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HotSchedules review

A great management platform for the hospitality sector

Hotschedules
(Image: © Fourth)

Our Verdict

HotSchedules does a very good job of trying to cater for so many different needs of the hospitality sector, from time management to HR, from PoS integration to automation. However, unclear pricing and charged-for apps let the product down.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Cloud-based
  • Time managements
  • HR services
  • Analytics
  • Automation

Against

  • No clear pricing
  • Charged for apps

HotSchedules offers a cloud-based SaaS suite specifically for the restaurant and hospitality sector, that aims to provide solutions for workforce management all driven by analytics and reporting.

Originally built to provide simple scheduling that allowed employees to change, swap, and communication information about their shifts under management supervision, the service has since grown to cover all aspects of HR outsourcing and inventory management.

The service therefore now offers the ability to manage most everything to do with employees and your workplace from a single app, which is ambitious.

Plans and pricing

HotSchedules offers no flat-rate pricing rates on its website, and the only way to find out more about the service is to sign-up for a demo account. As a lot of business owners will recognize, this potentially allows the company to add mark-up according to the size of the client rather than charge a fair rate to all, and means buying decisions are directed on the basis of sales interests.

Additionally, although HR outsourcing is provided, this is actually carried out by third-parties through the HotSchedules app rather than managed directly by Fourth – the company now behind HotSchedules – itself.

HotSchedules

(Image credit: Fourth)

Features

HotSchedules offers a number of features, not least for workforce management, HR services, inventory management and analytics:

 Workforce management

This feature allows for a whole range of recruitment options, from posting to job boards, to monitoring applications, to on-boarding of new staff. Additionally, there’s a work scheduling option that allows manager to easily set up shifts for staff – but perhaps more importantly, also allows employees to simply and easily trade shifts if they need to, while keeping their managers informed. Communication and collaboration are key features at play here to help with overall efficiency.

 Services

HotSchedules also offers a range of HR, payroll, and PEO services to manage your employees for you. This means covering everything from benefits to wages, general HR administration, as well as claims, compliance, and compensation. Risk management, healthcare, and employee discounts can also be managed through this additional service, as well as tax filing, of course.

HotSchedules

(Image credit: Fourth)

 Inventory management

This aims to cover all bases of the customer supply chain, from procurement and purchasing, to inventory management and invoicing, to recipe and menu engineering along with nutritional information. This line of the HotSchedules service allows the company to provide specific solutions for hotel and restaurant chains, both national and global.

 Data and analytics  

A central and customizable dashboard allows for the easy reading and understanding through easy visualization, allowing for easier forecasting as well as general management. There’s also Point of Sale (POS) functionality, meaning that hotels and restaurants can really drill down on key metrics and act on key insights. The ability to automate some workflows also comes into play here.

HotSchedules

(Image credit: Fourth)

Interface and use

The cloud-based interface is actually pretty easy to use, and certainly much easier than software such as Kronos. Additionally, the ability to customize dashboards is a real plus as you can set up only the information you need to work from, yet are still able to call up any further information you need simply and easily.

It’s clear that HotSchedules is working to its strengths from long experience, hence why the app remains focused on the hospitality sector rather than pushing out the app for general use in situations that might be less easy for it to manage.

This means the app works really well for the niche its been built for, and developments and improvements continue to roll out.

However, while HotSchedules is built in the cloud for mobile use, customers actually have to pay the use of the mobile apps. This is a real negative as it’s effectively double-charging the customer for something they should already expect to have paid for.

Support

HotSchedules offers 24/7 phone, email, and ticketing support. There is also a community help section on their website which comprises both a list of FAQs , updates, and tutorials, as well as a customer forum which is a little tricky to navigate but will otherwise allow individual employees to ask more specific questions.

HotSchedules

(Image credit: Fourth)

The competition

There are a number of time and attendance, time management and HR outsourcing out there, but HotSchedules excels by catering specifically for the hospitality niche, and ensuring its service works best for those settings. This makes it difficult to pinpoint another  service that does such a good job not only of covering the basics but also providing the extended range of services that HotSchedules provides to integrate with its core service provision.

Final verdict

Hostschedules offers a broad product for a niche market. While other companies might chase a general range of customers, Hotcchedules works to its strengths and experience in a single specific but large sector.

The platform itself is easy to use and can offer great accessibility to information for both employees and managers alike, and the wider range of bolt on HR outsourcing services could please enterprise clients.

The one frustration is the lack of clear pricing, so keep in mind not just what HotSchedules can do for you, but also how much you’re prepared to pay for it. Additionally, be aware that if your staff want to use the mobile apps they can expect to be charged for it.