7shifts is a scheduling and operations management software specifically designed for restaurants. Its CEO founded the platform in 2014 with the intention of helping his father manage his restaurant business. Since those days, it has evolved into a full-fledged restaurant management system that handles employee scheduling, applicant tracking, task management, and more.
7shifts is great for small businesses in the food and beverage industry looking to control labor costs and improve employee productivity with robust online scheduling, demand forecasting, and time tracking.
Restaurant businesses with under 100 employees mainly choose 7shifts for its relatively affordable pricing plans, drag-and-drop employee scheduling, tip pooling, free mobile app, and task management system. Restaurants with more employees than this still sometimes use 7shifts, but its best use case is typically with smaller organizations.
7shifts serves a variety of businesses in the restaurant industry such as coffee shops, full-service restaurants, bakeries, pubs, catering, and cafes to name a few.
While 7shifts is a great option for many restaurants, it does lack in some areas of workforce management, leading some to seek alternative solutions.
Because the platform specializes in a single area, 7shifts might not be the right fit for businesses that fall outside of the food service industry. Even restaurants themselves could find 7shifts unsatisfactory as it often sacrifices configurability for uniformity in restaurant operations. Here are some of the areas where 7shifts sometimes falls short with workforce management and employee scheduling:
Limited reporting: 7shifts’ reporting is quite basic compared to other platforms that promise the same capabilities. For instance, drilling down sales data and comparing it side by side with labor may be challenging within the platform.
Integration challenges: 7shifts’ time tracking system and payroll integration capabilities are reportedly unreliable at times, leading to slower and more error-prone payroll processing. Some user reviews even cite difficulties syncing 7shifts with their POS.
Some critical functions are not available for all plans: Some functionalities are not available in all plans. For instance, weather information is unavailable for lower-tier plans. The same goes for geofencing, state-based compliance, buddy punch prevention, notifications for overtime, meal breaks, and clock-ins.
Inconsistent mobile app experience: While it’s convenient that 7shifts has a mobile app, some users report challenges with using it. The app has many inconsistencies with the desktop version which can lead to confusion at the end user level. Moreover, users often report that changes to the schedule and availability don’t reflect quickly. Navigating around the app is reportedly also difficult.
7shifts may be an efficient platform for scheduling restaurant employees, but some of the drawbacks discussed above may be deal-breakers for certain businesses, especially those outside of the restaurant industry seeking more configurability in their workforce management. If that’s the case for you, take a look at some of these 7shifts alternatives:
Workforce.com is a cloud-based workforce management platform that’s suitable for any business with over 20 employees. Workforce.com is a specialized platform, which means that it’s built with a WFM-first approach. That said, it’s a platform that can simplify and meet even the most complex needs for time and attendance, employee scheduling, labor compliance, reporting, and labor forecasting.
Workforce.com is not limited to just helping restaurants and bars. Businesses from different industries, such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, and staffing, trust Workforce.com. The implementation team ensures demand forecasting, one-click scheduling, labor compliance, and reporting are set up in a way that make sense for your industry and company size.
Workforce.com can easily integrate with leading POS, payroll, HCM, and HR systems, seamlessly fitting into any business’ software stack. This allows for more efficient workflows, forecasting, and reporting. It also covers other core WFM areas such as shift feedback, leave management, shift swapping, and employee onboarding. The platform works both on desktop and mobile devices running on iOS and Android.
Moreover, all of Workforce.com’s features come straight out-of-the-box, with no add-ons or additional cost.
Let’s take a deeper look at Workforce.com’s key benefits and see why restaurant businesses find it effective for workforce management:
Demand-based scheduling: Workforce.com takes into account all necessary factors that determine demand. Aside from historical sales data, it also uses foot traffic, bookings and appointments, weather, seasonality, events, economic trends, and any other relevant details that can affect customer demand. The platform then takes these predictions and adjusts your schedules accordingly, making sure you are never over or understaffed.
