Most restaurants get in trouble when they think they can save labor by cutting labor instead, drive restaurant sales with your staff. Staffing is the most important factor that an owner or a manager needs to realize. If you where in the sales business, and you feel your sales are dragging and you decide to cut your sales staff, what have you done?
One way to making labor during your shift is done by cutting at the right time. I have been in this position many times and found that I have cut labor just after the peak time. Let me explain. Most restaurants are using a point of sales systems, and most systems can give you an on time labor report to what is going on. So I would take a reading where labor is around 12:30 pm and I notice around fifteen minutes later we aren’t busy so I would take another reading. I would keep doing this throughout the lunch hour. This particular restaurant would get busy from 11:15 am till 1:30 pm. So somewhere during that time I would have to figure out when I was going to cut labor. Now, keep in mind a server and a cook have closing duties to help with the success with the next shift. Factoring in extra time for the end of shift duties is important to your overall labor cost for your shift.
So let’s say sales are climbing for one-half of the lunch shift and all of sudden, it appears you are not going to make your sales. I would take a sales reading, and when the reading started to dip, that’s when I would start to cut labor.
So what are the 5 ways drive restaurant sales with your staff?
1. Make sure you have appropriate staffing to match your sales goals for the day and the week.
Sales goals have some factors factored in;
- Looking back to last years sales on the same day and holidays need to be also considered.
- Prediction of the weather, you may want to look what happen with the weather if the sales seemed a little low from last year
- Events in your community same day last year and present week. Big events can create sales that you need to be ready for.
2. Make sure you set yourself up for success for your shift
Set your staff up for success by having a shift rally by giving them information thing they need to know including:
- Any expectations during and after the shift
- Any praises and recognitions of individuals
- Any concerns that may affect all of your staff
3. Make sure you are managing the floor
Know your employees and their skill level and have them in the right place in your restaurant operation.
- Holding employees accountable to standards
- Interact with guest by table visits
- Take the initiative to solve any concerns that arise
4. Make sure you are aware of wait times and ticket times
Bottlenecks in a food operation is a sign of poor pre-shift and end of shift planning
- Long wait time for guest may lead to guest leaving.
- Long tickets times are a signal shift execution not going as planned
- Long wait time and ticket time will affect your top line and bottom if this happens to many times
5. Make sure your employees feel appreciated, so they feel motivated to give their best service to your guest.
Giving one-minute praises during your shift to your staff and helping others if they struggling keeping standards up.
- Suggested selling is a great way to increase top line sales
- Learning how to motivate your staff takes experience, not one thing motivates all employees
- To motivate employee could be as simple as to run a contest, but remember not everyone likes carrots dangling. It maybe just a simple thank you.
Remember, if you are trying to control labor instead of managing labor you will more than likely not make your labor cost.