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How to Reduce Labor Costs in a Restaurant

Waitress Taking Order at Restaurant

At McDonald Wholesale, we understand that running a successful restaurant can be difficult. From rising food costs and high overhead costs to the unique challenges of the coronavirus epidemic, it’s becoming tougher and tougher to make ends meet in the restaurant industry. In today’s blog, we provide tips for how to reduce labor costs in a restaurant so you can succeed during this tough time.

Focus on Attrition Rates

Because training employees takes time, effort, and money, reducing turnover for your restaurant staff is a great way to reduce labor costs in a restaurant. Wondering how to reduce turnover in your restaurant and keep your attrition rates low? Make sure your staff feels appreciated, respected, challenged, and financially secure. Not only should you be rewarding hard work with tangible incentives like raises, discounted meals, and the most coveted shifts, but you should also make sure your employees feel safe and protected by providing masks, gloves, and whatever else they need to stay safe while the threat of COVID-19 is high.

Cross-Train Your Team

Looking for ways to reduce labor costs without cutting headcount? Try cross-training your staff to perform roles outside their regular restaurant duties. Not only does this help you stay better prepared for unforeseen vacancies and staffing problems, but it also gives your team members experience growing their skillsets, which can lead to growth opportunities that keep them working for your restaurant long-term. Cross-training your restaurant staff can also build empathy and camaraderie across teams, making your employees happier and more productive on the job.

Employ Part-Time Help  

While your restaurant will likely need some full-time employees to cover skilled positions, there is a benefit to adding part-time seasonal help to support your full-time staff during busy times of the year. Not only do part-time employees tend to charge a lower hourly wage, but they also don’t require the benefits that are part of the payment package for full-time employees.

Schedule Smarter

Restaurant scheduling can be a hassle, but if you’re looking for ways to reduce labor costs without cutting headcount, it’s a great place to focus your energy. Make sure you’re doing the research necessary to anticipate activity on any given night. In addition to consulting your POS system for trends, you should also be paying attention to local events, holidays, and other occurrences that might lead to an increase or decrease in business. Analyze what you find and don’t be afraid to make big decisions using the data. If, for example, you find that you’re almost never doing business after 9pm, but your restaurant closes at 10pm, it might be in your best interest to adjust your scheduling or even your restaurant hours.

For more restaurant management tips, check out the McDonald Wholesale blog, where we cover everything from how to rank for “near me” searches to why you should update your restaurant menu every year.

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