Top 6 Best Attendance Systems for Restaurant Managers

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

As a CEO of a time-tracking software company, my team and I are constantly looking at the best B2B software to know what’s going on in the market. That means we’re often researching about and/or playing around with their products; you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings on the best attendance systems for restaurant managers, giving credit to those products where credit is due and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. And so, there you have it, this review, and in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful. I hope it helps you make the right decision…


According to a study, employee absenteeism costs organizations in the US restaurant industry more than 15% of annual profits. That’s A LOT. And as a restaurant manager, it’s crucial to address this issue head-on. One way to do it is through implementing a reliable attendance system.

Attendance systems offer a range of functionalities that can help you manage employee attendance effectively. You can use them to track attendance, manage leaves, and create schedules. Some systems can even generate comprehensive attendance reports, enabling managers to identify patterns of absenteeism and allowing for proactive interventions.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 6 attendance systems for restaurant managers like yourself. With the help of these trusty tools, you can run your restaurant like a well-oiled machine and ensure you’re never short-staffed.

Restaurant workers having a meeting with the restaurant manager.

Top 6 Best Attendance Systems for Restaurant Managers

To help you choose the right attendance system for your restaurant management success, here is a carefully curated list of six attendance systems that are poised to spice up your restaurant management game!

The Definitive List

1. Jibble

Jibble is an easy-to-use attendance system that combines time tracking, team collaboration, and helpful reports all in one. Think of it as your assistant in creating a smooth work environment and boosting productivity.

Jibble’s user interface is as smooth as a perfectly blended sauce. Staff members can clock in and out with facial recognition, adding a touch of tech-savviness to the process. In addition to this, you can also turn a tablet into a cool shared kiosk at your workplace to make clocking in a fun routine.

The employee-friendly attendance tracker promotes transparency and improved productivity. With features like the employee GPS tracker, Jibble ensures accurate attendance by verifying that your team is in the right place at the right time. The real-time dashboard lets you know who’s in or out, displaying hours tracked by organization, group, schedule, or location, putting you in control of your restaurant’s staffing dynamics.

Never worry about forgetting to “jibble” with Jibble’s time and location-based reminders. Whether it’s reminding team members to clock in upon arrival, clock out when leaving work, or automatically logging hours after a specified time, Jibble keeps everyone on track and attendance records accurate for a well-managed and thriving restaurant.

Key Features

  • Clock-in/clock-out with facial recognition
  • Geolocation tracking for mobile staff
  • Customizable reports for in-depth insights
  • Real-time timesheets and reports that calculate overtime automatically
  • Mobile app convenience
  • Kiosk Mode
  • Administrative Flexibility
  • Integration Capabilities
  • Task and Project Tracking

What Users Like

  • Easy to use
  • Facial recognition for accurate attendance tracking
  • Mobile app convenience for remote team members
  • Seamless integration with Slack and other platforms
  • Automated reports

What Users Don’t Like

  • Orange isn’t their favorite color!

Is Jibble Free?

Absolutely! Jibble offers a generous 100% free plan that provides essential attendance tracking features to streamline your restaurant operations. Experience the power of Jibble’s capabilities without cost barriers.

2. TimeForge

TimeForge is your scheduling expert, making it easy to plan shifts, predict staffing needs, and keep track of attendance. Think of it like having a skilled conductor guiding your team.

Using TimeForge is as simple as following a recipe. Predictive scheduling ensures you have the right number of staff during busy times, ensuring a great dining experience. The time clock feature adds accuracy, avoiding mistakes in tracking work hours. And the labor forecasting tool helps you plan for busy shifts, so you can allocate resources wisely.

