Five Systems for Controlling Labor Costs in Your Restaurant

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Labor

By David Scott Peters

On Monday, May 18 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. I am presenting an education session at the National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show in Chicago.

In the presentation I will offer restaurant owners and managers in attendance five ways to control labor costs. Labor is among the top three expenses in every restaurant and it’s an expense I see independent restaurnat owners continuously struggle to control. For many, it can be their undoing.

The solutions I will teach in my education session are based on my own frustration as a bar and restaurant manager who was never trained how to properly schedule my staff, how to cover the costs of the labor hours and dealing with frustrated staff who want the times they want and the days off they want.

Through years of testing and implementation I developed these kinds of systems on the job and then later packaged them as my SMART Systems for independent restaurant owners. Labor is just one area I cover with systems, but it’s one where I can offer big impact – a decrease of several percentage points in most cases.

In the session, I will teach systems ranging from developing a labor budget to hiring the correct number of FTEs (full time equivalents).

Tell me, do you budget your labor dollars according to your sales projections?

How do you manage it when a member of your staff calls in sick? Do you have a good back-up plan, or are you scrambling to cover the shift?

How do you handle your staff’s demands for time off and specific scheduling? Do you have a master schedule that helps you keep it all straight?

How do you keep your employees from ripping you off in 15-minute increments on the time clock?

These are all problems that I will teach solutions for at the National Restaurant Association’s show in Chicago.

Will you be there? If so, I’d love to see you at my session. It’ll be worth your time, at least for a few percentage points off your labor costs!

Who else is offering you that kind of return on your time?

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, coach, trainer and speaker, specializing in systems for independent restaurant owners. He is known as the SMART Systems guy who can walk into any restaurant in the United Stated and find you $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door … Guaranteed! Visit for more.

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