The 10 Best Restaurant Scheduling Software Tools - 2023 - Expert Rated

The top restaurant scheduling software products, with benefits, pitfalls, pricing, and more.

Jawad Khan
Technical Writer

Contributing Experts

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The Top Restaurant Scheduling Software

Hand picked by our HR Technology experts after product testing, user research, and much debate - enjoy!

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Launched in 2007, Schedulefly, to this day, remains one of the easiest apps to use. The software has a loyal user base of over 7000 restaurants.
7Shifts is an excellent scheduling solution for most small restaurants. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop scheduling tool that adjusts itself based on employee availability. It also has features to let you analyze attendance trends, forecasts, etc.
When I Work offers a solid scheduling solution for small restaurants on a budget. The app takes an essentialist approach to workforce management by filtering out extra features and focusing on delivering high-quality employee scheduling and time tracking features.
Planday offers some of the most critical scheduling app features at an affordable price. Out of all the software we tested, Planday’s app stood out for its visual appeal and after-sales support. That being said, most users are able to figure out and use the app on their own.
ZoomShift makes it incredibly easy for employees and managers to navigate the app. The user interface is intuitive yet simple. In addition, the app developers are responsive to user feedback about adding or modifying features.
Deputy is a robust restaurant scheduling app. It stands out from its competitors due to its AI scheduling capabilities that make workforce management easier. Simply enter your team data and let Deputy take care of everything from shift scheduling to payroll.
Homebase’s ability to present a centralized view of company-wide scheduling makes it unique. This centralized view offers customizable dashboards for users. Along with its paid features, the app offers a robust free plan that’s good enough for the needs of most small restaurants.
Sling is an excellent tool for restaurants with multiple locations. Even the free version of the app allows unlimited users and locations. The mobile and desktop apps are stable and free.
Push Operations stands out for its outstanding payroll management capabilities. It’s easy to navigate and incredibly fast, saving managers hours weekly.

Introduction to Restaurant Scheduling Software

Managing staff schedules is among the most challenging parts of running a successful restaurant business. Last-minute leave requests, unplanned shifts, and miscommunication among team members can severely hurt productivity and cost a restaurant thousands of dollars.

As economies around the world are bouncing back from the pandemic restrictions, coping with new ones, or dealing with rapidly-shifting demand, it makes sense that among the restaurant owners surveyed by Finances Online in their 2022 report, 55% consider staffing the top challenge they’re facing

To make sure you avoid the pitfalls of inadequate scheduling and staffing practices, we’ve handpicked some of the best restaurant scheduling software for your business.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover the top restaurant scheduling tools, describe their strengths and weaknesses, evaluate their features, and examine their pricing plans.

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

37
Hours Researched
3
Experts Consulted
24
Vendors Reviewed

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take research seriously. To make sure we’re offering our readers the very best solutions in a given software category, we are methodical, rigorous, and expansive in our research. We consult with HR professionals, vendors, and industry experts. We cut through the noise to bring you a carefully curated list of vendors, along with other essential information, to help you find the right software platform for your business. 

Here’s how we chose who makes the cut: 

Product: We believe in gaining a comprehensive understanding of a product before we recommend it, so we start by getting to know the software. Whenever possible, we meet with a senior executive (CEO or Head of Product) for a demo and Q&A. We also test the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best-in-class offering. 

User feedback: We go straight to the source and compile feedback on user experience. Real-world input supports our commitment to diligence in our software evaluation methods and the products we recommend. Keeping up with the everyday experience of HR pros also puts new vendors on our radar, and it keeps us close to our community so we can better connect the right products to the right people.

Financial metrics: We are certified finance nerds, so we use all the data we can get our hands on to make selections for our guides. We comb through data for concrete statistics like retention rates, growth, profitability, and scalability. We evaluate the bottom line of each product because we know making a software purchase can put your reputation on the line. 