One-click scheduling: Workforce.com is equipped with machine learning technology to create schedules in a single click. It builds shifts based on demand forecasts, employee unavailabilty, historical shift patterns, and more, filling them with best fit employees in minutes. The more you use the system, the smarter it becomes.
Integrations: Workforce.com has an open API, which means it can seamlessly integrate with both external platfoms and internally developed systems. Workforce.com builds and maintains a library of integrations to ensure that data syncs smoothly from payroll, HR, and POS systems.
Real-time insights: Leading Indicators™ map labor costs to sales in real-time, enabling frontline managers to stay on top of SPLH and receive alerts on potential overtime.
Wage and labor compliance: Workforce.com has a library of wage and hour laws that apply to all 50 states. It ensures compliance at every step of workforce management. The system sends notifications for potential compliance issues to be addressed before publishing schedules or processing payroll.
Agile shift replacement: Replacing call-outs as efficiently as possible is curcual for restaurant businesses. In case of last-minute absences, employees can easily swap shifts with manager approval, or managers can offer vacant shifts to available staff.
Live shift feedback: Managers can improve operations, boost employee engagement, and make more productive schedules through feedback from employees. Staff can easily rate their shifts according to critical metrics such as staffing levels, communication, and other areas of operations.
Best-in-class configuration: Workforce.com is not limited to a single industry like 7shifts. It’s designed to understand and address the nuances of every business case. Companies realize ROI faster with Workforce.com because the platform is highly customizable. It works to ensure that scheduling, forecasting, and time tracking all work in perfect unison, no matter the company’s industry, operations, or business size.
Seamless timesheet export: Workforce.com makes processing payroll faster and more reliable with its seamless timesheet export capabilities. You can push approved timesheets directly to a payroll provider with a click of a button.
Powerful mobile app: Workforce.com is as reliable on mobile as it is on desktop. Managers can see who’s clocked-in, publish announcements to staff, and approve time off requests and shift replacements. The app is an effective self-serve platform for employees. Aside from seeing their schedules, employees can also clock-in, swap shifts, file leave requests, set unavailability, and update personal details.
Workforce.com offers two pricing plans for mid-market to enterprise-sized clients, both designed to maximize ROI. Depending on the plan selected, you gain full access to the features presented and any subsequent features rolled out. There are no extra fees or expensive add-ons hidden within the plans.
You’ll need to contact Workforce.com directly for more information on pricing.
To really explore the platform and decide for yourself, book a call today to find out more about Workforce.com and its features.
Hotschedules is another popular alternative to 7shifts, as it is another system that’s also geared towards restaurants and hospitality businesses. Hotschedules merged with Fourth in 2019. It is part of the different tools powered by Fourth, essentially making it part of an ecosystem that merges workforce management, with HR, and inventory management.
Simple employee scheduling
Integration with Fourth's inventory management system
Earned wage access
Manager log book
Organizations that need to link employee scheduling with an inventory management system
Restaurants, F&B, and hospitality businesses
You should use Hotschedules if you are looking for a slightly more robust system than 7shifts. It can be easily synced with the rest of the Fourth suite, meaning you’ll get better HR reporting that with 7shifts. If you need task management features as well, Hotschedules could be right for you.
However, Hotschedules interface is much more outdated than 7shifts, making navigation difficult and tedious. Its mobile app is also not free - employees need to pay for the app to be able to use it on their mobile device.
Homebase is a primarily a scheduling and time clock software solution for hourly workers similar to 7shifts, but it also features payroll and some HR functionality.
Free time clock app
Basic time tracking and employee scheduling
Small businesses in need of simple time clocks and scheduling
Restaurants, healthcare, and non-profits
Essentials: $20 per month per location
Plus: $48 per month per location
All In One: $80 per month per location
Homebase is a good alternative to 7shifts if time clocks and payroll are more important to you than scheduling. While 7shifts specializes in restaurant scheduling, Homebase is better for small business time and attendance across a wider variety of industries.
