How Do I Save on Kitchen Labor Costs?

Regardless of theme, size, geographic location, or clientele, all restaurants have one major concern: kitchen labor costs.

Finding a balance between having enough staff to cover the dinner rush and keeping your budget in check is not an easy task. In addition, restaurants have to increase revenue in a competitive market, all while labor costs continue to rise.

So, how do you ensure quality staff while still being mindful of profit margin? Here are some of the best ways to lower restaurant labor costs without sacrificing quality, talent, and customer service.

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How to lower kitchen labor costs

Tip #1: Prevent kitchen staff turnover

First, it’s critical to do what you can to prevent employee turnover. The restaurant industry experiences one of the highest turnover rates for hourly and supervisory-level employees. In fact, the turnover rates are currently the highest they’ve been in decades.

You spend time, money, and resources to train new employees. When they quit, especially shortly after starting, that expense is lost. One way to prevent employee turnover rates is to hire quality candidates with dedicated work history. Try to hire people with experience, as they’ll require less training, and they’ll catch on faster to your kitchen’s procedures.

Make sure you schedule fairly and have a good combination of both part and full-time employees. Avoid overstaffing, as the extra wages add up. Offer competitive salaries and, if possible, benefits to encourage employees to stay at your business.

Tip #2: Improve kitchen staff training

Both seasoned and brand-new employees will raise your kitchen labor costs if they’re not meeting certain standards of quality and efficiency. When you improve training, you can hire fewer people because the employees you already have are well trained and skilled.

Cross-train staff so that everyone can chip in when certain stations lag or someone falls ill. Hold regular staff meetings and keep staff updated on current procedures and methods. An open line of communication will ensure everyone is on the same page.

Tip #3: Improve employee efficiency

Another way to reduce kitchen labor costs is to boost the efficiency of your kitchen. The easiest and quickest way to streamline your kitchen is to adjust how you’re doing your food prep.

Using a food labeling system will speed up your food prep. Food labels are color-coded and easy to remove and place on containers.

A proper food rotation system helps you improve inventory management, monitor expiration dates, avoid cross-contamination, ensure customer safety, keep the kitchen up to code, reduce waste, and save you time and money.

You can also increase the efficiency of your employees by automating your labeling system with a solution like the DateCodeGenie®. This automated system allows users to create custom food labels and stickers for everything from takeout orders and grab-and-go items to back-of-house prep ingredients.

The best part: printing labels is 95% quicker than creating or writing them by hand. Plus, the labels printed by the DateCodeGenie are more legible, professional, and accurate. So, not only does the DateCodeGenie save your employees time (while saving you on labor expenses), it helps your kitchen run smoother and reduces labeling errors. What’s not to like about that?

There’s more where that came from

So, there you have it—the top three ways to save on labor costs. To discover more solutions that can help your kitchen save on labor costs, visit our products page.