Running a restaurant can be a daunting task with many variables to consider. One of the most significant expenses restaurant managers face today is labor cost. A NRA survey found that nearly 90% of restaurant operators say labor costs are a critical industry pain point.
According to a recent article by RBI, labor costs will become an even larger issue when tip credits begin to expire and restaurants will no longer be allowed to count gratuities toward the wages of tipped workers. To compensate, restaurants in Washington, D.C. have begun adding service charges to guests checks, contributing to decreased demand for in-restaurant dining and, subsequently, a dwindling labor pool.
Additionally, 61% of limited-service restaurant operators say they do not have enough employees to satisfy customer demands. With challenges such as labor shortages, real-time labor adjustments will be critical for the continued profitability and success of many brands. This is where innovative restaurant management solutions like Data Central can help.
In this blog, we will outline the specific ways that Data Central can help restaurants keep their labor costs down:
1. Suggested Scheduling Tool
Under-scheduling can lead to poor customer service as there may not be enough staff to handle customer volume. This results in longer wait times, lower customer satisfaction, and ultimately lower revenue. On the other hand, over-scheduling can lead to unnecessary labor costs, as there may be more staff than needed to handle the demand. Furthermore, both under- and over-scheduling can have a negative impact on employee satisfaction and engagement. With restaurant margins tighter than ever and rampant turnover rates, getting scheduling right is essential to operator success.
One of the most powerful features of Data Central is its Suggested Scheduling Tool, backed by its sophisticated forecasting engine. By analyzing data like historical labor cost percentages, sales per labor hour trends, average wage rates, employee performance, and labor requirements, the algorithm can predict demand for your restaurant down to 15-minute intervals throughout the day. Specifically, our algorithm bases suggested labor on multiple KPIs including individual entrée count, guest count, check count and/or sales. This means that you will always have enough cashiers manning the drive-thru, the right amount of line cooks on the grills, and enough team members stocking the condiment station.
This information is then used to generate an adjustable staffing schedule that ensures the right number of employees are on duty for each interval. Managers can use the schedule just as it is suggested or they can make well informed decisions, adjusting it as needed to ensure the restaurant is running efficiently. By preventing over-or under-scheduling, Data Central keeps labor costs down, improves employee satisfaction, maintains quality service for your customers, and keeps your store profitable.
2. Activity Feed
Other key components of running a restaurant smoothly include being a strong leader, making sure customers are satisfied, and ensuring food prep and inventory workflows are optimized. Activity Feed, our innovative and rapidly expanding restaurant insight tool, seamlessly integrates with a restaurant’s POS, accounting, and payroll vendors to provide operators with full visibility into their back-of-house and proactively suggests actions to streamline operations and enable managers to make informed decisions on the fly. With this feature, managers will be able to set clear daily goals for staff, increase time spent with customers, and provide the highest quality food to guests.
On understaffed workdays, managers will often fill in for a missing team member. As a result, they focus on that team member’s particular tasks instead of ensuring stellar service for customers and supervising the entire team to make sure the food is always fresh. Activity Feed acts as a virtual manager and proactively (not reactively) prompts the on-duty manager through push notifications about actions to optimize store performance and empower its staff to excel in their roles.
3. Self-Service Employee Mobile App
As the restaurant industry adjusts to economic downturns, high turnover and employee dissatisfaction are becoming more common. This combination often leads to decreased productivity and poor customer service. However, with Data Central’s easy-to-use Mobile App that employees can access right from their own mobile devices, employees can easily request shift changes, availability changes, and time off. This enables managers to create fair and balanced schedules that take preferences, availability, and workload distribution into consideration and leads to an improvement in work-life balance, heightened job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates.
By utilizing a restaurant management software solution like Data Central, you can effectively manage your labor costs and improve employee satisfaction and productivity, food quality, and customer experience. With the restaurant industry becoming increasingly unpredictable, restaurants must invest in a cost-effective solution like DC that can help them drive high profitability margins and maintain their competitive edge.
Don’t wait – get started with Data Central today!