4 min read

HotSchedules: Employee Scheduling Software for Modern Hospitality Businesses


Jordan Hollander in Operations

Last updated February 16, 2023

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How does HotSchedules work for employees?

Over 3 million employees use HotSchedules around the world. Let’s explore how employees interact with the software as part of their work routines.


Checking the schedule

With HotSchedules in place, the days of checking a paper schedule posted outside the employee locker rooms are long gone. Instead, HotSchedules takes your organization’s schedules into the modern age with a fully responsive digital interface, so it works well on any device. An employee can log into HotSchedules on their smartphone to see their schedule at any time, and they can see who else is working at the same time. The app even has a Google Calendar integration, so staff can add their work schedule to their personal agenda. Employees don’t need to worry about checking the schedule frequently to catch any shift changes; they’ll get a notification if a schedule change affects them.


Modifying the schedule

Sometimes an employee can’t work the shift they’re assigned to, or maybe they want to work some extra hours. With HotSchedules, it’s easy for employees to swap shifts, request time off, release shifts, or pick up shifts that need coverage. Employees can complete all of these actions within the HotSchedules app; there’s no need for employees to email you or wait to make changes until the next time they’re working. For example, if an employee wants to swap shifts, they simply select the two shifts they want to exchange, and the app sends a request to the employee with whom they want to swap and an approval request to the manager. Modifications and requests can be submitted at any time, and the manager can approve or deny the requests whenever works best for you.


Punching in and out


In addition to using HotSchedules to manage their future shifts, employees can clock in and out in the HotSchedules app on their mobile device. The app uses geolocation to only allow employees to punch in if they’re actually on-site, and the timeclock is only available within 5 minutes of an employee’s shift start time.


As travel and dining ramp back up to pre-pandemic levels, your hospitality business might be facing some staffing challenges. Maybe you need to train many new employees, or perhaps you need to cover more hours with a leaner team. Amid this uncertainty, one thing is clear: thanks to software like HotSchedules, scheduling doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, HotSchedules can take “schedule tetris” off of your to-do list completely. With its sophisticated, yet intuitive, features, HotSchedules offers a lot of value for owners, managers, and employees. Although scheduling is often thought of as a chore, HotSchedules proves that smart and accessible schedules can actually bolster employee engagement and reduce costs. In this article, we’ll explore how the system works for both employees and managers, and you’ll be able to see the tangible benefits that HotSchedules can drive for your business.

How do managers use HotSchedules?

Employees get a lot out of HotSchedules, but so do managers. Let’s look at all the ways HotSchedules makes a manager’s life easier.

Creating schedules

The cornerstone feature of HotSchedules is scheduling, naturally. Creating schedules within the app is a breeze; you can either start from scratch, use a customized schedule template, or even copy a prior week’s schedule. Once the schedule is in place, you can assign employees with just a few mouse clicks. If your business levels are dynamic by season, month, or even day of week, you can leverage past sales trends to forecast how many shifts you will need, so you can reduce the risk of over- or under-scheduling. Once a schedule has been finalized, the Roster report is a handy way to check who is scheduled to work on a given day.


Approving requests

HotSchedules allows employees to submit requests for time off and for swapping, releasing, or picking up shifts. Managers must approve these requests in order for the changes to appear on the schedule. Within the approval module, managers can see the reasons that employees provide when submitting their requests and approve or deny requests. Employees are automatically notified about the outcome of the requests, so you don’t need to manually email or call them when changes are made.


Managing time and attendance

When employees use HotSchedules’ punchclock feature, managers can review and approve timesheets in the HotSchedules app as well. The time and attendance module clearly shows regular, overtime, and holiday pay, so you can ensure paychecks are accurate before they are disbursed. 

Measuring and analyzing performance

Are you scheduling employees efficiently? Are employees using HotSchedules effectively? You can dive into the details in the system’s Reports Dashboard, where you can pull more than 40 different types of reports that show sales performance, labor trends, and employee interactions. Popular report topics include forecasted vs. scheduled hours, overtime warnings, and time off requests. If you refer to some reports frequently, you can save them as favorites for easy access.



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What benefits can HotSchedules provide?

As we’ve alluded to, HotSchedules is easy to use and can take much of the manual work out of scheduling for businesses within the hospitality industry. But that’s not where the value ends. HotSchedules helps you run your business more efficiently, which can reduce costs, and it can increase employee satisfaction, especially if scheduling is a pain point.

HotSchedules prides itself on its ability to help you build more efficient schedules. Not only can you fine tune your schedules using historical and forecasted sales data, but you can also save time building the actual schedule by leveraging templates and duplicating past schedules. When you spend less time on scheduling, you can dedicate more energy and resources to tasks that more directly improve the guest experience. And with more accurate staffing levels, you can avoid unnecessarily high payroll expenses, overtime wages, and bonuses intended to incentivize staff to cover shifts at the last minute.

Employee satisfaction can also enjoy a boost thanks to the on-demand mobile functionality and request features that HotSchedules brings to your organization. Every employee will be happy to know their future schedule as soon as it’s available, and employees will appreciate being able to request time off or swap shifts at the tap of a finger. Today’s hiring market is tough, so anything you can do to increase employee satisfaction will help you retain your staff and reduce the need for recruiting.

Whether you run a restaurant, bar, venue, or hotel, HotSchedules can transform your scheduling process into a smooth, painless one for both managers and employees. Coupled with benefits like employee satisfaction and lower payroll expenses, HotSchedules can be a true asset to hospitality businesses of all kinds. If you’re curious about bringing HotSchedules to your organization, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial to try the software for yourself.

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Jordan Hollander
CEO @ HotelTechReport Linkedin profile
Jordan is the co-founder of HotelTechReport, the hotel industry's app store where millions of professionals discover tech tools to transform their businesses. He was previously on the Global Partnerships team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his work with SPG, Jordan was Director of Business Development at MWT Hospitality and an equity analyst at Wells Capital Management. Jordan received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he was a Zell Global Entrepreneurship Scholar and a Pritzker Group Venture Fellow.