tools. To get the most from Humanity, we recommend the Classic Plan, which is a good idea if you have 20 or fewer employees since it does have a $100 per month minimum. Humanity lets you run multiple locations on one plan, but depending on the number of employees, you may find Homebase, SocialSchedules, or 7Shifts a better fit.
Humanity Stand Out Features
- Auto scheduling: While it only comes with the more expensive plans, we were impressed by the auto scheduling feature, which takes into account labor laws (already programmed in the system), certifications, leave, and availability. It’s hard to see how making a schedule could be easier. We didn’t see another auto scheduler that was so complete, although Deputy comes close with its forecasting integration.
- Scheduling: In addition to auto scheduling, there are templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and alerts so that you don’t schedule someone for overtime, back-to-back shifts, or other problematic times. It has forecasting and labor analysis to help you compare your forecasted needs to the schedule you planned so you can fine-tune it. Humanity has a built-in time clock, including GPS functions for geofencing and a photo function to avoid buddy punching.
- Employee communications: As with all the software on our list, you can send out schedules to employees, create notifications about shifts, and manage time-off requests. You can let employees trade shifts and set predefined rules to ensure the replacement has the right qualifications for the job.
- Mobile app: Humanity’s app scored the highest ratings and had the fewest complaints among users (as of this writing.) It earned 4.9 out of 5 with 24,900 reviews for iOS and 4.7 out of 5 with 6,228 votes for Android. Users, especially employees, praise the functionality and ease of use.
- Restaurant features: Like Deputy, the Enterprise plan offers custom integrations, so you can add Humanity to your restaurant software and POS. Humanity’s scheduling considers skillset, so you can be sure your dessert chef doesn’t get scheduled for line cook duty. You can also set a rule to prevent clopenings, where someone works closing one night and opening the next day. Several software have hourly rules you can set, but only Deputy and Humanity specifically mention clopenings.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: Humanity has very few integrations compared to the rest of the software on our list. However, as it folds into TCP, users will have access to over 300 other ERP, HCM, and payroll solutions, an unprecedented number for this type of software. Humanity’s rules set lets you enforce laws on work hours, break frequency, time between shifts, and max hours. It helps you ensure compliance with predictive scheduling rules in some states and cities. Homebase and Deputy also track local scheduling laws.
- Ease of use: Users on G2 and Capterra gave Humanity an average of 4.3 out of 5. This is actually lower than most of the scheduling solutions on our list. Users say it’s easy to use, though it can take some time to learn all the tools. Unlike most of the software on our list, Humanity offers 24/7 every day live chat support.
- Can put plans on hold in off-seasons
- Time clock, time sheets, and payroll reports included
- Syncs with third-party calendars
- No free plan
- No integrations
- Mobile app not as good as others on this list
|RATING CRITERIA||Pricing||3.75||OUT OF||5|
|Scheduling tools||4.50||OUT OF||5|
|Ease of Use||3.19||OUT OF||5|
ZoomShift is the simplest restaurant scheduling software to make our lineup. It lacks some features like integrations with POS and other software. (Look to Deputy or 7Shifts for integrations.) However, users love the simplicity of it, and its pricing policies make it a great choice for seasonal restaurants. With 3.91 out of 5 in our evaluation, it’s software worth considering if you want schedules, time tracking, and payroll reporting.
ZoomShift’s pricing covers three options: Starter ($2.50 per active team member monthly), Premium ($5 per active team member monthly), and Enterprise (custom). The provider offers a discount on annual plans and a free 14-day trial.
”Per active team member” means you don’t pay for employees not scheduled that month, thus, like Deputy, it’s cost effective if you don’t have all your employees working in a given week. Deputy’s pricing, however, just gives you a reduced price if you don’t schedule half or more of your staff, while ZoomShift simply does not charge you for employees not scheduled.
ZoomShift is one of the simpler scheduling software we looked at, with fewer integrations, not as many user reviews, and no live support. Nonetheless, it offers strong scheduling and time tracking tools, makes it easy to calculate payroll, and is overall well-received by customers.
ZoomShift Stand Out Features
- Plan holds and active member pricing: If your restaurant has long-term slowdowns or times when you close for a month or a season, then ZoomShift is a great choice. Like Sling it charges only for active users. However, it also, something other software like lets you put your plan on hold when you don’t need it without losing your information, something no other scheduler offered.
- Scheduling: The tools are basic: You can copy schedules or save schedules as a template, as many as you like. Most of the software on our list offers more for rules-setting as well as auto scheduling, but it does have a labor forecasting tool. You can sync the schedule with Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. The time tracker is integrated, making time sheets easy, as well as enabling you to set clock-in/out rules and set up geofencing. You can track missed shifts, late arrivals, and more.
- Employee communications: As with all the scheduling software that made our list, ZoomShift lets you send schedules to workers, offer open shifts, and allow employees to trade shifts. It alerts managers about overtime and breaks of shift rules (like clocking in early) and has event announcements, group chats, and direct messages.
- Mobile app: This app ranked the lowest on our list by users, with 3 out of 5 and 45 reviews for iOS and 3.9 out of 5 with 188 votes for Android. Users said the app is basic and did okay, but not everything they’d like.
- Restaurant features: You can set requirements for picking up a shift so that the right people are doing the right job. The seasonal planning and ease of use make it a good choice for restaurants with high staff turnover or staff that only works at certain times of the year, like the college student that serves tables over the summer.
- HR and payroll functions and integrations: You can set rules to restrict hours and get alerts when an employee is approaching overtime. In addition, you can approve time sheets and create payroll reports, which you can download as CSV or XLS for putting into a payroll program. You can build other reports, but it doesn’t have many premades. It also lacks integrations into other software.
- Ease of use: Users on average gave it a score of 4.5 out of 5 across several user review sites, which is typical for the software on our list. Small businesses liked it best, praising the simplicity and saying it gave them all the tools they needed. Larger businesses with more complex needs wanted additional features.
According to research by ConnectTeam, Managers can spend three or more hours a week on creating schedules, not to mention the time spent dealing with last-minute changes. Shift scheduling software with shift-swapping and alerts to keep you from making errors like assigning clopening or overtime shifts makes it easier to create reliable shifts and to empower employees to find their own covers when needed.
Overall, we found Homebase is the best scheduling software for restaurants. It’s easy to use for both managers and employees, and full of features. With by-location pricing that allows unlimited employees, it’s easy on the budget too. Try the free version or jump right in with one of the paid plans today.