Methods such as reducing wages and raising menu prices seem like effective ways to immediately reduce labor costs, but these are only short term solutions that will eventually have a negative impact on a club’s staff and members.
Labor costs are not just the total salaries and wages of employees. Labor costs also include healthcare, benefits, taxes, overtime, holiday pay, and training, which are some of the highest costs for any club. While a chef is not able to control minimum wage increases and the other rising costs associated with labor, it is still possible to reduce labor costs and maintain a positive experience for employees and members.
1. Cross-Train Employees
Cross-training allows employees to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. Even though training employees in multiple roles will reduce the amount of people in the kitchen at a given time, it can still help to improve the overall efficiency of the kitchen and employees. Cross-training also creates a sense of empowerment and camaraderie throughout the staff and provides them with relevant skills to help them further their career in the kitchen.
2. Boost Staff Retention
The restaurant industry is notorious for high turnover rates, but every time a club needs to find and train new employees it costs time and money. Turnover can be avoided by taking the time to hire the right people, giving employees recognition and treating them well, providing opportunities for growth, and giving employees the proper training.
3. Employ Part-Time Help
Clubs can see a dramatic increase in dining depending on the season. Having a team of trained part-time employees allows for the flexibility of the high and low seasons in a club kitchen. Part-time employees can also be essential during the off-seasons because part-time usually means an hourly wage with no added benefits. A kitchen can offload general chores to part-time workers while permanent workers can focus on larger tasks. Eventually, part-time employees could even be offered a permanent position in the kitchen if they become invaluable.
4. Invest In The Right Tools
The price might be high, but investing in the right technology will save money overtime. A club should have a POS system that provides superior analytics and reporting along with other programs that can make tasks like inventory management and clocking in more accurate and efficient. Chefs should also be using a scheduling software that can help simplify the scheduling process and even save up to 4% on labor costs.
5. Analyze Labor Reports
Labor reports should be reviewed against certain times of the day and seasons to optimize schedules and avoid being over or understaffed. Schedules for a club kitchen will not look the same on a daily or weekly basis. Weekends, holidays, and special events are most likely when a kitchen is busiest and a chef should analyze reports to schedule accordingly.
Employees are the ones who make a club what it is. They provide high-quality service, experience, and food that members continuously come back for. It is a significant cost, but spending money on labor is paramount and keeping employees happy and properly trained is crucial for a club’s success.