Calling all restauranteurs: 5 steps to keep your cool this winter and avoid the Christmas rush!

Charlotte Topp

Charlotte Topp

Customer Success Manager

’Tis the season to be jolly. But it’s also the season to typically be rushed off your feet during your busiest time of year!

Having worked at Rotaready for a number of Christmases now, I’ve found a few recurring themes when it comes to tips and features our customers have found particularly useful at this busy time of year. So, for those of you I haven’t advised before, here’s how Rotaready can help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes when scheduling staff for the Christmas period and ensure it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Demand forecasting

It might be pitch black outside by 4pm, but you don’t have to be in the dark when it comes to forecasting your sales. Using historical sales data, Rotaready is able to recognise your busy periods, and predict your forecasted sales for you in a matter of seconds so you’ll never be over or under staffed. Yes, it really is as easy as that. You can read more about demand forecasting here.

Preparation is key!

It may seem blindingly obvious, but make sure you don’t get snowed under and build your rotas well in advance. This way you can make sure you are well prepared for the Christmas rush, colleagues’ holiday requests and party bookings.

If you’re using a reservation system such as Sevenrooms, you can seamlessly integrate with Rotaready to give you even further visibility over your table bookings from within Rotaready. This combined with insight from demand forecasting will give you an accurate overview of which days and times will be your busiest and mean you can assess your staffing requirements from one dashboard.

Forward planning doesn’t just benefit you. Letting your employees know their shifts in advance means they can easily plan their social life around when they’re working.

Generate rotas at the click of a button

If you’re having to hire Christmas temps, you may notice building your rotas requires a little more thought and takes longer than normal as there are more employees and variable hours to consider. Save yourself time on manually building rotas, and instead create templates based on your staffing requirements for this festive period.

With Rotaready templates you can build informed rotas at the touch of a button. Shifts can be allocated based on employee skill sets, availability and holidays; all whilst giving relevant rest periods between shifts to ensure employees aren’t being overworked.

Create pay rules to simply manage overtime rates

Will you be paying your employees different pay rates for the overtime shifts which they’ll inevitably be working over the festive period, or on particular days such as bank holidays? Running payroll doesn’t need to lead to a meltdown. With Rotaready you can easily enter pay rules which will be automatically applied to relevant shifts; so you can be confident your timesheets are spot on first time.

To further the accuracy of your timesheets, ensure your attendance records are up to date. This way you can be sure you’re paying staff for the hours they’ve actually worked. We’re also able to update your settings so that you’re prompted to approve or reject overtime where required. Just give us a call if you want to check this out in a bit more detail!

Be flexible!

You heard it from Richard Branson first-“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”.

We know this is your busiest time of year, but the chances are it’s also going to be pretty hectic for your employees. There’s no doubt they’ll want to catch up with their friends and families outside of work.

Have you got employees who can’t work Thursdays, or are only available every other weekend? Easily enter availability patterns and allow your employees to create exceptions if they’re available to work as a one off.

Using the Rotaready mobile app, employees are easily able to check their upcoming shifts, request shift swaps with their colleagues, request holiday and and pick up open shifts.

To wrap it up…

Rotaready is for life, not just for Christmas! At Rotaready, we take the time to understand how your business works and how we’re able to make your life easier throughout the year, not just the busy periods. If you’d like to discuss any of the above in a bit more detail, just get in touch with us at or drop us a message via the live chat to arrange a call with your Account Manager.

Alternatively if you’re a new customer and would like see Rotaready in action, just request a demo here.

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