Key Features

  • Predictive scheduling for optimal staffing
  • Time clock integration for accurate tracking
  • Labor forecasting to anticipate busy periods
  • Automated payroll reporting to popular payroll processors
  • Optional fingerprint scanners to eliminate buddy punching and sweethearting

What Users Like

  • Easy to use
  • Employees can see their schedule and request time off and paid time off from their app
  • Exports hours easily to your payroll provider
  • Real-time updates in sales and attendance
  • Labor optimization, ats, and onboarding, all in one place
  • Multiple scheduling functions to support a fair workweek
  • Lots of customization options to fit your business needs

What Users Don’t Like

  • Has limited access through mobile
  • The training curve can be a bit longer for new team members and for the management level

Is TimeForge Free?

TimeForge offers various pricing plans tailored to different business needs. While it does provide a free trial period, full access to its advanced features may require a subscription. Be sure to explore the pricing options to determine the best fit for your restaurant.

3. 7Shifts

7shifts excels when it comes to scheduling and attendance management.

This attendance system is easy to use and efficient. It uses smart scheduling to make sure your staff’s availability is the top priority, avoiding conflicts and ensuring you have the right number of people on shift. Swapping shifts and asking for time off is simple, promoting teamwork and a positive work environment. Plus, you get clear insights into your restaurant’s staffing performance with detailed attendance information.

Key Features

  • Shift scheduling
  • Availability management
  • Shift swapping and requests
  • Time clock and punch management
  • Labor budgeting
  • Auto-scheduling
  • Communication tools
  • Mobile app
  • Performance analytics
  • Integration possibilities

What Users Like

  • AI-driven optimization
  • Collaborative environment
  • Attendance insights
  • Allows staff to set a weekly schedule of availability
  • Chat and announcements feature lets communication flow without messier emails and texts
  • App-based time off submissions
  • Shift pool
  • Copy-to-next-week feature

What Users Don’t Like

  • Steep learning curve
  • New tools are not thoughtful and don’t work with other systems
  • Missing the ability to see which manager makes what changes to already published schedules
  • The weather on the manager logbook can be a little janky sometimes
  • Labor % isn’t always correct
  • Inability to get a good view of hourly shift coverage in the mobile app

Is 7Shifts Free?

7shifts provides a range of pricing plans, including a free option with limited features. To unlock the full potential of 7shifts, you might want to consider one of their paid plans, which offers more comprehensive attendance and scheduling features.

4. Deputy

Deputy is another solution for precision-driven restaurant staff scheduling and attendance tracking. Seamlessly integrating robust features, Deputy empowers you to streamline operations, enhance collaboration, and maximize productivity.

Much like the harmony in a well-tuned kitchen, Deputy’s intuitive interface effortlessly orchestrates shift scheduling and time tracking. Real-time communication tools enhance team coordination, guaranteeing seamless service on the restaurant floor.

Moreover, with the ability to assign tasks and manage shifts all in one place, Deputy simplifies the operational complexities, allowing you to focus on delivering an exceptional dining experience.

Key Features

  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Scheduling and shift management
  • Real-time communication
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Geolocation tracking
  • Task and activity management
  • Overtime and labor compliance
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Integration capabilities
  • Employee self-service

What Users Like

  • Ease of clocking in and out
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comprehensive scheduling
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Geolocation tracking
  • Real-time updates
  • Ease of inputting employees into the system and placing employees into shifts

What Users Don’t Like

  • Many glitches when it comes to connecting with “RUN” or scheduling
  • Occasional syncing issues between devices
  • Reporting options could be more robust
  • Inefficient customer support

Is Deputy Free?

Deputy offers a free trial period, allowing you to explore its features before making a commitment. However, for ongoing use and access to its advanced attendance tracking capabilities, you’ll need to select one of Deputy’s subscription plans.

5. Toast POS

Toast POS is renowned for its point-of-sale prowess, but it also brings integrated attendance tracking to the table. It’s like having a multi-talented server who handles orders and attendance with finesse.

When it comes to user experience, Toast POS ensures that attendance management seamlessly integrates with your existing POS system. Labor cost analysis tools help you manage staffing expenses efficiently.

