Staffing Management

What are shift simulations?

By Tasmin Trezise

Jun. 18, 2021

Would you still have those times where no one had anything to do because it was dead quiet? Could you avoid negative experiences for customers required to wait due to understaffing?

Instead of throwing 100’s of staffing, shift, and customer demand numbers in front of your managers and expecting them to understand what they mean, The workforce shift simulation plays out their day of operations for them in a way they can see and understand. It’s more like a movie than a spreadsheet. 

Introduction to the research, Multi-Agent Simulation-Based Analysis for Restaurant Service:

In 30 seconds, managers watch how their day will play out in front of them. The consequences of the schedule they build and the anticipated customer demand is spelt out visually, based not on complex equations and quantitative inputs, but by a set of simple rules that anyone can observe in both employees and customers.

Most importantly, they can then adjust the inputs to improve the outcome for things like customer wait time, employee fatigue, and overstaffing leading to substantial results and superior performance.

What impact will the 5% discount will have across the business? If a promotion increases customers by 5%, but gross profit by 1%, will we be better off?

Today, most of these decisions are made using linear models with spreadsheets. However, businesses are complex systems, and every change impacts another. Shift simulation allows businesses to model the impact each strategy will have on each business unit, present it in a simple format for front-line managers and empower better decisions.

Tasmin Trezise is the President of


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