Quick tips on controlling labor costs

With margins always being tight, any savings, however slight, can make a huge difference. Dramatic savings can be made by having a scheduling and attendance solution for your business but even these practical tips can have an impact.

1. Cost and Build

Costing as you build allows you to really see where you can save. 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.

2. Are labor patterns reflecting sales patterns?

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.

3. End of week comparisons

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

4. Comparing Scheduled and Actual Hours

Is there a pattern emerging with staff leaving later on certain days regardless of how busy you are. It is important to emphasise to your managers that they need to stick to the schedule and ensure their teams finish on time. Try to ensure that staff only sign in when in uniform and sign out before changing.

5. Setting Clear Break Times

Set clear times for breaks so staff know them in advance, preferably at a time that you know will be quiet. Be aware that during quiet periods it is very easy for staff to extend their breaks. Always have cleaning or prep tasks scheduled during quiet periods so there is something to do. Staff who smoke should only do so on their break, not on special “smoke breaks”.

Bizimply have just released their new e-book full of tips on labor cost control for the restaurant industry. It is full of great tips for decreasing labor costs and maximising resources for restaurants.

Controlling restaurant labor costs ebook



5 ways Restaurants are using social media

1. Are your customers checking in.

Make sure your restaurant is a “Place” location on in the Facebook category selections so that visitors can check-in. This gets seen by their friends!

Also, make sure to identify your location on FourSquare and consider offering a special for those that check-in.

2. Show you food on Instagramand Pinterest Remember a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

3. Update Latest Happenings on Twitter

4. Offer Deals and Contests to Grow your Email List and Create Buzz

5. Focus on a great content strategy


Most managers and chefs see stocktaking as tedious chore and often rush through it. But stocktaking should be seen as a pivotal point in the week or month. The objective of the stock taking is not just to get a total financial value for the stock on hand, but also it as an opportunity to better understand your business. It can assist in the detection of pilferage and shrinkage and it will show up slow moving lines.

Restaurant chef in the kitchen

  • Keep your stock sheets updated and arrange stock sheets to match stores. Ensure count sheets have been updated, all old food removed, multiple entries for the same product have been removed.
  • Never ever rush the stock take. Double check, no treble check you stock for discrepancies.
  • Spot checks can be made to ensure that accuracy in the stock take has been obtained.
  • Get the staff to clean and organise all stock rooms prior to doing the stock take. Do they need to sweep the floors, face out all packaging? With case size labels faced out. Having your store rooms organised before the stock take will make the process much easier.
  • Complete the inventory using the Person Process. This reduces the margin of error in counting. One person counts and weighs product and calls them aloud. The other person records and calls back. Remember all inventories should be completed by management.
  • Be sure all scales are placed on a table & solid surface to avoid scales fluctuating and always use a clipboard.
  • Start counting from the back of the kitchen and move forward.
  • Count at the same time every week and ensure the same managers are counting every time. Count all food at the same time. Enter counts immediately and the person who counts should also enter the date to avoid confusion.
  • Have a goal every week after you complete your inventory. Set out an action plan.
  • Be thorough. Complete each storage area before moving on to a new area. Make sure there are no mistakes

Managing Theft

Remember theft from the business can occur through many areas, be they customers, staff or delivery persons and be in stock or cash.

  • Watch out for tell tale signs of theft in your store rooms such as tampering.
  • One beverage ripped out of a case. Always a sure sign of a theft problem.

  • Don’t allow staff to bring in personal bags into the kitchen or the storage areas. Have a properly assigned area.
  • When you hire a new staff member make sure they are very aware of all the security systems and procedures in place. Try to scare them away from any thoughts of dishonesty and make sure they know any theft however small will be easily detected. Ensure all employees sign the employee directory.
  • Most cash theft happens at the tills. Pay attention to the number of voids, refunds, shorts or over by any cashier. Watch to see if any patterns emerge.
  • If you have a theft problem ensure receipts are issued to all customers. Minimizing the possibility of short changing or under ringing. No staff member should be allowed to balance up their own till at the end of their shift.

The Menu Design Guide Book

Inside this guidebook you will find everything you need to know about designing a great restaurant menu and some excellent tips on how to turn your menu into your most important marketing tool.
Full of helpful tips to help you can create your own eye-catching layout with ease. Learn how to utilize the psychology of item placement.

Restaurant start up guide

Click here to download the menu design guide