5 Benefits of Operating a Split Shift System at Your Restaurant

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Photo by Valeria Boltneva 

Ever heard the term “9 to 5”?

I bet you have.

You are probably working a 9 to 5 job right now. Well, unless you work at a restaurant or a hotel, in which case, you don’t.

That’s because the hospitality industry works a little differently. There are very few hotels or restaurants (if any) that have staffs that work the full day. Usually they have their staff work long, continuous shifts, but you already knew that.

What you may not know about is a shift system that makes more financial and operational sense.

And that is the Split Shift system.


What Is A Split Shift System?

A split shift system is a unique type of work scheduling where a workday is split into a couple or more separate parts with a significant amount of time (usually an over an hour) between each part.

The entire working period still sums up to 8 hours like you’d get with a 9 to 5 or regular shift system. However, the hours between each shift are non-paid.

For instance, a waiter may have their 8-hour work shift split into two chunks. They work from 10am to 1pm, go on a 3-hour (unpaid) break, and return at 4pm to work till 9pm.

Why Does The Hospitality Industry Need The Split Shift System?

Well, for one, the hospitality in general is facing a labour shortage crisis. I’m sure you already know how that can affect business. The split shift system can be used to ensure that you have enough hands on deck during your rush hours.

On the other hand, the split shift system discourages employee burnout from working long hours. It also reduces labour costs during off-peak periods by preventing overstaffing.

Interested much?

Let’s look at 5 benefits of running a split shift system…

  1. Saves Labour Cost

Yes, I already mentioned this earlier, but I believe it’s worth mentioning again. There are but a few things that eat into restaurant (and hospitality industry businesses) profits like labour costs.

This is why the split shift system is crucial.

It helps you have just the right number of staff to help during peak periods and off-peak periods as well. As a result, you get to keep as much of your profit as possible.

  1. Improves Customer Experience

Every customer wants to have the best experience when doing business with a brand. However, being understaffed during rush hours will not help you provide that experience.

That’s why you need to implement the split shift system. With it, you are guaranteed to have enough hands to help meet the demands of hours. This prevents overwhelming any staff member and allows your operations run smoothly during those hours.

  1. Prevent Employee Burnout

Having your staff work long hours is the best way to cause them to burnout. Being understaffed during rush hours puts a lot of work on the staffs on duty. As a result, you’d stress out your staff members and get them cranky.

In fact, you even stand a chance of losing staff members who may get weary of the long and hard work hours and decide to quit.

And so, the split shift system ensures that every staff member has the level of backup they need to reduce the stress. Additionally, you can be sure of high customer turnover when you the right amount of staff on ground. Plus, your staff will get good tips.

  1. Increases Productivity

Did you know that the longer and employee works, the lower their productivity gets? Sadly, many business owners believe the opposite.

Humans are like batteries; they need to recharge every now and then in order to work optimally. Using the split shift system, you give your staff ample time to take the load off. This way, they can return refreshed and reenergized and more productive.

  1. Flexible Work Arrangement

Everyone has a life outside work, including you. Having a work-life balance is important to the health and wellbeing of your staff, and also their productivity.

And so, employees prefer to work with businesses that offer flexible work schedules.

The split shift system offers your employees ample to sort of personal stuffs without negatively impacting work.


I believe you have understood the perks of the split shift system and are willing to give it a try. Before you do, be sure that you are thoroughly conversant with your local labour laws.

Next, you want to communicate with your employees when you are planning their split shift. Letting them in on it early enough is a sure-fire way to avoid misunderstandings during implementation.

Furthermore, you could introduce the split shift system to interview candidates to know how they feel about it.

One more thing…

The split shift system helps you ensure that you have enough staff on ground to have a smooth operation during peak hours.

But how can you tell when you’d have a peak hour?

Guess work? I don’t think so.

Here’s something that works like a dream – SpotOn Wi-Fi.

SpotOn Wi-Fi is a Wi-Fi marketing and analytics platform that integrates seamlessly with your guest Wi-Fi and allows you collect customer data in real time. It’ll help you know when the have a peak period approaching and help you prepare adequately for it.

Would you just love that?

Get in touch with us and we’ll show the other capabilities of our software and how it can help you boost sales.

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