Controlling food and labor costs are essential parts of running a successful business. The restaurant and hospitality industry is labor-intensive, and despite some key areas, food service staff haven’t been replaced by robots. But how many hospitality staff do you need, and how do you determine these requirements? It really comes down to productivity, planning, and controlling. All three can be accomplished when using an on-demand hiring app.
How are Food Service Staffing Needs Determined?
The first area to look at when determining how many food service staff are needed is to look at productivity. Productivity in the labor market is the number of output workers produce based on input—for example, the number of meals delivered and the hours it took to make them.
The results show you how productive the staff are as a whole and whether more job seekers need to be found. Productivity can’t only be looked at from an individual standpoint but rather the entire group because it takes a team to produce food and deliver it to the customer. To determine staffing services based on productivity, you will need to analyze the following:
- Sales per labor hour
- Guests served per labor hour
- Revenue used by the labor cost
- Number of meals produced per labor hour
Workplace performance can vary depending on the number of meals, workplace environment, and employee skill. After you determine productivity, foodservice operations can now look at the different labor costs and how to balance cost and productivity.
Fixed Labor Costs
There are different types of labor costs in food production, and one of them is fixed labor costs. Fixed labor costs are usually based on salaried or full-time employees who have a “set” salary or wage each month.
Most of the time, this would be the restaurant manager or chef. These positions require knowledgeable and long-term staff who can provide the necessary training and consistency a restaurant needs. Although you don’t have to be salaried to have a fixed labor cost if you’re full time.
The actual fixed labor cost is the hourly rate paid and the fringe benefits given to the staff. For example, the health insurance and paid time off each team member receive. These benefits can increase the hourly wage from $10 per hour to $15, depending on what’s offered. For these reasons, health benefits are usually not offered to part-time workers.
Variable Labor Costs
Variable labor costs are precisely what the name implies— changing values based on different factors. Costs vary depending on how many part-time employees you need on any given day, overtime, and meals produced. Food costs will increase as your volume of output increases as well.
When determining food staffing needs, the manager will have to review peak periods. By analyzing sales, supervisors can know the busiest periods and staff food and beverage employees accordingly.
For example, if the peak morning shift is between 7-10 am, you may need two line cooks to handle the morning rush. This way, you’re never understaffed and always justifying your labor cost.
Staying With the Budgeted Costs
It can be easy to go over your budgeted cost when scheduling kitchen staff. The erratic nature of the restaurant business and the overall productivity of your team have huge effects on your budget. And no matter how well you’ve planned financially, difficulties do arise. However, if labor costs are higher than calculated, you can find ways to reduce them for future needs.
The first step is to find the problem, consider alternatives, choose the best solution, and put it into action. For instance, if the problem is low productivity, you could provide new staff training or simplify menu items.
Using Technology to Determine Staffing Needs
Finding staffing solutions by using an on-demand labor hiring app can help you control productivity and planning. It’s like a staffing agency without all the hassle of paperwork and training. Restaurants and hotels in every city from Baltimore, MD to Phoenix, AZ, take advantage of part-time gig labor using a mobile app.
On-demand labor apps find reliable and talented workers in front of the house and back of the house positions. Instead of the restaurant manager finding, interviewing, and scheduling employees, the ShiftPixy app does it all for them. Banquet servers to line cooks to delivery drivers sign up with ShiftPixy, and the vetting process begins.
Once completed, the food service staff are matched with hiring restaurants or catering companies that need shifts filled. The gig worker can decide whether to accept the shift or not. The restaurant worker has a steady stream of work in no time, and the restaurant has a full roster.
Uses Real Data
The ShiftPixy app can then look at actual sales and data to help the restaurant owner determine labor needs based on revenue. In essence, labor apps help you determine the labor needed without you having to spend a lot of time figuring out how many food service staff you need during a peak period.
Another benefit is that ShiftPixy reduces chronic turnover, a huge problem in the restaurant and hotel industry. Turnover can be as high as 74.9% for most eateries and as high as 130% in the fast-food industry. You also can determine your variable labor cost a little bit easier with a restaurant gig economy app too.
Provides Additional Benefits
One downside for a part-time worker is the lack of health benefits. Restaurants find it hard to offer health insurance due to the high cost for all their employees. ShiftPixy provides this benefit to qualified independent contractors using their staffing services. This incredible value-based benefit draws in more experienced and reliable restaurant workers. Restaurants can be reassured that whoever arrives is capable, talented, and eager to work.
Determining foodservice staffing needs is a balance of productivity, labor cost, and planning. With an on-demand hiring app, restaurant owners have found a workforce solution that works. Instead of analyzing data, ShiftPixy can do it for you. While robots haven’t replaced cooking staff yet, gig apps definitely made staffing strategic and productive without all the uncertainty and headache.