Neal Lefebvre
Blog, Restaurant reporting

From onboarding and offboarding, to ensuring the right shift coverage, to time tracking and beyond, human resources tools are the backbone of every QSR. No matter your menu, market, or size, you need to manage all these functions and more. Connecting the data from HR software with data streams can give you even better analytics and help you optimize your business. Here are a few ways to use human resources software to optimize your workforce.

Managing state compliance requirements

Different states have different requirements for calculating time off and how to handle paycheck distribution. Some states, for example, allow you to send termed employees their final paycheck in the mail on their normal pay date, while others require you to pay their worked hours balance on the day of termination. Failing to keep track of these requirements between states can result in fines or other penalties that you shouldn’t have to worry about.

To stay compliant, utilize your HR software to its fullest from the beginning. Gather employee demographic information at hire, and keep track of hire, rehire, and term dates so you can track and report it to states as needed. Keep track of benefits for termed employees. A common mistake is to miscalculate the amount of time you’re required to provide benefits before offering COBRA.

Lastly, perform audits of the data in your tracking system at regular intervals – every quarter, or even every pay period – to make sure it’s still accurate.

And be careful if employees work shifts at other stores that may be across state lines – you may need to treat those hours differently.

Schedule adherence

When you think of human resources software, the first thing that probably comes to mind is time tracking. HR software can be used to track clock-in, break, meal, and clock-out times, yes – but making sure your employees are adhering to their schedules can be just as important as calculating paychecks.

Make sure employees are taking their scheduled breaks and meals, without exception. In California, for example, an employee must be given a 10-minute break if their shift is at least 3.5 hours long; if the employee takes a 9-minute break, they could be entitled to a full hour of additional compensation – and you could get stuck paying a penalty. Different states have different requirements, but it’s always in your best interests to make sure employees are taking their required breaks and meals.

Conversely, your HR software can also let you know when an employee has been consistently taking longer-than-scheduled breaks. It’s generally up to you how to handle these scenarios, but you definitely want to know if one of your employees is consistently taking 25-minute breaks instead of 15-minute breaks every shift, right in the middle of peak rush.

Creating a holistic restaurant management system

Integrating your human resources software with your other systems can help create insights that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

Picture this: Your inventory software has been showing a significant drop in one of your items lately – let’s say it’s ketchup packets. Maybe customers are eating more ketchup; no problem, you can just start ordering more. But by integrating your inventory and HR systems, you notice that the dip in ketchup packet volume began around the same time one of your new employees started.

A quick check reveals that the new employee has been putting ketchup packets in every order, regardless of whether the customer has asked for them. A 2-minute conversation with the employee and you’ve just saved yourself from over-ordering on ketchup for the foreseeable future. And if you can save significantly on ketchup packets, imagine the savings if you discover something bigger.

Bringing multiple different, seemingly unrelated systems together has shifted the entire landscape of technology, creating the entirely new concept of “big data.” Software companies have been using big data for years, and QSRs are now reaping the rewards. If you’re using a different system for each of your QSR’s functions, consider whether combining these systems – or at least bringing them together on the same dashboards – could be in your best interests.

Human resources software is critical to every business, but perhaps none more than QSRs. The amount of front-end and back-end systems at play all create a complex environment that can no longer be fulfilled with pen-and-paper time tracking. Let your human resources software work with your other systems and watch it optimize your workforce.

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