With Homebase, however, you’ll lack the more robust scheduling and demand forecasting features that come with 7shifts and other alternatives. Furthermore, reporting can also be inconsistent, limited, and difficult to view. Integrations can also be an issue as it can have a difficult time connecting to all POS systems, for instance.
Jolt is a software that offers solutions for improving operations in restaurants, retail stores, entertainment venues, and other deskless industries. It has functionalities for team accountability, scheduling, and employee performance management.
Employee task list
Centralized library for on-the-spot training
Food safety controls
Basic employee scheduling and time and attendance
Hospital and healthcare, retail, non-profit
Organizations looking to combine HR and payroll with traditional workforce management
Jolt is very useful for businesses that have different unique tasks involved in their operations. Just like 7shifts, they both have task management functionalities, but Jolt has more specific features for food safety controls.
When it comes to employee scheduling and time and attendance, Jolt tends to lack the depth and automation that larger and more complex businesses require from a workforce management platform.
Recent Toast acquisition Sling is primarily an employee scheduling, communication, and task management platform, but it also offers some baic functionality for time tracking and labor cost optimization.
Employee messaging and newsfeed
Available shift claiming
Seamless integration with Toast POS
Education, hospital and healthcare, restaurants
Toast POS users
SMBs with straightforward scheduling and task management
Premium: $1.70 per user per month
Business: $3.40 per user per month
Sling and 7shifts are very much comparable in the range of solutions they provide. However, Sling is slightly easier to use and appeals to a wider range of industries than 7shifts.
As such, if you are a small business under 20 staff and not in F&B, you should consider using Sling. Businesses that use Toast should also heavily consider using Sling over 7shifts.
However, Sling falls short in a number of ways. It lacks auto-scheduling and demand forecasting - valuable tools to most businesses over 20 staff in the restaurant, retail, and hospitality space. If these functions are important to you, you may want to consider a different alternative.
Push is a software that offers solutions for payroll, HR, employee scheduling, and time tracking.
Job site GPS clock-ins
Construction and manufacturing
Starter: $5 per employee per month
Pro: $6 per employee per month
Premium: $10 per employee per month
Push is a great alternative to 7shifts if you are looking for software that specializes in the intricacies of the manufacturing and construction industries.
Push does a better job handling construction and manufacturing requirements than 7shifts. However, outside of these niche use cases, it may not be th emost practical option. Businesses over 20 staff in any other industry may want to seek a more complete workforce management system as an alternative.
When I Work is a workforce management tool for shift-based businesses. It offers solutions for scheduling and employee time tracking.
Hospitality, F&B, Retail
SMB employee self-service
Standard: $4 per employee per month
Advanced: $8 per employee per month
When I Work is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses looking for easily configurable schedules, but it may not be as scalable as other WFM-focused platforms. It lacks in-depth analytics, has limited schedule views, and runs into time clock accuracy issues.
Businesses looking for ease-of-use and configurability should consider When I Work. Restaurants in need of more robust features to predict demand, forecast labor, and automate scheduling should look elsewhere, as 7shifts already does all of these things better.
When I Work reviews
Connecteam is a business operations and internal communications software that’s designed for deskless teams. It includes solutions for employee scheduling, time tracking, task management, employee engagement, and team communications.
Online forms and checklists
Quizzes and surveys
Employee scheduling and time clock
Wellness & fitness, health, marketing & advertising, consumer goods
Remote work SMBs
Expert: $99/mo for first 30 users
Advanced: $49/mo for first 30 users
Basic: $29/mo for first 30 users
Small Business: free
The most notable features of Connecteam are its employee engagement and task management tools, including quizzes, surveys, checklists, and online forms. These features, in conjunction with online scheduling, make it very efficient for deskless and remote teams to easily stay on top of assignments.
However, if you are a frontline business in food service, hospitality, or retail, this alternative might not be for you. It prioritizes task management and communication over flexible scheduling and accurate time tracking, meaning it is not very helpful when it comes to reducing labor costs, turnover, and absenteeism across your business.