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National Restaurant Association - Keep close tabs on your restaurant labor costs

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Keep close tabs on your restaurant labor costs

According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Restaurant Operations Report, labor costs make up a third of sales in a typical restaurant. This means that any increases in labor costs can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

To cut down on unnecessary spend, make data-driven staffing decisions. Excellent customer service and staff retention are always top priorities, and your staff are on the front lines of the customer experience. Equip your employees with information they need to perform well, and strategically place them in roles where they are needed and feel passionate.

Here are four ways to optimize your labor costs:

  • Compile data. Get granular with it. Dive deeper than simply identifying your restaurant’s peak service periods. Look for any overtime trends in your restaurant, and then determine how to get those numbers down without negatively affecting your operations.
  • Avoid over- or under-staffing. Too many staff standing around the dining space can be off-putting to guests, and not enough staff in front- or back-of-the house can lead to bottlenecks and frustrated customers. Analyze your data, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Stagger departures and arrivals. Instead of setting block schedules that have singular arrival and departure times per shift, consider spreading out scheduled clock-ins and -outs by about 15 minutes for select positions. This can help eliminate the chance of not having enough employees on the floor.
  • Simplify your scheduling process. According to the NRA’s 2016 “Mapping the Technology Landscape” research, about a third of restaurants currently use digital scheduling tools. When schedules are available online, employees can reference them from wherever they are, as they wish; if they’d like to make a change, they can request the modification within the scheduling tool. If the change is approved by the manager, all of the scheduled staff can view that change, which eliminates confusion about who’s working and at what times.

This content was provided by HotSchedules.

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