Scheduling Your Food Truck Staff
Understanding the proper way to scheduling your employees is essential to your mobile food operation. Not only does your schedule separate which employees will work the daily shifts, this schedule is a crucial way to anticipate the daily sales, control labor costs and ensure that all parts of your food truck business are staffed to the levels needed to run smoothly. The most important goals of your food truck schedule include guest satisfaction and controlled labor costs.
Staffing your food truck requires balance. A food truck owner or the scheduling manager has to keep in mind that the schedule needs to reflect the business needs first. This includes the quality of service your mobile bistro provides its customers, as well as keeping labor costs under control. A big part of this balance is achieved by appropriately scheduling staff members.
Some food truck owners find it difficult to avoid the temptation to overstaff. Overstaffing can help provide improved attention and service to the customers who visit the truck, but can cause your labor costs to diminish any profits you receive. On the other hand, understaffing can appear to be a viable way to save money. However, this quickly leads to employee burnout and diminished service standards, which ultimately harms your mobile food business more than the money that is saved. Finding this balance takes practice and depends on the people you have hired, your budget allowances and other variables.
When making the schedule for your food truck, remember that there are numerous ways to do it. Make sure to keep in mind that the simpler the better, since this can be a time-consuming process. Project sales and labor data as best as possible to keep within your budget, and plan for the unexpected when it comes to your employees.
As you work to create the schedule for each week, try to predict customer counts and sales. Predicting the amount of business you will do in a given week is one of the keys to preparing an accurate schedule. After all, your goal is to schedule for a well-functioning food truck. Be sure to match these predictions with the percentage of your annual budget and sales to ensure that you are hitting your labor cost target.
Creating a schedule can be time-consuming and even tedious. You must keep in mind the availability of each employee, as well as their skills and talents to make sure your truck has the people it needs to run successfully. Scheduling a mix of strong team members and those who need extra help can be a good strategy.
Finally, be sure to collect information from employees beforehand, as far as their availability, vacation plans and other needs. Of course, your main priority is to run the business, but try to be prepared with this information so that you are not left with the task of covering shifts at the last minute.
Frequency: Some food truck owners will create a new schedule for each week, which can be a good way to stay abreast of sales projections as well as staff needs or other variables.
Access: Once you have created the schedule, hang it where your employees can see it and make copies of their upcoming shifts for the week.
Changes: No matter how much time and effort you put into creating the perfect schedule, no schedule is going to remain the same once it is tacked onto the staff bulletin board. Communicate to your food truck employees that you or your manager(s) are the only ones allowed to make changes to the schedule, and must notify a manager at any time they need to change anything.
We hope this article is helpful to food truck owners when it comes to the all-important function of scheduling your staff members. If you have any tips or suggestions you have found useful in your business, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.