5 tips for taking control of labor costs

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Controlling Restaurant Labor Costs

Only by understanding the problems faced by restaurant managers can you hope to build a quality solution. In our experience many problems stem from the weekly schedule and the tracking of time and attendance.
1. Cost and Build

Costing as you build allows you to really see where you can save. If you wait until the end then it becomes a mad dash to cut hours and stay on budget, which always leads to inefficient schedules.

2. Are labor patterns reflecting sales patterns?
When your sales increase your labor cost may increase but when sales decrease do your labor costs decrease?
In order to achieve a reduction in costs you have to schedule accordingly and anticipate periods of low sales as well as high sales.

3. End of week comparisons
Before launching head first into another busy week, it is important to reflect on what happened last week. Try comparing scheduled labor costs against actual labor costs at the end of every week. You will quickly see if changes are needed.

4. Comparing Scheduled and Actual Hours
Is there a pattern emerging with staff leaving later on certain days regardless of how busy you are. It is important to emphasise to your managers that they need to stick to the schedule and ensure their teams finish on time. Try to ensure that staff only sign in when in uniform and sign out before changing.

5. Setting Clear Break Times
Set clear times for breaks so staff know them in advance, preferably at a time that you know will be quiet. Be aware that during quiet periods it is very easy for staff to extend their breaks. Always have cleaning or prep tasks scheduled during quiet periods so there is something to do. Staff who smoke should only do so on their break, not on special “smoke breaks”.

We have just released our new e-book full of tips on labor cost control for the restaurant industry. It is full of great tips for decreasing labor costs and maximising resources for restaurants.

Controlling restaurant labor costs ebook

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