Posts Tagged ‘labor costs’

The Benefits of Using Tech Tools to Manage Labor Costs

May 17, 2013

Balancing your cost of labor against the amount of sales you’re making at any given time is often a big challenge for restaurants. It can be hard to predict whether or not you should keep staff on in preparation for potential customers or send them home to save some money on labor costs.

Fortunately, there’s some great new tech tools designed to not only address this issue, but provide a wealth of other information as well. It’s called POS (point of sale)-based scheduling software, and if you’re not using it yet, you should be!

Restaurant Staff Scheduling Becomes Streamlined

When utilizing POS scheduling software, you no longer have to deal with irritating questions such as, “Do I work today?” Instead, you send out an approved schedule via email, text, or smartphone push alerts letting everyone easily stay on the same page.

Even better, if employees want to switch or trade shifts, it can’t happen without management approval and once the change is made it’s sent out to everyone else on the team immediately.  This system also helps to keep overtime in check as well as assisting your ability to stay within your labor budget. You can see how effective a communication and planning tool this can become for your team.

POS-Based Software Boosts Your Bottom Line

Along with making scheduling far more convenient, POS scheduling software also keeps track of information such as historical sales data, labor expenses in real time, and labor to sales percentages. This information can help improve predictive scheduling, control costs, and catch mistakes as they happen so that there are no surprises at the end of the week.

Above-store access allows district managers to view multiple locations at once, in real time if they wish, to see how closely actual costs are paralleling budget targets. This wealth of information is particularly useful in fine-tuning the actions of your managers. For example, if business has dropped off at 2:00 but the manager has kept everyone on until 3:30, it’s easy to see the impact of that choice.

Generate Forecasts so that You can Better Predict Staff and Sales for Your Restaurant

The final major benefit of implementing POS-based scheduling software is that it can utilize your historical sales data, labor budget, current events, and even extraneous factors such as the weather to help determine the amount of staff you should keep on during any given time frame. Managers who have a forecast of sales revenue handy are better able to schedule labor accurately for all positions and wage levels. It makes them more conscious of scheduling on a focused basis rather than just letting a shift ‘happen’.

Now granted, this technology isn’t fool-proof. Utilizing it effectively still requires some gut instinct on the part of your managers, but when used as a guide it can be a very powerful tool to both streamline your restaurant’s business as well as give you some clear insights on how to best manage the cost of your labor against the amount of money your business is actually bringing in.