3 Ways to Reduce Labor Costs in a Restaurant

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Restaurant EmployeesThereare certain expenditures that every restaurant owner must deal with, including
utilities, restaurant furnishings and labor costs. Of these three expenses, though, labor is the
area where most culinary entrepreneurs don’t realize they can save money. Fortunately, saving on labor doesn’t mean
firing employees. Through a few proven
cost-saving methods, restaurateurs can cut back on labor costs while
maintaining a full staff.

Evaluate Employee Scheduling
When
all of the bar tables are packed on a Friday night, it makes sense to have a
full force of servers on hand. When most
of the restaurant furnishings are empty in the middle of the day on Tuesday,
however, where’s the need for six servers? It’s imperative to consider how busy the place will be on any given day,
and if things are even slower than anticipated, it doesn’t hurt to let a few
servers go home early.

Additionally,
labor costs can be reduced by considering how many hours employees are actually
working. Once they meet a certain
threshold, every restaurant worker becomes full-time. This means benefits have to be offered at
that point. A smart restaurateur will
evaluate how many full-time employees are actually needed and keep others below
that mark.

Audit Clock-in
Practices
One
essential way of cutting back on labor costs is to perform periodic audits of
employee clock-in and clock-out practices. Workers looking to make a few extra dollars often get on the clock
before their shift starts. While in most
cases, employees won’t clock in more than fifteen minutes early, all of this
will eventually add up. So if workers
show up early, tell them to wait it out in a cafe chair unless they’re needed.

Additionally,
many back-of-house (BOH) line workers perform more than one job. In most instances, these positions are paid
differently. Ensure that these employees
aren’t clocking in under the wrong job code to earn a few extra dollars per
hour.

Increase Worker
Productivity
When
restaurant employees are being more productive, the restaurant owner is getting
more for their labor dollars. This is a
simple fact of life. If servers get
their side work done quickly, they’re not on the clock as long after
closing. The same holds true for BOH employees. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to
increase productivity at an eatery.

Increasing
productivity begins with training. Even
if this requires downloading lessons online, an effective training course
should be held for all new employees. And even after training is done, it doesn’t hurt to have the new hire
work alongside an experienced crew member or trainer for a while.

Also
remember that having the right tools for the job make for more efficient
employees. If an eatery’s main offerings
all require the same mode of cooking, for instance, it’s smart for even small
establishments to opt for commercial restaurant equipment that can handle large
quantities of the fare.

Restaurateurs have to spend money to make money,
but profits simply won’t be impressive if they continue to spend too much. Fortunately, by reviewing their labor
practices, owners can ensure they keep their restaurant furnishings full
without breaking the bank on labor.