Controlling the many costs of running a kitchen can be difficult, but through some simple changes a chef can manage and lower one of a club’s highest costs.
Due to minimum wage increases, labor costs are ever-changing. Most restaurants try to keep their labor cost percentage around 30% but depending on the style of dining it can be as high as 40%. For example, fine dining requires special skills and an experienced staff which comes at a price.
Labor cost is the sum of all salaries, wages, healthcare, benefits, and taxes for all employees. Depending on which labor cost percentage is needed, labor cost is either divided by total food sales or operating costs. Labor costs can easily be one of the highest costs associated with running a kitchen so it is important to track this metric closely.
Chefs are not always able to control and lower costs in a kitchen, such as their food cost, without sacrificing the quality of a product. However, chefs can easily manage labor costs with just a few changes while still maintaining the high standards of a club for its members and a positive environment for staff.
Invest In The Right Tools
Find a POS system that offers features like inventory management, customer relationship management, staff management and communication, basic marketing features, sales reports, and labor reports. Chefs should also use a scheduling software to help simplify the scheduling process and even save up to 4% on labor costs.
Analyze Labor Reports
Review labor reports against certain times of the day and seasons to optimize schedules and ensure you are never over or understaffed. Clubs can see a dramatic increase or decrease in dining depending on the season. Having a team of trusted and trained part-time employees allows for the flexibility of the high and low seasons in a club kitchen.
Cross-training employees in the kitchen allows fewer employees in the kitchen at a time. When cross-training, employees learn new skills and take on new responsibilities while also creating a sense of camaraderie and empowerment throughout the staff.
Boost Staff Retention
Turnover rates are notoriously high in the dining industry and every time an employee leaves it costs the club money. The club has to invest time, money and resources into finding and training a new employee. Focus on keeping current employees by creating a work environment where they are appreciated and valued and allowing opportunities for promotion.
When trying to cut labor costs, avoid raising menu prices and reducing wages. These methods will only have a short term effect and will eventually have a negative impact among staff, members, and service. Dining touches on every area of a club, making a chef’s labor cost a significant cost for a club, but managing these costs is possible without sacrificing quality and service for members.