Best Scheduling Technology for Restaurants

by Back of House Staff

Updated August 7th, 2023


Having the ability to streamline scheduling can yield productive and happy employees. By harnessing the power of technology, you can encourage more collaboration, improve communication, and cut down on staffing shortages.

Whether the focus is keeping everything coordinated, or boosting morale and performance, these are the solutions we’ve identified as yielding the best results.

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A true scheduling tool created specifically for restaurants, 7Shifts has everything you need to understand your team’s availability, time off, and last-minute schedule changes. It allows you to automate the scheduling and team management process, saving your managers time. It aims for efficiency in communication, encouraging collaboration through chat features, and additional tools to help onboard and pay your team.
Visit 7Shifts Website

Who it’s best for

Restaurants that want to upgrade their scheduling process, or multi-unit groups who need to invest more in compliance or have controls at a distance.

Things to consider 

Some restaurant staff mentioned glitches with clocking in and out.

Where it excels

Overall staff experience (people seem to love it!). 7Shifts is pretty comparable to Homebase (on the list below), but has more features and integrations. It’s a comprehensive platform with powerful, customizable software that can support more complex compliance, like PTO and break penalties. 

Feature overview

Simplify team management and improve staff performance with 7Shifts’ scheduling and communication features.


  • Keep calendars up to date with scheduling functionality

  • View and manage availability and time off requests


  • Everything from Comp

  • Make scheduling easier and quicker with templates

  • Manage your labor costs with the labor budget tool

  • Keep track of important metrics and measure performance with reporting functionality

  • Optional add-ons: Employee onboarding, non-Cloud POS integration, manager log book, task management, operations overview, tip pooling

The Works

  • Everything from Entrée

  • Stay up to date on important requirements with complete local labor compliance guidelines

  • Manage day-to-day tasks with the manager log Book

  • Be proactive about your staffing needs with the optimal labor tool

  • Gauge employee satisfaction with shift feedback

  • Optional add-ons: Employee onboarding, non-Cloud POS integration, task Management, operations overview, tip pooling


  • Everything from The Works

  • Records daily checklists with task management

  • Build optimized schedules with auto-scheduling tools

  • Get personalized assistance managing multiple locations with a dedicated Account Manager (15+ locations)

  • Start off strong with a complete 7Shifts onboarding plan

  • Optional add-ons: Tip pooling


All subscription tiers include chat support and live support options. If you’re using the free version of 7Shifts (Comp), you only have live support access for the first 60 days. 7shifts’ online resources include the Academy, free templates, and product guides.

What real restaurants say

“Owning a business is stressful enough, so being able to take something off of my plate is always a good thing. My managers and my employees love this tool. My managers would complain about the spreadsheet system because it would take them over an hour to schedule 8 employees. Now, it takes them about 20 minutes. There’s a free app available so my employees always have access to their schedules. We have scheduling available on our P/R processor but we prefer to pay for this service because it’s more practical and convenient than our P/R company. It really pays for itself in employee management, time off, scheduling, and basic HR tasks.” — Renee H.

“The biggest reason I chose 7shifts is for their customer service. They respond the same day! If I have a feature request, they listen and things are often implemented on their next update. It’s so cool to see an app continue to evolve for the better. The app is an all-in-one tool that does things like scheduling, time clocking, events calendar, messaging, and task assignments. The messaging within the app is a little slow at times, so I’m hoping that gets updated. The price for this service is reasonable and fair. I absolutely recommend this app to any business.” — Kimberly M.


All prices are based on annual billing. Add 10% for monthly billing.






Single location, up to 30 employees



Up to 50 locations, up to 30 employees/location

The Works


Up to 50 locations, unlimited employees



50+ locations, unlimited employees

Learn more about 7Shifts


Manage employee scheduling, reduce administrative time, and drive profitability with HotSchedules software. According to their website, HotSchedules has been “proven to improve forecasting accuracy by 75%” when it comes to scheduling. While we can’t confirm that data point, we can confirm that one of their greatest strengths is ease of use for all end users.
Visit HotSchedules Website

Who it’s best for

Restaurants wanting to streamline their team scheduling, but not looking for a solution that goes beyond that. 

Things to consider

Keep your labor cost in check with future planning in mind thanks to features such as demand forecasting and schedule costing. Note: there is a cost associated with having the app, which can be a barrier for some businesses and/or employees.

Where it excels

HotSchedules really excels at schedule forecasting and costing

Feature overview

HotSchedules aims to provide solutions to help managers, employees, and back of house team members operate more efficiently. 

