Time management in hospitality: what is T&A and why is it so important?

Understanding timesheet management is fundamental for efficiently managing teams in the hospitality industry. And it's not just about clocking in or out.  

Knowing how to deal with hotel, bar and restaurant time and attendance effectively can help you control costs, stay compliant, keep your teams happy, and more. 

So, today we'll show you how to achieve this and what to consider when it comes to time and attendance in the hospitality sector.  

What exactly is T&A or time management in hospitality?  

As you probably know, time and attendance, or T&A, refers to tracking employees' working hours and breaks by clocking in and out

But it doesn't just end there.  

Among many other reasons, tracking employee attendance in hospitality is essential as it enables you to identify time theft. That is, hidden labour costs resulting from employees getting paid for time they didn't work.  Time theft often occurs when employees take extended breaks or round up working hours. As you can imagine, this can be extremely costly to your company. 

Efficient time and attendance management is essential for your teams as it provides transparency over their working hours and shifts. It's also vital for employees commuting or working remotely, as it enables them to keep track of their working time and well-earned breaks. 

On the other hand, tracking time and attendance helps you stay compliant with local labour laws. As of 2019, companies in EU member states are obliged to keep a record of their employees' daily working time, and in the UK, employers must comply with similar laws. 

Why do you need to track hotel and restaurant time and attendance? 

In the UK, for example, the Working Time Regulations (1998) states employers must keep a record of employees' daily and weekly working hours for at least two years. The records must be accurate and prove the company abides by the law, ensuring employees don't exceed the weekly working time limit, take sufficient breaks, etc.   

Such laws aim to avoid errors and malpractice, like excessive overtime or failing to compensate employees working shifts outside their contract. 

Perhaps the main obstacle in accurately tracking bar and restaurant time and attendance is the nature of the workflow. For example, rotating schedules, split and weekend shifts and breaks between working hours can complicate timesheet management. The good news is that there are plenty of tools today that can help. 

With so many options available, choose a time and attendance software designed specifically for time management in hospitality, like Workforce by MAPAL. Our software provides transparency to your employees, saves managers time and helps your company avoid fines by ensuring you stay compliant. 

Not only that, but T&A systems like Workforce are hugely convenient, enabling you to track your teams' working hours remotely. For instance, food delivery drivers can clock in or out from their vehicles, area managers can monitor several sites from a single app, and remote workers can benefit from more control and visibility over their working hours. 

Lastly, timesheet management is fundamental because it avoids unnecessary overtime, helping you save money and better use your resources

How to simplify time and attendance management in hospitality 

Keeping track of T&A on paper simply isn't an option anymore. Manual T&A tracking is time-consuming, makes storage and access to records complicated and leaves too much room for errors. The latter, of course, can harm your team's satisfaction. And as shift schedules can't be used to track employees' working time either, you'll most likely need another T&A system.  

Fortunately, tracking T&A can be made quick and efficient, thanks to mobile apps, iris recognition, QR codes, etc

SmartHub by MAPAL is one of the most innovative timesheet management solutions, using fingerprints to register employees' working time and attendance.  This technology enables your team to clock in and out with their fingerprint or via QR code through our app, all on their own device. 

It uses a team management app that lets you set up quick work climate surveys, so you can find out how your employees feel before and after their shift. This makes measuring and keeping track of your teams' satisfaction much more manageable and enables you to solve problems before they arise. 

How can a time management system for hospitality like Workforce benefit you and your company? 

We've established that time and attendance go beyond clocking in and out. So now, let's look at the benefits of using a T&A system for hospitality, like Workforce:  

  • Time savings: managers and employees can register their working hours from their devices. 

  • Less paper and reduced admin and human error. Vital nowadays, both from a practical and environmental standpoint. 

  • Happier teams: employees have more transparency, and everyone knows where they are. 

  • Increased employee responsibility, as they have to remember to clock in and out. 

  • Quick workplace climate surveys, so you can easily stay on top of your teams' satisfaction. 

  • Seamless onboarding processes, as new employees gain access to the platform from the first day. 

  • Quick and efficient team planning, with everything in one place. 

  • Streamlined employee time tracking through fingerprints, cards, QR codes or the mobile app (ensuring contactless clocking). 

  • Real-time T&A notifications, so everyone is kept up to date.  

  • Restricted clock-in function to ensure you stay compliant. For instance, Workforce prevents employees from clocking in before their shift starts. 

  • Break management functions to avoid time theft and help reduce absenteeism. 

  • Simplified bar, café, and restaurant scheduling. 

  • Productivity algorithm. 

  • Shift finder to cover unexpected absences. 

  • Easy, on-demand pay with Hastee (according to different countries' laws) 

  • Improved safety. 

  • Integration with HR and accounting systems like SAP and Sage. 


Finally, the software is intuitive and easy to use for employees, regardless of their technological skills, and extremely comfortable for managers, saving time and increasing productivity. 

As we've seen in this article, the key to effective time management in hospitality is implementing technology to help you stay compliant, reduce costs, and keep your teams motivated.  

That means swapping paper and Excel spreadsheets for technological solutions designed specifically for the hospitality industry, like Workforce. See for yourself the many ways investing in hospitality time management software can benefit you and your teams. 

If you're looking for a solid workforce management solution to simplify timesheet management, get in touch by clicking here