Fixed Labor Costs and Staffing

There is a certain fixed labor cost that a restaurant can not drop below without affecting service quality levels. These costs include the minimum staffing levels required to open the restaurant each day and do the prep work. Optimal staffing procedures call for gradually increasing scheduled wait and kitchen staff as the restaurant moves towards its daily peak traffic times and cutting staff as the volume wanes.

A schedule that looks good on paper may not actually work as the week progresses. Scheduling is constantly a work in progress that is governed by these guidelines:

  1. Train shift managers to ensure that everyone is working to their full capacity.
  2. Do not overstaff on shift managers.
  3. Monitor kitchen, wait and support staff and adjust for peak and off-periods as necessary.
  4. Senior management or owners should review schedules created by subordinates on a regular basis.
  5. Establish and review cut policies to avoid over-staffing during slow periods.
  6. Ensure that shift managers closely monitor staff to ensure that side-work and opening/closing duties are being performed efficiently and as quickly as possible.
  7. Calculate payroll costs at the end of every pay period.
  8. Monitor payroll percentages to be sure that they are in line with sales.
  9. Adjust schedules during the week to reflect business realities.

It takes good scheduling skills and close monitoring to keep payroll costs under control but the end result will be a noticeable increase in profits.

How long does it take to make an employee schedule? It should take less than 5 minutes! Did you know that labor costs could be as much as 30% of your expenses? TimeForge can help streamline and minimize labor costs through effective employee scheduling at your restaurant, bar, or club.

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