7 ways to cut labor costs in restaurants
David Scott Peters, author, restaurant coach and speaker who teaches restaurant owners how to take control of their businesses, shares the best ways to reduce labor costs and streamline restaurant operations.
Whether your restaurant is entering season or exiting the pandemic, the principles of controlling labor costs are the same. Here are seven ways to cut and control your labor costs, no matter what you’re facing in your restaurant.
Don’t let employees check in too early
Make sure your employees don’t show up too early. Every additional 15 minutes they add to their time is one step closer to overtime. If they don’t think you’re watching, employees will follow the clock. You have to pay attention to the process and put a system in place. Managers need to know what time someone is arriving and make sure they don’t show up too early.
Ask employees to clock in when you tell them
When you let people leave early, whether on demand or out of necessity, make sure employees check in at that time. Otherwise, their “clocking in” can also include a cigarette, eating, flirting with a waiter, or generally dragging their feet. They don’t work – they process the stopwatch. If an employee arrives early, stays longer, makes his parallel work much longer, he earns money, and you lose money.
Audit your time
Make sure your employees are entering the correct work codes. Pay rates differ depending on the job description. An employee can be a waiter and a waiter trainer, but the waiter trainer pays an additional $ 2 per hour. An employee can be a dishwasher and a cook, but as a cook he earns $ 2 more. Make sure employees punch the clock according to the correct work code. If you’re not careful, your employees will benefit.
Audit sales every half hour at your point of sale
If you don’t have a point of sale system, go get one. It is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will ever buy. Point of sale systems have a sales report of half an hour or an hour per hour. When you have a full restaurant you don’t need to cut employees, but once people eat desserts and drink coffee, sales go down and you can start to cut people down. Have employees look at others’ sections and get ahead of your work.
Plan staff based on sales.
If you’re going to be really, really busy, make sure that’s when you’re bringing people in. Now there is a little nuance to that, because sometimes on a Monday, after a very busy weekend, you have some extra preparation. must be done. For many restaurants, Monday is the slowest selling day of the week, but it requires the most production. Some adjustments can be made, but be sure to plan for the sales you generally have.
Avoid overtime at all costs
If you schedule one of your employees to work overtime every week because you don’t want him or her to get a second job, understand that you are giving them time and a half and if you were well provided that half time would. . be in your back pocket. You would only pay someone else once. Now, an asterisk applies to seasonal businesses.
For example, I worked with a restaurateur who had a sports bar in Augusta, Georgia, a few blocks from the Masters. When the masters tournament comes up every year, they have incredible overtime. But you know what? Their sales are breathtaking. They don’t want or need to hire new employees for a weeklong event. So this week they have overtime. You might have it every now and then if your sales will pay off because it creates efficiencies.
Make selection and training a priority
If you find good people and don’t train them, they can make bad employees. These employees cost you in staff costs, wasted food, unhappy guests, and most importantly, reduced sales. You both deserve to know how to do a job the way you want it to.