The Increase in Part-Timers

The restaurant industry has some big changes ahead, especially with the new Affordable Care Act taking effect. The changes will greatly impact how managers run their businesses and manage scheduling of their growing part-time staff.   Here are a few quick stats on the changes in part-time employment for the service industry:

part-time

  • Restaurants and bars have added 50,000 jobs per month on average since April 2013; double the rate from 20121
  • Leisure and hospitality establishments hired more workers than any other industry in June 20131
  • The addition of new restaurants and the elevated need for staff after the recession has increased part-time jobs1
  • Part-time jobs have been attractive alternatives for the growing retiree population, students, stay-at-home parents and those looking for additional income to offset the recession
  • Part-time jobs have surged by 360,000 to 28 million, while full time jobs have fallen by 240,0002

Just looking at these facts, you can see part-time employees are important, and this demographic of workers is quickly growing. With this new growth come new needs. Managers must take note and learn how to address this growing employee segment and the additional burden it places on themselves. Make sure you are meeting these employees’ needs and those of your operation by asking yourself these important questions:

Am I tracking and managing hours correctly?  The average workweek for part-time employees is 25.6 hours, an increase from 25.1hours in 2007.    Managers need to have an easy way of tracking and calculating employee hours so they can properly schedule their labor.  Bear in mind that as the number of employees, part-time or otherwise, increases, so does the complexity of labor scheduling.  Add in multiple locations, and it can quickly reach the “nightmare” level.

How much schedule flexibility should I provide?  Part-time employees come with different needs, like flexibility in scheduling. Students, for example, might be able to work a variety of different hours, while your retirees prefer the day shift and full-time employees, along with stay-at-home parents, want to work during the evening or night. Some within each group might want to pick up extra shifts or exchange shifts depending on their current needs. Don’t forget people also have life circumstances that come up, such as doctor’s visits, vacation, and personal events. Make it easy for employees to implement these changes and work with the scheduling needs and hours available to you.

How do I increase access to important information?  Employees want to be able to get to the information they need like schedules, internal information, meeting notices and company initiatives easily. Don’t make it difficult for them or your managers to stay in touch; keep them current and in the know.

Today with technology there are many options such as text alerts, schedules being accessed by phone and more. It’s simple and easy plus employees already know how to use their phone so no major training is involved.

Do all of your managers use the same methods or systems, and are the effective at providing the data they need? Your entire management staff should be well versed in the system that you use and able to operate it without you being there. That means, it should be easy-to-use and learn. It should also provide them with insight into sales and labor forecast data so that generating labor schedules is less of a guessing game and more of an exercise in precision.  Accurate labor management not only reduces the cost of labor it also ensures that you have the right number of staff members on the floor to properly and excellently serve your guests.

So how do you answer these questions and manage your business/part-time employees to the fullest? It’s easier when you have a great system in place that manages hours, overlapping shifts, zoning, shift requests, overtime and communicates with employees and management.  HotSchedules offers an amazing array of features:

  • Messaging
  • Employee shift trades
  • Reports
  • Labor Budget
  • Forecasts
  • Daily roster
  • Overtime alerts
  • Staff volume tracking
  • Alerting via text/email
  • Access via phone/online
  • Communications portal
  • Training & customer support
  • And much more…

For a demo of the scheduling solution CLICK HERE. This is just one of the many great tools available to you to meet the challenges you have as a manager during this surge in part-time employment. Other highly useful products include: The Manager’s Red Book and Macromatix.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324694904578601922653718606.html

2 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-05/obamacare-strikes-part-time-jobs-surge-all-time-high-full-time-jobs-plunge-240000

By Crystal Gardner, Marketing Production Manager at Red Book Solutions | 6 Years Marketing and Project Management Experience in Agency, Corporate and Private Institutions | University of DenverDaniels College of Business, Office Of Communications & Marketing, Office Manager

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