There are many reasons as to why many restaurants have chosen to start using restaurant time clock software, but the two most common are that they make the payroll process easier and more effective, and they hold restaurant employees responsible for their time and attendance.

According to most restaurant managers, payroll processing is an extensive labor and time-consuming task that usually contributes nothing to the bottom line of a restaurant, or any other business for that matter. Nevertheless, it is a very important task if a restaurant is to operate smoothly.

Collecting time from traditional timecards, or worse, gathering paper timesheets, tallying up employee hours manually, applying various overtime rules, and converting employee hours to decimal format for payroll entries are all payroll preparation procedures that involve an enormous amount of time and effort every single week or every payroll period.

What makes an automated restaurant time clock so popular is that it consolidates or even eliminates most payroll preparation procedures. Automated time clocks also increase employee accountability because they truthfully and impartially record each and every punch time. This encourages restaurant employees to be honest, and in the very same way, time clock software discourages dishonest employees from stealing time, which is usually hard to detect and control, when they have to record their hours manually or on paper timesheets.

If, as a restaurant owner, manager, or supervisor, you have arrived at a point where you feel it is imperative to make changes in your time and attendance measures, you must be wondering how to begin.

The following tips should help you:

  1. Take advantage of free software trials

Most scheduling software vendors offer free software trials. Taking advantage of such offers will give you a perfect opportunity to try out different types of time clocks without having to commit to any particular solution.

After settling for a particular solution, you should make sure that the software you are just about to purchase is the fully functioning version of the same software you have been trying out for free. This will get rid of nasty surprises later since you will have already tested all advertised features before making a purchase. The trial period will also give you a chance to see how good or bad the vendor’s support services are. Also, since all free software trials have time limitations, it would be wise to first focus on the features you will need most.

  1. Choose where to deploy or install the time clock stations

As soon as you have chosen and purchased the time clock software that works best for your restaurant, you will have to make a wise decision on where to install the stations. You may decide to have them installed on stand-alone computers in a convenient area such as the main entrance or the break room. Another option would be to encourage your employees to download a mobile version of the app on their smartphones to enable them to clock in and out from their phones.

  1. Complete at least one payroll cycle

As soon as you have installed your new restaurant time clock, you can then start using it with a few employees until at least one payroll cycle ends. Since you will still be using your old system on some employees, you will be in a better position to compare results and make configuration changes, after which you can roll out the new system to the rest of your employees.

In addition to comparing the results, using the software with a few employees first will give you an opportunity to use the software through different case scenarios. For example, when an employee forgets to clock out, you will be in a better position to know how to handle such a situation when you finally roll out the new software to the rest of the workers.

  1. Ask for feedback from your employees

The final step towards deploying your new restaurant time clock should be to ask for feedback from your restaurant workers. This is a very important step as it will give you a clear picture on how well they are adjusting to the new system. Usually, employees have a hard time accepting a new change, especially when they know they can no longer take advantage of an outdated system.

All in all, using the right strategies to get started with your restaurant time clock will make a huge difference on how well the implementation process goes.