The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted showing you how to use the Laravel "scheduler" to handle cron jobs and the execution of custom commands.
There are times when your application needs to run administrative tasks periodically on the server. Whether you want to send out emails to your users or clean up the database tables at the end of the day, you will need a task scheduling mechanism to take care of the tasks, when it’s time. Cron is a task scheduler in unix-like systems, which runs shell commands at certain intervals.
They start with some of the basics of cron and how is configuration is defined. Since the Laravel scheduler makes use of the same format, they want to be sure everyone is on the same page. Next they show you how to create a custom command in Laravel, a simple script designed to be run on the command line. The tutorial shows how to execute the simple command and how to add it to your application's "commands" list in the configuration. Finally they get to scheduling the commands, defining a
schedule method and using the Laravel helper methods to set the execution time to something like "daily", "hourly" or, if you need something a bit more custom, a full cron-formatted string. The post ends with the addition of the Laravel scheduler execution to the system cron, set to run every minute.