4 Ways to Stay Efficient with Restaurant Labor Management

Jun 19, 2020 | Insights, Technology

This article looks at practical ways in which a restaurant can take control of its labor planning and scheduling.

The following tips can help you institute practices that ultimately lead to efficiencies in labor cost, reduced staff turnover, and better preparedness to handle unforeseen operational disruptions from a staffing perspective.

Streamline staff communications

During the pandemic, most restaurants have had to reduce their labor capacity due to reduced dine-in service. Moving to a staggered shift routine for both your front of house and kitchen house can make communications challenging especially if key service messages are not coming from a centralized source.

With the Squirrel POS communications center, restaurant managers can benefit from uploading key information into a single source – the Squirrel POS, that then receives staff-wide visibility.

In a situation where your restaurant is short-staffed, pushing messages through the Squirrel POS communications center can serve as a pre-service meeting, where information about specials, best practices, and the need to maintain standards in service can be effectively communicated without needing to have everyone present at one time.

Make labor scheduling efficient with labor scheduling software

Restaurant owners can spend a lot of valuable time figuring out how to staff their restaurants accurately. Misguided scheduling can also have other unhealthy consequences for your guests and revenue:

  • It’s often frustrating for staff to go back and forth with their managers in deciding when their required to come in to work or cover a crucial shift for another colleague without enough notice. This dissatisfaction among your staff could trickle into the dining room and potentially hurt the guest experience.
  • Scheduling errors can be costly. Currently with a fluctuation in dine-in operations because of more popular business channels such as off-premise dining – the risk of being over or understaffed can put a blow already slim revenue and profits.

Integrations with labor-management applications such as HotSchedules improves scheduling accuracy and allows restaurants to create employee schedules with considerations for a fair workweek, breaks, and minor labor. These partner solutions also provide extensive analytics capabilities to help you understand labor performances and how to keep turnover low.

Make data-driven decisions about your ideal labor cost

For the most part, restaurants prefer keeping their labor costs at 30% of revenue – but your labor costs could be very different for your business depending on what type of restaurant you are operating. Full-service restaurants will always have a higher labor cost vs a casual dining restaurant.

While this may be an important metric when you think about the future of dining where revenue and business from online ordering are set to soar as it has over the last few years, understanding how valuable each staff member is in terms of revenue generated will help you step into the future and take advantage of new revenue streams from a profit margin perspective.

Squirrel IQ is a function of the Squirrel POS that provides both store-level reporting level reporting capabilities. You can use this feature to look at historical data and pull unique data about labor cost vs sales.

Cross-train your team

Though it has become a necessity for restaurants to cross-train staff members in response to the effect COVID-19 has had on staff sizes. Cross-training your team can always lead to better preparedness to manage unique operational situations for your restaurant. As a manager, it gives you the flexibility in scheduling staff if your team can operate in a wide-ranging capacity. It also reduces stress for your team, and it can be empowering knowing that you can perform beyond the responsibilities you were hired to manage.

Find more information about Squirrel POS labor and scheduling solutions here.