Labor cost is always rising and on October 1st 2018, the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will introduce a new minimum wage for all employees. Minimum wage hikes are great for employees but they can be costly for business owners. The key here, is to prepare for change. So we’ve put together 3 tips to manage minimum wage increases:

Invest in technology

Battling extra costs with more costs? Doesn’t make sense right? Wrong! We may be biased, but our biggest tip in managing wage increases, is investing in technology like employee scheduling and time tracking software; and then integrating these labor scheduling tools with payroll. The benefit here? You’ll eliminate 3 key things:

  • time theft
  • manual data transfer errors
  • and extra costs like overtime

When technology eases the redundancy and tediousness of restaurant management tasks, your time can be better spent on strategizing how to track your costs.

Track labor

As employee labor is one of the biggest costs of running a restaurant, achieving the perfect  balance of scheduling enough employees, but not too many, is the hardest part of creating a cost effective schedule.

To combat the dynamic environment of the restaurant industry, being on top your labor is key. Comparing your sales vs. labor is one of the most important metrics you should be following when optimizing costs. Your scheduling goal should be to always maximize your labor, without going over your forecasted cost.

Viewing your hours and costs in real-time is a huge bonus when scheduling employees and With restaurant technology, the task of manually calculating of your labor costs should be eliminated!

Its also crucial to understand the behavior of your employee’s clock times.  If multiple employees are consistently clocking in late for a 5pm shift, this may tell you that:

  1. they’re consistently late or
  2. the restaurant is busy and they didn’t have a chance to clock in.

Understanding the behaviors of their clock in times will allow you to be proactive for the following schedules

Time tracking software is a great tool in auditing employee clock in times. If employees are consistently working overtime (OT), you should be able to set flags on your time tracking software to investigate why OT occurs.

Cross train employees

When you have cross trained employees, you gain peace of mind knowing that they’ll have the skill set to handle different areas of your restaurant. Especially for states where restaurant owners are required to pay employees a daily minimum. If you happen to accidentally over-schedule on a slow day, you can move them to areas that may need assistance.

Cross training your employees is beneficial to both managing your labor costs, and also to your employees in the long run. When employees are equipped with a stronger skill set, your scheduling is made easier, and more flexible. With skills that are easily transferable to another area of your restaurant, your employees are better equipped to handle any sudden changes that happen – like if someone calls in sick!

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