The 7shifts Tools to be Thankful for this Holiday Season (2023 Edition)

The 7shifts Tools to be Thankful for this Holiday Season (2023 Edition)
D. J. Costantino

By D. J. Costantino

The holiday season is upon us, and that means big parties, holiday specials, and private events are, too. And the days move at a breakneck speed with the double whammy of Thanksgiving followed by Christmas, with Hanukkah often in between (in 2023, Hanukkah begins the evening of Thursday, December 7).

And sometimes it feels like the holiday season extends past New Year’s to the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

It’s a busy time of year for food service, and the last place operators need to be is in the back office fixing schedules, tracking availability, and manually paying employees. 7shifts makes it easier to manage your restaurant year-round, but during busy seasons like the holidays, there are several tools that you’ll be especially thankful for.

Communicate better

Communication is always crucial for a successful restaurant team, and it becomes essential when things get busy during the holidays.


7shifts' built-in team communication tools allow managers to send one-way announcements to the entire team—and see who's read them. Whether you're reminding everyone about a holiday special, or just sending some words or encouragement in a busy time, you can ensure you're being seen and heard.


Beyond announcements, 7shifts’ messaging creates one consolidated place for you and your team to talk to each other, which comes in handy during the holidays when lousy weather disrupts public transit. Rather than playing telephone tag or keeping tabs on your email, texts, and WhatsApp, staff can easily reach the team to share that their bus is late.


Events pack a restaurant’s holiday calendar. Between business dinners, big tables, corporate events, and more, there may be something to note every night. 7shifts lets managers add these to the calendar so they’re displayed for everyone to see.

sample events in the 7shifts app calendar

Schedule based on actual data

Your gut feeling may be to schedule more staff over the holidays. Still, the data might suggest otherwise. 7shifts makes it easy to check schedules against projected sales, with the previous year’s schedule and sales data to inform the holiday roster. With tools like historical weather and Manager Log Book notes, you can ensure you have all the correct and relevant information to make smarter scheduling decisions.

7shifts also makes it easy to see where your labor dollars are going, so it’s easy to make sure time-and-a-half pay rates don’t balloon your costs.

Make availability a breeze

As busy as the holidays are, they’re also a popular time for vacation requests, which can make scheduling a manager’s nightmare. The 7shifts mobile app makes it easy for your team to submit timely holiday time off requests from their phone. Managers can approve with one tap, and when they go to build that schedule, that availability is impossible to miss.

Need to block off the busiest days that you need all hands on deck? That's easy, too.

Block certain days for employee availability

Empower your team to collaborate on their schedule

During the holiday season, things come up—last-minute invites, surprise family visits. Everyone on your team has unique life circumstances that can suddenly impact the schedule.

Mike Bausch of Andolini's calls this approach “scheduling with empathy.”

7shifts’ mobile app empowers employees to easily swap shifts or offer them up to whoever wants to work a few more hours (holiday shopping, anyone?). Approvals go directly to managers, making changes to the schedule quicker and easier than ever.

Pay bonuses and overtime without extra work

Mistakes on the paystub are always costly—but they can have an extra sting around the holidays. With the holidays comes overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses—more variable pay and more room for error, causing payday headaches in an already hectic time.

But with the arrival of 7shifts Payroll Software, it’s all made simple.

For holiday bonuses, it’s as simple as entering the dollar amount for each and any employee whenever you run restaurant payroll—7shifts handles the rest.

As for overtime hours, they’re transferred directly from the schedule and time clocking into 7shifts Payroll—no extra spreadsheets or manual calculations, and less room for error.

Simplify Tip Management

If your restaurant pools tips, managing generous payouts during the holidays can be hectic. Large parties and take-out add to the tipping puzzle.

7shifts’ tip management features simplify it by managing calculations and distribution. Tip Pooling software lets you control where the tips are coming from, which roles contribute to or receive from the pool, and calculate the distribution. Then, you can send your pooled and non-pooled tips directly to employee debit accounts in seconds with Tip Payouts. If you prefer to send them to payroll instead, 7shifts does that, too (with tax deductions included).

Screenshot from 7shifts' Tip Management dashboard showing how employees get paid out

Stay on top of your team morale

Joy, happiness, and celebrations are synonymous with the holiday season. But for many, it can take a toll on mental health. You can't help in every aspect of a team member's life, but you can make your workplace a positive place for all.

7shifts’ engagement features give insights into individual and team sentiments and experiences. Once their shift is over, team members can receive automated feedback surveys so you can quickly identify issues before they become problems. You can also use shift feedback scores to monitor week-to-week changes and reach out to employees needing extra support.

most and least engaged employees

Onboard seasonal employees on the fly

During the busy holiday season, you may need to ramp up new hires quickly or bring on a handful of seasonal employees. 7shifts onboarding makes this simple. You can send packages of all requisite forms to multiple people simultaneously and track the progress—no photocopying or emails. Employees don't have to come in several times in advance or use their first shift to fill things out.

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D. J. Costantino
D. J. Costantino

Hi! I'm D.J., 7shifts' resident Content Writer. I come from a family of chefs and have a background in food journalism. I'm always looking for ways to help make the restaurant industry better!