Scheduling Bar Staff: Tips to Reduce Labor Costs

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Labor costs and scheduling bar staff are two of the biggest headaches for managers in the industry. Whether you manage an independent bar, franchise or chain – creating an appropriate staff schedule within budget is a difficult balancing act, and one that takes up a great deal of time. Time that should be better spent managing your business.

Every week is different and your employee schedule should reflect this, don’t just recycle last week’s schedule because you don’t have time. Ensure you have checked the availability of your staff for the coming week, check last week’s schedule to see where you may have been overstaffed and look ahead to any large events that may be planned. Don’t leave yourself struggling to cover shifts at the last minute.

Cost As You Build

Costing as you build allows you to really see where you can save in real-time. 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 for your staff and business. Using barr scheduling software such as Bizimply simplifies this process massively and allows you to keep on top of the metrics that matter to you.

Set Clear Targets

Without clear targets, there is no way to ensure a steady labor cost. Work out what your current target labor cost is based on this week’s schedule and see if you can reduce it by 5% for next week. Small, incremental changes every week make a real difference over a few months.

Monitor Targets

Target sales per labor hour (SPLH) is a great key performance indicator (KPI) to track for your business. If you have target sales of $2000 and target hours of 40 then your SPLH is $50. Try and maintain a steady SPLH throughout the week and don’t let it fluctuate with sales patterns. This will also ensure you have adequate staff cover for each day. Bar scheduling software is one tool that managers use to accurately set, track and monitor their key monthly targets.

Arriving Together?

Do all your staff arrive at the same time for each scheduled shift? Do you need all your staff to be in at the same time? Most shifts require a bit of prep work which usually only takes one or two people. If you adjust your shifts to start in 15 or 30-minute increments then your staff will arrive as you need them.

Are Labor Patterns Reflecting Sales?

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.

Low Service Levels And Too Many Staff?

Remember, sometimes service levels can be affected by having too many staff. Too many staff can often be worse than too few staff. Remember the old saying “the devil makes work for idle hands”.

End Of Week Comparison?

Before launching head first into another busy week, it is important to reflect on what happened last week. Scheduling software for bars helps managers by comparing scheduled labor costs against actual labor costs at the end of every week. You will quickly see if changes are needed.

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