Hospitality - Employee time clocks for restaurants and hotels

Global trends in the food & beverage industry, particularly ‘full-service’ (conventional) and ‘quick-service’ (fast-food) restaurants, and managing the large number of employees involved often implicates the same, universal issues that plague other industries. This includes concerns such as buddy-punching, tardiness, absenteeism and payroll calculations. There are also other issues at play, in which some are usually only existent in the restaurant industry as the operations involved are different from most businesses. All of these concerns, however, can be remedied or at least brought down to a minimal level.

Areas of Concern

Just like in any other business operations, tracking staff attendance is necessary in the restaurants industry as it is the only way of assessing if an employee is truly ‘putting his time in’, or has simply ‘played a fool’. This is vital as the calculation of the exact hours that an employee works will give a clear indication of how much remuneration the person deserves, and this is the main underlying concept under efficient payroll management; the company tracks how much work is done by an employee and pays accordingly (Brawley, 2011). However, this is easier said than done as restaurant operations involve industry-specific concerns that may complicate matters for the management.

Another key issue concerning the management of restaurant staffs is the high number of part-time employees that come in during peak seasons. This is even more so in urban areas, where the difference in customers coming in during peak hours, days or periods can balloon up to more than 3 times as compared to normal operations . To accommodate this spike in demand, most restaurants will employ part-timers specifically for those time periods, and these temporary workers are often not included in the restaurant’s original staffing schedules that make manually tracking them an inefficient practice.

Thirdly, the variance in staff tasks also makes it hard to track these employees’ true amount of work put in. This scenario occurs because in most establishments, most front-line workers are not task-specific in the sense that they only have one or a few job responsibilities, but instead rotates between having to serve other areas of the business. For example, in a quick-service restaurant, a fulltime waitress may have to wait tables between 2pm to 6pm, answer delivery calls between 6pm to 10pm, and clean up shop between 10pm to 11pm. This schedule will then be rotated with another waitress for another day. The complexities involved often causes headaches to management, both in trying to ascertain the workers’ true amount of hours worked as well as the just scheduling of employee tasks.

On top of all these tasks, there are also general and universal issues regarding staff management that can be found in both the restaurants industry as well as most industries at large. This may include tailgating, buddy-punching, and other ‘illnesses’ for the management to deal with.


Previously, punch card systems were heavily used as it did its job in recording attendance, but this has given headaches to management when trying to compile those data for payroll calculations. On top of being time-consuming on both fronts (the recording of data as well as its further processing), this system has also led to problems such as buddy-punching, whereby a worker dishonestly clocks in for another worker without the management’s knowledge. This is where the biometric solution helps the most.

When implementing biometric time clocks, such as FingerTec’s TA700W, the process is simplified at all stages of implementation and usages. This will directly affect the workers involved in the sense that less time will be needed to record attendance, as fingerprint verifications with the device takes less than a second. In a sense, front-line workers would benefit the most from this as it saves them a lot of time and hassle when having to clock their attendance. In terms of processing the data for viewing or payroll calculations, the operations are also made easier to process as all data recorded by the device will be sent to its free bundled software, FingerTec’s Time Clock Management Software (TCMS V3), for automated management purposes. Furthermore, the user-interface used in both the device as well as the accompanying software are simple to learn and operate, requiring minimal technical knowhow from the restaurant staff.

Moving on to the second major issue in the restaurants industry, there needs to be a way to minimize the operations involved when having to schedule extra workers during peak periods. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that there is a high turnover rate among restaurant staffs, which leads to not just a high number of changes in employee scheduling but also during enrollment and removal of workers into the system. It is simply inefficient for the management to spend significant amounts of time on these operations, when there are also other things to worry about in the business. Using a FingerTec system helps to relieve this. Restaurants that has installed biometric time clocks, such as FingerTec’s TA200plus, can easily enroll users within a few steps at the device itself, saving management precious time that can be used elsewhere. This method is highly suitable for quickly adding individual users, but there are no issues when adding a larger number of users at a time. This is so because the process can also be done through a PC via the usage of the TCMS V3 software.

Scheduling issues are also tackled with the software, as TCMS V3 can easily support up to 999 schedules that can be easily configured to suit individual business needs, all in a friendly UI that makes everything look easy to the user. Last but not least is the issue of rotating variable job tasks among workers’ schedules. Originally, this practice is done to ensure that all front-line staff will divide their work evenly between tasks such as waiting on tables, answering calls and clean-up duties. Although the intended goal of this practice is admirable, it is nevertheless painful for management to consistently come up with new schedules, especially with the high turnover rates and part-time staffers in the industry. As previously mentioned, these problems are brought to a null with automated data management software such as TCMS V3 or even TimeTec TA web-based time attendance management application that makes it both fast and easy to make scheduling changes.

On the whole, the improvements that can be achieved with the system helps to do more than just reduce the time and effort spent on ‘traditional’ time & attendance practices, but also to ensure efficient allocation of the company’s resources. At the end of the day, costs go down while profits go up as staff can concentrate on other value-adding tasks for the business. Although it may seem costly at first to install a biometric system for your establishment, the long-term (and in some cases, immediate) benefits and savings that one can achieve with biometric time clocks and proper data management software will definitely outweigh the initial cost of implementation. As the restaurants industry moves ahead in the future, efficiency will be key for all businesses to grow and having a reliable time & attendance system will push any organization in that general direction.

Join the other organisations such as The Nook Restaurant, Moo Moo Restaurant, Bugsy Seafood, The Sushi Train, The Pasta Shop, Sunbreakers Reataurant, Tandoori Restaurant( Albury), Govindas, Subway and many others to enjoy these benefits today. Call 1800 783 782 now so that we can prepare an effective proposal.