  • Schedule faster and smarter with demand forecasting in 15-minute increments

  • Communicate directly with individuals or send mass broadcasts to the wider team

  • Easily request and approve shift changes, swaps, drops and pickups

  • Anticipate when you’ll need coverage with built-in time off requests

  • Keep track of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), labor compliance risk, and associated cost projections with a customized dashboard and reporting tools


HotSchedules provides 24/7 access to bilingual (English and Spanish) customer support via chatbot, phone, and self-help articles to help you troubleshoot issues on your own.

What real restaurants say

“Something that I love about HotSchedules is that you are able to use it easily. Its mobile access is really good. Something that it does lack is structure in terms of the mobile part of how it shows up on the iPhone versus the computer. I find that I'm able to access and see other schedules or different things on the computer a lot better and more efficiently than I can on my phone.” -Isabella E. (Orlando, FL)

“My favorite thing about HotSchedules is how I'm able to release shifts, swap shifts with others, and pick up shifts really quickly and efficiently. The whole system is updated as soon as they swap a shift, so I don't have to tell my manager and wait for them to respond. I'm able to just do it really quickly, which is super helpful for everybody. My least favorite thing about HotSchedules is probably the fact that the app for smartphones costs money. The app is so much more user friendly and helpful than the website, but a lot of people don’t download the app because they have to pay for it.” -Taylor P. (Erwin, NC)


Hotschedules pricing varies based on number of locations and number of employees. Note that their iOS app costs $2.99 to download.

You can call the HotSchedules team at (877) 539-5156 to schedule a free demo and learn more about pricing. 

Learn more about HotSchedules


Homebase Logo
Homebase is a user-friendly application that allows restaurant operators to easily onboard new hires, create a schedule (and make changes with just a few clicks), as well as clock in and out using phones and tablets.
Visit Homebase Website

Who it’s best for

Ideal for a growing independent, multi-unit, and budget-conscious operators looking for a scheduling platform that can do a little more. 

Things to consider

Homebase is great for basic scheduling/time tracking. A common complaint is that there is some lag time within the application, which makes it hard to find what you need in a pinch.

Where it excels

Accessibility and affordability, especially for teams without computers. Homebase also has built-in HR software, which makes it a two-for-one technology investment.

Feature overview

Homebase is a popular employee time-tracking app because it can turn any phone, computer, or tablet into a time clock. They aim to provide “everything else you need to manage your team–all in one place.” 

  • Track hours and run payroll effortlessly, with the ability to manage your labor costs in the process

  • Keep your team on track with the ability to build, share, and optimize schedules

  • Simplify daily communication between team members and ensure everyone is on the same page

  • Post jobs, track applicants, and onboard new hires from one centralized platform

  • Automate your paperwork, manage time off more efficiently, and stay compliant with labor laws 


Homebase has customer support in the form of email (with a promise to respond within 24-hours) and live chat during regular business hours. They also have a comprehensive Help Center where you can search for articles and videos on your most burning questions.

What real restaurants say

"I really like that pretty much everything is in one app. It keeps us really organized, and I could just take out my computer and review everything. The only thing that we didn't transfer is our messages. We still try to communicate through our iMessages or whatever messaging app [employees] have, because it's hard for us to search for messages. So if we had a schedule change or a question, I can't look for it. I'd have to scroll through all of them and find what conversation I had that in. So that's the only thing that I would change, but everything else is really well organized and easy to use.” - Sage L. (San Diego, CA)

“One thing I do love about Homebase is the user-friendly app and the accessibility of creating your schedule accurately and quickly. One thing I would change about the app is being able to separate your overtime from your normal hours.” -Destiny S. (Powder Springs, GA)



  • Free plan available for restaurants with one location - up to 20 employees

  • Basic scheduling

  • Basic time tracking

  • Employee management

  • Point of sale integration


  • $20 per location, per month - unlimited employees

  • Everything in basic, plus:

    • Advanced scheduling

    • Advanced time tracking

    • team communication


  • $48 per location, per month - unlimited employees

  • Everything in Essentials, plus:

    • Hiring

    • PTO & time-off controls

    • Departments & permissions


  • $80 per location, per month - unlimited employees

  • Everything in Plus, plus:

    • Employee onboarding

    • Labor cost management

    • HR compliance

Our evaluation process

We’ve developed a process to find the best HR, staffing, and training systems for restaurants to keep things running smoothly when it comes to your employees. Here’s how we did it.

Surveys and other research with people in the industry

We conducted surveys and gathered feedback from operators and employees across different service models and segments with experience using these systems on a day-to-day basis.

Interviews with Back of House restaurant tech experts

We also gained insights from our staff of experts who have years of experience in the industry and with restaurant technology. 

Secondary research

All of this was supplemented with our own research and participation in product overviews and training sessions with vendors on their products and services.