Four Ways to Improve Restaurant Labor Management

Bematech Blog - May 29, 2019

image of restaurant manager discussing restaurant labor managmentAside from inventory, labor is one of the biggest expenses restaurant owners must account for. Operating a restaurant successfully requires a near-constant balancing act between costs and revenue. The success or failure of your restaurant depends on how well you can perform this act.

The best way to ensure your profit margins are high, is to optimize restaurant labor management to adequately cover your needs without costing extra. Here are a few ways you can achieve that:

Hire Employees with Flexible Schedules

When it’s time to hire new employees, a flexible schedule should be high on the list of priorities. Flexibility will help you with restaurant labor management immensely because it gives you the ability to create schedules based on labor needs, rather than availability.

You can easily add and drop shifts as needed, helping ensure you are fully staffed without being overstaffed. Should scheduling conflicts arise, it is also easier for employees to cover shifts for their coworkers who are sick or have commitments, which prevents you from being short on labor during busy times.

Reduce Costs of Labor

Make sure you are staying up-to-date on the current market value for any positions you may need to fill. You don’t want to underpay, but you need to make sure you don’t start off paying new hires above the market value, as those costs can add up significantly over time.

If you are frequently paying for overtime, that should signal that you need to review your scheduling and labor requirements, and perhaps add shifts where appropriate. Successful restaurant labor management depends on how well you can forecast labor needs and create schedules to cover them. When you optimize labor schedules, you can cut back on overtime.

Have a Training System in Place

The best way to achieve maximum productivity with your employees is to make sure they are thoroughly trained on their responsibilities. Employees who are unsure of processes and duties often work slower and take longer to get up-to-speed than those who have been properly trained and are confident carrying out tasks quickly.

Maximize the value of time you spend training employees by having them accomplish a variety of responsibilities quickly and often. It’s easy to solidify the correct procedures as habit if they are repeated several times.

As far as restaurant labor management goes, it pays to plan ahead. The restaurant industry environment is ever-changing, and turnover is often high. New generations coming in may not have the soft skills previous generations have had, so make sure you don’t gloss over customer service and interpersonal skills because you assume these are innate. Have a solid training system in place that covers all the bases.

Select the Right Terminal for Your Restaurant Needs

Just as you need to be selective when it comes to the employees you hire, be selective when it comes to the technology you employ as well. The right technology can automate certain tasks and speed up others.

Having a fast Quantum processor allows your POS terminal to run quickly, which helps servers to take orders faster. When your workforce productivity is maximized, less labor is needed, meaning lower costs for you.

A powerful terminal also makes scheduling tasks easier on the restaurant labor management end. You can quickly and easily create schedules that work for your needs and reduce overall costs.

Labor costs will always be a top concern for restaurant owners, but they don’t always have to be a source of stress. When you can combine great employees with sound management and powerful technology, you can create a cohesive system that covers your needs without costing more than you can afford.