How Restaurant Managers Are Dealing with Labor Issues

With new Labor Laws in limbo, businesses of all sizes are trying to figure out the best way to mitigate risk and reduce cost while still attracting and maintaining quality employees. Bringing in top talent while reducing cost does not have to be mutually exclusive. Read on below to discover three things you can do to get started. 

Create a teaching kitchen.

Modern Restaurant Magazine recently interviewed Meghann Ward from Tapestry Restaurant in Boston who implemented this in her kitchen. Allowing her to attract new chefs while giving them something valuable in return. When you can’t pay as much as larger restaurants, it’s important to offer benefits outside of money. Ward notes that this has worked really well in their kitchen. They haven’t had a single person leave since May 2016 and this method has helped balance the need to pay appropriately while hiring qualified staff.

Offset rising labor costs by saving elsewhere.

We know, easier said than done, but now is the time to look for cost-saving solutions in all aspects of your business. For example, you could implement employee scheduling software and save hours each week (100+ per year) giving you or your managers time back to attend to other business needs. If you want to see at a micro level where you can be saving time and money, you can contact a supply chain consultant who can come up with unique solutions like switching to premium fry oil since it requires fewer fryer changes thus reducing labor costs.

Have clear tracking systems.

New labor laws and the potential for changing labor laws make it crucial to have clear employee time and payroll tracking. Incorrectly classifying an employee can have expensive repercussions because they will retroactively be owed all of their overtime. In addition, it is required by law to keep track of the hours that all staff members have worked and this protects the employer from a disgruntled employee who may exaggerate the hours they worked for maximum benefit. Not only should your employee scheduling be digital so that you can ensure you have archives, but you should implement software that integrates with your payroll system for maximum visibility and tracking.

Understandably labor issues will remain top of mind in the coming year, but the best way to deal with them is to be prepared. Build out your brand to attract top talent, critically look at your operation to see where you can streamline, and have clear tracking systems in place for time-tracking and payroll. If you create these things now, you will be able to handle any new labor laws that may affect your business no matter how complicated they may seem.