Offsetting the costs of minimum wage hikes

Now that the busy summer restaurant season has begun, the time for hiring more summer staff has also now arrived. With high school, college and university students out looking for summer jobs, restaurant and bar owners are now staffing their patios and extended hours with a larger roster of temporary summer help.

But as minimum wages increase across the country – now anywhere from $11 to $14 an hour – business owners might be feeling the crunch to protect their bottom lines while still paying their staff a living salary.

Some or all of these strategies can help you offset the costs of minimum wage hikes and take control of your profits.

Know your Exact Costs

Figuring out the exact costs of every item on your menu is critical to taking control of your bottom line – this includes the cost of all the ingredients, but also the staff time needed to prepare each dish. Don’t forget any optional items your menu might include such as complimentary bread and butter, free drink refills and the oil used in the kitchen to cook the food.

Breaking down the cost per plate of every item is essential and will give you a better handle on where in your budget you can afford to hire more staff during the busier summer season. And using restaurant management software can make this task a fast, easy and accurate part of your overall business model.

Price your items right

Offsetting your labour costs with value-driven menu items is another key way to boost your bottom line. Consider adding lower-priced, higher-value items to your lunch menu and children’s menus, while charging a little more for profitable staples like foundation drinks and coffee. And ensuring you’re charging just the right amount for all your menu items to make a profit while driving sales is equally essential to running a successful restaurant business.

Using the right restaurant management software will help you find the sweet spot for pricing all your items to keep you and your customers happy.

Order Accurately

To run a successful restaurant, you don’t want to ever run out of food, but you also need to make sure you don’t order too much inventory. In addition to the increased costs of over-ordering, large amounts of inventory require large amounts of storage and staff to manage it. Having just the right amount of stock on your shelves is critical to protecting your profits.

The key is having an automated system in place to cut down on wasted food by accurately monitoring what food is perishing or running low on a weekly basis. Investing in professional inventory management software makes tracking your inventory needs simple and effective.

Manage your inventory

Once you’ve got your ordering streamlined, it’s also important to make sure you and your staff use an organized system for proper storage, labelling, handling and usage of all your orders to keep your food fresh and your food waste to a minimum.

Using the right tools for inputting and tracking your inventory data will make this job easier and protect your profits. Choosing an inventory management software system designed just for the restaurant industry will allow you to accurately and profitably manage your stock between staff, restaurants and suppliers.

Strategize for Staffing and Scheduling 

Staying on top of employee time and making sure you don’t have too many, or too few, staff scheduled at once are key ways to manage the rising costs of minimum wage.

Investing in a professional, automated system for scheduling and staffing will improve productivity at both the management and employee levels, potentially saving you thousands of dollars a year in lost time and profits.

Invest in Retail and Inventory Management Software

Having an effective retail and inventory management system in place ensures that small oversights don’t accumulate that can cost your business both time and money. Inventory management software accurately calculates all your employee hours and makes automated record keeping a breeze.

Tracking, scheduling, payroll, and inventory management can all be done from your mobile or desktop device – even between locations of your larger restaurant operation.

Optimum Control offers you complete, streamlined restaurant management software solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our range of easy-to-use software will help you effectively reduce waste, take control of your inventory, save money, calculate recipe costs, reduce unnecessary staff hours, boost productivity and maximize profits.

Take control with Optimum Control! Talk to us today about our full suite of restaurant management solutions or browse all the features and benefits we offer.