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Four Quick Tips to Help Streamline Your Labor Operations

May 27, 2022 labor operations management

Staffing is among the top challenges restaurant operators are facing today. From rising labor costs to a limited talent pool, optimizing your restaurant’s labor operations can be daunting. Here are four quick tips to help make your labor operations run more smoothly.

  1. Optimize Your Schedules Through Data
    Using data to inform scheduling is one of the most effective ways to cut labor costs and increase efficiency. By applying accurate sales forecasts based on historical data, you can plan for how much business you’ll do in any given shift. By knowing how many items you’re likely to sell and how many guests you’re likely to serve, you can staff your back and front of house more accurately.
  1. Rank Your Team Members
    You wouldn’t have your newest bartender work a Saturday night shift alone during the biggest game of the year, right? Ranking your team members helps you to schedule them based on their skill set and how they can complement – and even support – each other during a shift. This ensures a balanced set of talents in the restaurant, which inevitably leads to better employee and guest experiences.
  1. Auto-Schedule with an Employee Scheduling App
    Once your team members are ranked, using a restaurant employee scheduling app can easily ensure the right staff are scheduled for the right shifts. For example, when a restaurant manager plans for the week ahead, they should take into consideration the sales forecast and their staff rankings to schedule their most experienced employees during the busiest shifts. A restaurant employee scheduling app automates this process saving managers time and ensuring an accurate schedule that can also be easily updated right in the app!
  1. Develop Your Employees
    Most restaurant managers have an idea of who can handle a weekend dinner rush, who provides the best customer service, or who needs more training. But you can’t rely on your best staff to never get sick or need a day off, which means you need to continuously evaluate your staff and who can be developed into one of your best employees.
    By developing employees as you hire them, you're creating a pipeline of staff that can fill in across the restaurant. If you have a server that consistently provides excellent customer service, they might also make a great bartender. By training them as both a server and a bartender you’re helping to develop their talent (which can lead to greater employee loyalty) and setting yourself up for success when you’re working with today’s smaller labor pool. Similarly, your barbacks, hosts, and bussers can be trained to be servers, bartenders, or to sub in for various support roles. There are great talent development and training courses available to supplement the all-important on-the-job training they’ll receive.

By investing in your employees, optimizing your schedules, and enabling auto-scheduling on a weekly basis you can improve your labor operations, save time and money, and enhance the employee and guest experience.

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