Best for a use case: Software is never a one-size-fits-all product. Sometimes the best solution is free or cheap. Other times it’s the one that is best for global companies or the one that’s sized right for early-stage startups. Keeping this in mind, we include solutions across the spectrum so our readers can find the best fit for their unique needs.

Here's more detail if you want to read more about how we research vendors. Our dedicated staff writers rely on hard data, impartial experts, and user feedback to ensure our reviews are helpful, truthful, and hopefully a pleasure to read!

In this guide you'll find

Featured in

10 Best Restaurant Scheduling Software

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best restaurant software companies for several business sizes and types per our research and expert council as of 2023.

Let's now discuss some of the best restaurant scheduling software we've handpicked for you. But, before you dive in, make sure to look at the things you should know before implementing employee scheduling software.

Homebase

Review:

Homebase is one of the best restaurant employee scheduling applications. It allows restaurant owners to manage their team’s schedule, make changes, and send out alerts to employees accordingly. Homebase is best for hourly teams, which is why it’s well-suited to the restaurant industry.

Homebase

Stats:

Homebase

Pricing:

Best For:

Planday

Review:

Planday is most suitable for shift-based restaurants with multiple teams working with their schedules because it allows managers to create different schedules for different groups. 

For this reason, the software is an excellent match for the needs of modern restaurants, bars, pubs, and similar businesses.

Ida Beate Wenstad, the restaurant manager at Heim in Norway, says that Planday makes it easy for her and her employees to plan their workdays and shifts without worrying about making calls to colleagues for shift management. She goes on to say that Planday allows her to maintain a bird’s eye view of the business while maintaining control over weekly staffing budgets.

Planday

Stats:

- End-users: 350,000+

- Monthly average website visitors: ~90,000

- On average, Planday customers experience:

  • 5% lower staff costs
  • 75% lower administration time
  • 20% higher employee satisfaction

Planday

Pricing:

The paid plans for Planday are:

Starter Plus Pro Enterprise
€2.49/user/month €4.49/user/month €6.49/user/month Custom pricing

The Starter and Plus plans come with a free trial. It’s important to note that the packages are sold in increments of five users. For example, if you have 13 users, you’d be billed for 15.

Best For:

Planday is best for shift-based, labor-intensive restaurants with multiple locations that require forecasting and labor planning tools.

When I Work

Review:

When I Work is a powerful employee scheduling tool. Its ability to give managers an organization-wide view of staff scheduling makes it stand out. Even though businesses of all sizes use it, When I Work is ideal for employee scheduling software for small or medium-sized restaurants on a budget.

When I Work

Stats:

When I Work

Pricing:

The paid plans are:

  • Small Business - $2/user/month
  • Enterprise - Custom quote

The Small Business plan comes with a free trial of up to 14-days.

Best For:

Push Operations

Review:

Push Operations is a small business. This allows them to provide personalized customer service. Push stands out for its cloud-based payroll management system that saves lots of managerial time. The software is best for multi-location restaurants with 50+ employees.

Push Operations

Stats:

Push Operations

Pricing:

The pricing plans are as follows:

  • Starter - $5/user/month
  • Pro - $6/user/month
  • Premium - $10/user/month
  • 50+ users - Custom pricing

You can book a demo before making a purchase.

Best For:

7shifts

Review:

7Shifts is an employee scheduling solution specifically for the restaurant industry. It helps restaurant managers maximize profitability and save time through excellent third-party integrations. Even the free version of the app offers extensive functionality and is good enough for a small team.

This makes 7Shifts one of the best free employee scheduling software for small-medium restaurants.

7shifts

Stats:

7shifts

Pricing:

7Shifts offers the following subscription plans:

  • Free - Up to 30 employees + basic scheduling features
  • Entree - $29.99/location/month
  • The Works - $69.99/location/month

Best For:

Schedulefly

Review:

Wes Aiken, the founder of Schedulefly, was a restaurant employee during his college years. Schedulefly was born as a result of the gaps Wes noticed in how employee scheduling is done in the restaurant business. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Schedulefly is specifically designed with restaurants in mind.

