We’re willing to bet you opened a restaurant to share incredible food and drink with the world and create a unique place for people to gather – not to become an expert in human resources.
At large companies, the human resources (HR) department is responsible for hiring and training employees, managing benefits like time off and healthcare, and being the employees’ go-to for handling delicate problems. They’re the “people” experts – while owners and managers get to focus on other business concerns.
But in small businesses like restaurants, the reality is that you end up wearing many hats, and head of HR is usually one of them. From hiring and onboarding, to training and managing employees, there are many less-than-glamorous administrative tasks you have to do to run a successful restaurant.
While you don’t need an MBA to conduct human resources-related tasks, it’s helpful to be well-versed in the responsibilities of HR in a restaurant – especially if you don’t want these tasks to take up all of your time (of course you don’t). This means you need to create as many efficiencies as possible, such as using HR forms design specifically for restaurants.
Fortunately, we’re hooking you up!
In this article we’ll share three downloadable HR forms, with step-by-step instructions for using these PDFs at your restaurant:
Time off request form
Employee evaluation form
Employee schedule template
These are the three HR forms every restaurant needs to successfully manage your most important human resource: your employees.
HR Forms for Small Business: How to Use Them at Your Restaurant
When you have systems in place for HR-related tasks, everything goes that much faster. You can spend less time on administrative work (get it right the first time!) and more time on the things that inspired you to open a restaurant in the first place.
HR forms are an integral part of these overall systems and will go a long way toward improving your efficiency and record keeping. And, when you include copies of the forms below in your employee handbook – along with instructions – your staff will know exactly how to use them.
After you’ve downloaded the free forms, read on to find out how to use these HR forms in your restaurant to save time on human resources tasks.
1. Time Off Request Form
A time off request form is a document that your employees fill out to formally ask for periods of time (specific hours, days, weeks) off from work.
Using a time off request form can help you formalize a system for processing requests at your restaurant. Rather than relying on a hodgepodge of methods for receiving requests from your team – verbal requests, emails, texts, sticky notes – this form becomes the only way employees can make a request.
As you process these time off requests, use the forms to record how many vacation, floater, and personal days your employees have used to make sure they aren’t taking more than they’ve accrued.
How to Use Our Employee Time Off Request Form at Your Restaurant
Once you download our time off request form, share the following instructions with your staff so they know how to fill out each field.
Employee name: Let’s trust they know this one.
Direct manager/supervisor: They should write down the name of their immediate supervisor on this line. If your restaurant has several managers, this field will make sure requests stay organized and get in front of the right decision-maker.
Time off request table: Employees should fill out this table, using the following columns:
Start date: Requested time off start date.
End date: Requested time off end date.
Total days: Total number of days off requested. Half days or quarter days could be included here, if your restaurant allows for partial days off.
Reason code: The reason code explains why your employee needs the time off. These codes help your employees request time off without going into personal details. Using abbreviated codes also makes it easier to track how many of each type your employee has taken during one month or one year of employment. The five reason codes we’ve listed here are just suggestions, so you can customize them to fit your restaurant’s specific needs.
Approved: Place a checkmark next to “Yes” if the time off is approved, or next to “No” if the request is denied.
Employee signature: They need to sign and date before submitting the form to management.
Manager signature: The direct manager/supervisor’s signature and date goes here, after the request has been processed.
Note: This template was created for as a general guide, so it might not comply with labor regulations in your area. Before your restaurant uses the form, check with local labor laws and customize the form according to requirements in your state or province.
Learn more about how to create a time off request policy and manage requests at your restaurant, then download our time off request form.
2. Employee Evaluation Form
Restaurants use an employee evaluation form to assess a staff member’s performance over a certain period of time. These forms facilitate performance reviews, which usually happen around an employee’s milestones at the restaurant (i.e. three-month, six-month, one-year anniversaries).
Our employee evaluation form measures performance in various aspects of someone’s current role AND assesses opportunities for professional growth. When you invest in your employees’ success, they’ll be more invested in the success of your restaurant. They’re likely to work at your restaurant longer, saving you from hiring and training new employees. That time and money stays in your pocket.
How to Use Our Employee Evaluation Form at Your Restaurant
For starters, we highly recommend filling out the form before meeting with your employee for their performance evaluation, so you can objectively evaluate the employee.
Section by section, here’s how to fill out our free form for evaluating your employees.
Employee information: This one’s easy. Write in your employee’s name and title, your name and title, date of the evaluation, and date of the employee’s last evaluation.
Employee performance evaluation: Check out the evaluation table in our template, which will helps you break down and grade your employee’s performance by category. Check off the rating that best suits the employee’s performance for that skill set (1 for poor performance, 5 for exceptional). If you need to elaborate on a rating, use the comment boxes below each one to add details. This comment box is also a great place to mention specific examples that support your rating (i.e. specific actions the employee took). Finally, use the “overall performance” box to summarize your employee’s performance.
Goals: This section prompts you to answer questions about your employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and completion of past goals. Leave the last box (goals for the next review period) blank. You and your employee can fill this out together during their review. When an employee is involved in setting goals, they’re more likely to achieve them.
Sign off: Sign and date this line after you’re finished – prior to the in-person review. Have your employee sign their section during the performance review.
Note: We designed this template to cover all restaurant roles, but you can customize the form with categories that suit specific roles at your restaurant or remove some to create a single-page template.
Learn how to conduct an employee performance review (including how to handle a negative performance review), then download our template.
3. Employee Schedule Template
An employee schedule template is a calendar form that helps owners and managers plan shift schedules. You can also use these templates to communicate who is working when to employees.
How to Use Our Employee Schedule Template at Your Restaurant
If you haven’t already, download our free employee shift schedule template. Refer to the filled-in first page for an example of what the template looks like when filled out fully, then try your own on the blank second page.
We’ve divided this human resources template by role type, employee name, and a weekly view of when they’re working. You can also customize the form to fit your restaurant’s needs.
Here’s how to modernize your restaurant’s employee scheduling in four simple steps:
Fill in the first date of your schedule on the “Week of” line.
In the first row of the table, swap out “MM/DD” with the dates for the week you’re working on.
Fill in your employees’ names in the sections that correspond to their roles (front of house, back of house, etc.). If employees have roles in more than one section of the restaurant, include their names in all sections that apply.
Fill in your employees’ shift times for the week. Include start times and end times, keeping in mind that end times don’t have to be a specific hour. You can write “Close” or “Business Decline” in the schedule, and your POS can do the rest, tracking the specific times an employee clocked in and out.
Get your hands on our free employee scheduling template below, then learn more about maximizing your restaurant’s employee schedule, including how to share the schedule and handle conflicts as they come up.
The HR Forms Your Restaurant Needs
While you may not have started a restaurant to become a human resources expert, picking up the basics will help your business run smoother in the long run.
Start your HR form database with our time off request form, employee evaluation form, and employee scheduling template, then add more as your business grows.
Spend less time on administrative tasks and more time doing what you actually love at your restaurant.
Or, ready to upgrade your staffing technology? Ask us about how 7shifts and TouchBistro can automate these processes for restaurants.
About the AuthorMore Content by Katie McCann