How to Save Money Through Labor Scheduling

Jun 19 2017

Restaurant Management Labor Scheduling

Labor scheduling is one of the most challenging aspects of running a restaurant. Restaurant margins are slim and labor costs are large. Additionally, you can lose employee contentment by giving someone the wrong schedule.

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Schedule to preferences

If someone needs to pay for child care to be at work, they are most likely going to want to be cut first in the event of a slow shift. If someone works another job or has school until the early evening, they likely don’t want to be the opener. Finding out what people’s preferred work schedules are and doing your best to adhere to them can go a long way towards employee satisfaction. Furthermore, you are less likely to have someone no-show or call in sick if they are scheduled for a shift that they want to work, rather than one that they have to work.

Enforce clock in and out times

You already know that you don’t want your employees clocking in late because it creates a flustered work environment, and causes specific issues such as a lack of prep work. Late clock ins can also result in overtime paid to earlier shift workers who must stay on at least until the late employee arrives.

Another, often unnoticed cost is employees who clock in early. If you have 25 employees who clock in 10 minutes early and make $8.00/ hour, that’s $33.34 in additional wages per day, or $12,166.67 per year! If you think that this doesn’t apply to you because the tipped minimum wage is in effect in your state, think again - you are still looking at over $3,000 for those same 25 employees clocking in 10 minutes early. So, lock down your POS so that employees can only clock in within 5 minutes of their shift starting.

Look at forecasts

Your manager may have a great intuition about guest and sales volume, but historical trends will show you the actual data so you can be better informed when you build your labor schedules. Look at trends for guest count, projected and historical sales, weather, special events and other factors to determine the appropriate levels of staff to have on hand for the day of business. Schedule templates are often handed down from one manager to another with no revision in between to account for seasonality. On the other hand, current employees or historical trends to make an accurate prediction. In today’s technology driven world, you don’t have to guess anymore – the data is all right there.

Automate employee scheduling

Take the guesswork out of scheduling by having a system that can track all the above information for you and more. This will save you employee labor hours and dissatisfaction, as well as your manager’s time building a schedule.

Learn how this pizza chain reduced their labor costs using Ctuit Schedules in A Slice of Success: Fresh Brothers – Success Story.

Megan McIntyre

Megan McIntyre

Megan has been with Ctuit since May 2011. She has a broad range of expertise in the hospitality industry with over 15 years of experience involving customer service, COGS, client relations, event coordination, marketing and promotions. Megan holds her MBA in Sustainable Business Enterprises from Dominican University of California.