Restaurant Pro Tips: Cutting Labor Costs

business-people_000001227086small1Employee costs are a significant portion of any business’ expenses. Your staff are the front line to great customer service, and improper scheduling—whether over or under—can cut into your profit for a shift. So what can you do to control your labor costs while keeping profits up?

Schedule to Target. A point of sale system like SpeedLine has the ability to recommend labor targets for scheduling based on accurate forecasts and established goals.

SpeedLine scheduling, for example, builds in payroll tax and overhead and warns you if you are not meeting your labor targets while scheduling staff. The schedule also integrates with the time clock, for control over early clock-ins and late clock-outs. And throughout the day, you can easily track labor costs and adjust staffing to stay on budget.

Reduce Turnover. You’d be surprised at how costly high turnover can be for a restaurant. For tips on reducing employee turnover, read  Restaurant Management: 6 Tips to Reducing Employee Turnover.

Stop Time Clock Abuse. Cheating the time clock is the most widespread form of theft in restaurants. Clock-in times and break length can be tough to track without tight POS controls, and infractions hard to prove—particularly when staff cover for each other. Looking for ways to play the system, staff may ask other employees to clock them in early. Set break and clock in/out restrictions at the POS, and add fingerprint access to eliminate this type of abuse. Today’s fingerprint sensor drivers secure access without the delays you may have experienced with some sensors in the past.

Train and Cross-Train. Improve efficiency by properly training and educating staff. A SpeedLine trainer advises: “An employee who feels important will work harder and smarter for you. Cross-training will help them feel more valued, as they understand you want to help them develop new skills and play a more important role in your business.” The benefits you’ll see are greater production and lower labor costs.

Build a roster of part-timers.  Part-time employees give you more scheduling flexibility and lower benefits costs. But they are typically less committed than full-time staff, so retention is an important consideration. Read:Can Restaurant Technology Make Employees Happier? for ideas on leveraging the point of sale system to keep staff engaged.

With planning and the right tools, you can gain new control over labor costs. What’s your best pro tip for controlling labor cost?

Delivery Areas and Fees: Getting Them Right

Restaurant operators lose thousands each year in delivery fees charged inconsistently, or set too low to recover expenses. The new fall release of SpeedLine POS expands on the ability to set delivery zones and fees by drive time, now allowing you to refine your zones—editing them by hand on a map for accurate zones and fees that reflect the true cost of delivery.

And for multi-unit operations, it provides flexible options to import and manage zones for multiple locations. Read more

Meeting Customer Expectations: Automated Delivery Confirmations

emailconfirmationsThe technology on your front counter can provide multiple ways to streamline business and improve customer service. We’ve already shared some ways to use your POS in Smart Operators: Great Customer Service Starts with Your Restaurant POS, but in the fall release of SpeedLine POS, we added a new method: automated delivery confirmation emails. Read more

Controlling the Drive Factor: the Key to On-Time Delivery

Profitable delivery is the focus of today’s new SpeedLine software release.

If you struggle with late deliveries and drivers, now you can solve the delivery time dilemma with new control over the drive factor—for consistent on-time deliveries. Read more

Online + Offline: Understanding Delivery Customer Purchase Preferences ordering_image courtesy of Stuart Mile FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn a recent post on the PizzaMarketplace blog, OLO CEO Noah Glass made the comment that online ordering provides “the holy grail of customer-level data.”

He has a point. Web and mobile ordering have opened up a new level of access to customer information—for restaurant companies without delivery, it may be the first opportunity to build a comprehensive database of customer information. Read more

Restaurant Trends: Consumers Are Dining Out More. Are You Attracting Their Business?

iStock_000039370696MediumA new report from American Express revealed that consumers are spending 40% more dining out this year than they did in 2013. That’s a significant jump: if you aren’t seeing an increase in sales, your competition is.

So what are you doing to attract new business? Here are five ways to attract new guests, and keep them coming back: Read more

12 More Fridays Until Christmas: Holiday Restaurant Marketing Ideas that Work

holiday marketing_Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.netDoesn’t it seem like holiday marketing starts earlier every year? I know I started my shopping last January, but that’s because I am a sucker for a deal, and have a closet full of gifts I’ve forgotten about by Christmas time. But for most, holiday spending starts somewhere in October or November and continues until December 24th, and as a restaurant operator you have a fantastic opportunity to attract tired shoppers who want something quick and convenient for dinner. Read more

SpeedLine User of the Month: Piecasso’s Pizzeria & Lounge

885F80R6Fresh off the cover story in the August issue of PMQ magazine, SpeedLine user Piecasso’s Pizzeria & Lounge in Stowe, VT was an easy choice for user of the month. For generations, the Rovetto family has been slinging delicious pizzas, and with some recent media coverage, they’re excited at the recognition of their flare for the unique in decor, ambiance, and menu.

An interview with Eduardo Rovetto, owner, Piecasso’s Pizzeria & Lounge. Read more

5 Keys to Using Limited Time Offers to Drive Profits in Your Restaurant

Limted_Time_OfferLimited-time offers (LTOs), can drive revenue quickly, despite the short redemption window. LTOs create opportunities to promote your brand to new market segments or to build a fan-base for a new menu item. By only offering the deal for a short time, you create a sense of urgency that can boost demand and drive profits. Read more

Love Pizza? We do too! SpeedLine Installers Share Their Favorite Pizzerias

The SpeedLine installation and training team has the unique opportunity to visit pizzerias all over North America—and just one perk is the great food! From chain franchises to local mom and pop joints, they will never turn down a slice. I asked our installers to share with me some of their favorite spots to indulge, and why. The list was far too long to mention them all, but here’s a peek at five faves:  Read more