Key Features

  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Integrated scheduling
  • Labor cost management
  • Shift notifications
  • Employee performance metrics
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Payroll integration
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Compliance with labor laws
  • Customizable permissions

What Users Like

  • Allows users to log on to its website to edit menu items, run reports, track punch-ins
  • Ease of use of the POS, the reports, payroll
  • Incredible reporting and kitchen management
  • Kitchen display screen is a lifesaver

What Users Don’t Like

  • Can slow down, which isn’t good news when the restaurant is busy
  • Occasional difficulty with card reader/ hardware
  • User permission levels are clunky to implement, as well as modifiers for food items
  • Almost always crashes, freezes, or goes offline every time there’s an update on their system, causing employees to freak out when they can’t get it back up and running
  • Reports cannot be easily pulled for long date ranges
  • Lacking on customer support
  • Relatively high cost

Is Toast POS Free?

While Toast POS is primarily known for its point-of-sale capabilities, it does offer integrated attendance tracking as part of its suite of services. However, the full extent of its attendance features may require a subscription or additional fees, depending on your restaurant’s needs.

6. When I Work

When I Work is a valuable tool for restaurant managers looking to streamline attendance management. This cloud-based solution caters to the unique needs of shift-based workplaces, especially in the restaurant industry. It covers essential features such as time tracking, scheduling, attendance management, and communication, making it a popular choice among businesses in hospitality and retail.

One standout feature of When I Work is its user-friendly communication system called WorkChat. This makes it incredibly easy for managers to relay shift information, make schedule changes, and communicate important updates to the entire team or specific individuals. The software’s time clock feature is designed with a fast-paced workday in mind, allowing employees to clock in and out seamlessly. Managers also have the flexibility to clock employees in or out on their behalf, addressing common challenges like forgetfulness.

Key Features

  • Shift scheduling
  • Availability management
  • Shift swapping and requests
  • Time clock and attendance tracking
  • Labor budgeting
  • Auto-scheduling
  • Communication tools
  • Mobile app access
  • Performance analytics
  • Integration capabilities

What Users Like

  • Ease of scheduling and accessibility
  • Utilizes employees’ availabilities
  • Ability to see that employees had acknowledged their schedules
  • Easy to see requests off or vacations, and set-up reminders
  • Shifts can be dropped and picked up with just a click away
  • Attendance reports are so helpful and assist in tracking and positively affecting labor
  • Ability to share a “real-time” schedule with a large team of people

What Users Don’t Like

  • No reports for tasking so we can look back to plan/coach forward
  • The program is much easier to schedule from the desktop than it is from using the app on a device
  • Can be slow at times
  • Integration issues with certain third-party applications

Is When I Work Free?

When I Work provides a free plan with basic attendance and scheduling features. To access more advanced tools and customization options, you can explore their paid plans, which offer enhanced functionality tailored to your restaurant’s requirements.

How to Choose the Best Attendance Systems for Restaurant Managers?

Much like crafting a mouthwatering menu, choosing the right attendance system involves careful consideration. Here’s your secret recipe for picking the perfect blend:

  1. Flavorful Functionality: Does the system offer attendance tracking, scheduling, and reporting that tickles your managerial taste buds?
  2. Integration Elegance: Just as fine wine complements a meal, seek a system that seamlessly syncs with your existing software, enhancing your operational harmony.
  3. Mobile Magic: In today’s fast-paced kitchen, mobile accessibility is a must. Ensure your chosen system lets you whip up attendance magic on the go.
  4. Tender Customer Support: Like a well-timed waiter, responsive customer support should be at your beck and call, ensuring a delightful experience.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select the best app for online attendance tracking that seamlessly integrates into your organization’s workflow, enhances productivity, and simplifies attendance management.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the complex landscape of restaurant management requires the right tools, and investing in a reliable attendance system is undoubtedly a game-changer.

The top 6 best attendance systems for restaurant managers presented in this article are designed to empower restaurant owners and managers with the means to efficiently track, manage, and optimize workforce attendance. From streamlined scheduling to real-time insights, these systems cater to the unique demands of the restaurant industry, ensuring a harmonious blend of operational efficiency and employee satisfaction.