The Advantages of Set Schedules

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If you were curious, this is what this blog looks like in paper form. Can you think of a picture for this topic?

Yesterday I discussed the disadvantages of having a set schedule.  While I think I managed to make some valid points, it was sort of hollow.  The primary reason I am still at my current job is because of my schedule.  It took about two and a half years, but I managed to get my ideal schedule.  I get the opportunity to change it from time to time, but I can’t figure out how to improve on it.

Set schedules are not perfect, but for a server who wants to maintain some sort of structure in their life it is as close as can be asked for.  This is a tremendous tool for recruiting and retaining employees.  It is a no cost benefit a restaurant can offer that allows them to stand out from the competition.  There are still many variables inherent in the restaurant business, but this is one of the best ways available for employers to try to alleviate them.  Once you have worked with a set schedule, it is very difficult to walk away from.

There are four significant advantages to set schedules that make them desirable.

You Can Plan Life: When you know your schedule in advance, you can plan around it.  There is no waiting for a request off to be approved.  Instead you can work on getting shifts covered well in advance.  This allows for you to RSVP for an event or buy tickets for a vacation.  You are no longer at the mercy of a manager posting a schedule to plan your life.

You Know What To Expect: In the last post I discussed how forces had transpired with set schedules to ruin my last week.  The difference is because of a set schedule I knew it was coming.  I also know that I can count on it not happening again for four weeks.  I know which week in the rotation to plan a week off or start picking up extra shifts.  Bad weeks occur, but with this system you can plan ahead for them.

Eliminates Paranoia: When a bad week occurs or I get cut on a shift, there is no wondering if a manager is trying to punish me.  I can see the rotation and even if I do have a bad week, I can blame fate instead of a person.  Hostility over bad weeks are not focused on a person.  This is means having one less thing to be frustrated with management about.

You Make Money Starting Out: One of the toughest parts of starting a job is trying to build seniority.  Starting out you are usually behind financially from being jobless.  After training and small sections starting out, you can be catching up for months.  If you are in a situation where stations and cuts are made by seniority, the time it takes recover can be stretched out by months.  This system allows you to make up for lost income far faster.

I truly believe that any restaurant with a stable and mature staff should use set schedules.  As a server I find it tremendously beneficial.  There are a number of benefits for managers too.  I will address those tomorrow as I wrap up this topic.  Now that both sides have been discussed, what is your opinion?  Anyone have a set schedule horror story?  Did I miss some advantages?  The comment section is yours.

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5 Responses to The Advantages of Set Schedules

  1. jjskck September 22, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I’m not a server, but knowing my work schedule in advance (and being able to plan accordingly) is a huge benefit. In your case, you even get to know your bad weeks, when they’re coming, and how to budget around them. The advantages seem to far outweigh the disadvantages.

    I think the key words you use are “stable and mature staff”–if your crew is stable, it should be rewarded with stability!

    • tipsfortips September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

      Agreed. Having some semblance of stability in a job which is inherently unstable allows people to maintain a normal life.

  2. Matt September 22, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Love having a set schedule!!! I know in 3 months what days I need off or to schedule things like doctors appointments, family dinners etc..

  3. yellowcat September 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I have a set schedule and I love it. I would not want to work somewhere that I had to check the schedule every week and could plan my life week to week.

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