As a result, you get a tool that’s light, accessible from any web browser, and offers an efficient employee scheduling solution. As a restaurant, you can also take advantage of Schedulefly’s kitchen and menu management features. However, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the best software for large restaurants due to its limited features in terms of design, scalability, and security.

Schedulefly

Stats:

  • Used by over 6000 restaurants
  • Runs a tight ship with a small team of 5
  • Over 179,000 monthly web visitors

Schedulefly

Pricing:

Schedulefly offers a simple pricing structure based on the number of staff you need to create accounts for. You can start with $30 per month for up to 19 users and scale up to 79 people at $60 per month. Beyond that level, you can request a custom quote.

Schedulefly offers a 30-day free trial for you to see whether the software meets your requirements. You don’t need a credit card to sign up.

The different pricing slabs offered by Schedulefly are:

Total People Total Cost per Month
1-19 $30
20-39 $40
40-59 $50
60-79 $60
80+ Custom pricing

Best For:

Schedulefly is best for restaurants on a budget that are only looking for basic scheduling features.

Deputy

Review:

Deputy is packed with valuable features. Its AI-powered employee scheduling gives it an edge over its competitors. The software is best for small restaurant owners who like to free up their time to focus on growing their business.

Deputy

Stats:

  • Deputy is used at over 275,000 workplaces. 
  • More than 200 million shifts have been planned with the rostering feature. 
  • Used in over 100 different countries. 
  • The average time to go live is 2 weeks, beating the reported industry average of 2.8 months. 
  • ROI time is also 3 times faster than the industry average at just 5 months.

Deputy

Pricing:

Deputy offers a 31 day free trial. The paid annual plans are:

  • Scheduling - $2.5/user/month 
  • Time & Attendance - $2.5/user/month
  • Premium - $4.5/user per month
  • Enterprise - Custom pricing

Best For:

Medium to large organizations, especially those with frequent shift changes such as hospitality and retail.

Sling

Review:

Sling is among the best restaurant scheduling software you can find for free. Its scheduler provides organization-wide awareness. You can add unlimited users and locations. The tool works best for small restaurants looking for a comprehensive scheduling solution on a budget.

Sling

Stats:

Sling

Pricing:

  • Free - Packed with features, unlimited users, and locations
  • Premium - $2/user/month
  • Business - $4/user/month

Best For:

ZoomShift

Review:

ZoomShift is a fantastic schedule creation tool. Its user interface is intuitively designed to help new users access the essential features of the software with ease. ZoomShift is best for small restaurants that experience seasonal highs and lows.

ZoomShift

Stats:

ZoomShift

Pricing:

ZoomShift has the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial - Up to 14-days
  • Starter - $2.5/user/month (monthly billing) or $2/user/month (annual billing)
  • Premium - $5/user/month (monthly billing) or $4/user/month (annual billing)
  • Enterprise - Custom pricing

The Starter and Premium plans come with a 14-day trial.

Best For:

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Last Advice: Which Is The Best Restaurant Scheduling Tool For You?

Restaurant schedule software is in high demand, and for good reason. It allows restaurant managers to automate operational work and focus on other aspects of their jobs.

When choosing scheduling software, managers need to carefully consider the features on offer. It's vital to match business needs with software features.

Restaurant sizes and needs vary widely. Therefore, it's hard to name a single software as the best one for all situations. 

However, we hope our detailed analysis of some of the best available options will help you make the right choice.

We recommend that you try these tools since most of them offer free plans. For those without, you can schedule a demo and have their team give you a run down of the tool. 

As a last piece note, most of the software here is all about scheduling. If you find that most feature lists don’t cover all that you’d need, that could be a sign that you need a more complex solution, like Workforce Planning Software.

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