Solution Finder: Restaurant Shift Scheduling Systems

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

A restaurant manager uses shift scheduling systems on her computer to ensure coverage.

One of the biggest headaches of running a restaurant is employee scheduling—and reconfiguring shifts as changes occur. Fortunately, app and software developers have created some solutions that can help you eliminate those headaches.

New restaurant employee scheduling systems can help you create and manage your team’s schedules. They simplify the tasks of navigating time-off requests and shift swaps, and they send out alerts to let your employees know of changes and approvals. These features can be tremendous time-savers for busy restaurant owners and are often well worth the cost of their implementation.

Which employee scheduling systems are right for your restaurant? Below, you’ll find three popular picks. Click the logos to watch a brief explainer video of each option.


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$20/ month
  • Free version includes up to 10 employees, scheduling, time off, and availability
  • Effortless communications among employees and management
  • Post jobs online and streamline the full hiring process
  • Wide range of integrations
  • Automate tip pooling
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Play Video


$5/month / employee
  • Free trial available
  • $10/month/employee plan includes break and leave management
  • Add payroll and human resources for an additional $6/employee
  • Digitize onboarding and centralize employee documents
  • Allow employees to trade shifts while managing overtime


Let’s take a closer look at these solutions.



More than 25,000 restaurants around the world rely on 7shifts to manage their team’s schedules, timesheets, communications, tasks, tips, and more. Why? Because it’s one of the easiest tools on the market.

To start, setup is a snap. You can have your 7shifts account created in seconds and get instant access to your scheduling dashboard. It’s possible to add employees and shifts with a few simple clicks, and with 7shifts’ drag-and-drop technology, you can have your first schedule ready in almost no time at all. Plus, employees receive automatic notifications when the schedule has been published.

One great feature that 7shifts offers is that the system recognizes regional labor laws that help owners stay compliant with their schedules. Many owners also like that the tool takes on time-clocking, assigns to-do lists, and allows for group communications that keep teams informed on announcements and reminders.

7shifts integrates well with many payroll and point-of-sale (POS) systems, including ADP, Qu, and Toast. With these integrations, you can monitor your sales and labor in real-time and see, at a glance, when your schedule will cause you to exceed your labor targets.

Want to learn more? Visit 7shifts to sign up for a free demo and begin a free trial.



Sling is another great resource that helps restaurants of all sizes take on the full range of scheduling tasks. Restaurant owners often turn to sling to build their employees’ schedules, manage time-off requests, navigate their employees’ availability constraints, and oversee shift swaps.

Sling is a favorite because of the unique features it offers. To start, the tool makes scheduling problems, such as double bookings or gaps, obvious and easy to fix. It also allows owners to create scheduling templates that make the process much faster and simple for weeks ahead. The tool also has built-in alarms that remind your employees of upcoming shifts and gives them the option of offering up their shifts to others or accepting new shifts that are available.

A feature that really sets Sling apart from other options is the ability to democratize employee scheduling. With this feature, your employees can sign up for the shifts they’d like to work on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can also ask your team to apply for shifts and approve the applicants yourself.

Sling offers a free version of their tool that can certainly help you optimize the time you spend with scheduling, but their premium and business-grade packages (which start at around $2/month per user and $4/month per user, respectively), also include a mobile time clock, timesheets, overtime tracking, and some of the other features we’ve mentioned above.

It’s worthwhile to check out Sling, especially if you’re using Toast as your POS. The tools integrate seamlessly.

Ready to explore Sling? Check it out here.



Another great restaurant employee scheduling tool is Push. This budget-friendly solution is packed with features that make it one to consider.

Like the others we mention, Push is easy and intuitive to use. Both setup and scheduling can be completed in almost no time, as are the processes for approving time off and shift swaps.

Here’s what we really like about Push: it’s analytics. Push makes it easy to view labor costs and other KPIs, including forecasted labor versus sales percentages, and it helps you to analyze shift swap costs before approving them.

Push can also help you forecast your labor needs. You can use it to pull your historical sales from your POS system to predict how many people you’ll need to staff for a given shift.

Push starts at around $5/month per employee for many of the features we mention here, but there are more robust options that allow you to integrate it with other software and manage breaks and leaves. You can also add on payroll for about $6/month per employee and human resource management tools for another $6/month per employee.

Want to book a demo of this service? Get started here.


Interested in other small business solutions? Let us help you find the right systems. Then, log into your owner’s portal for more articles and advice tailored to your business’s needs.

You can also check out our restaurant guide for systems and strategies that will help you get started.

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