Every hospitality business owner knows that labour costs play a significant factor in the success of their business.


According to the  Farm Australia Institute, here in Australia, we have the fourth highest wage rates in the world. 

How can you reduce labour costs in your business? 


1. Cross-train your staff


Cross-training is the practice of training selected employees to learn one or more skills. It is a practice that can be beneficial because you may not need to hire an additional employee or call in one who could be on their day off or leave. 

Cross-train staff between various stations so that, if needed, one person can handle two roles temporarily or as part of a scheduling role when order volume is low. 

Cross-training your staff can help you build a team that can step-in in various roles when needed. Your business operation can run without worrying about being understaffed or hiring additional people for short periods. 


2. Review staff performance and productivity.


It is good practice to schedule and conduct performance evaluations to assess an employee’s skill, attitude and contribution to the team. It helps you identify the challenges your employees encounter that hinder their productivity. When you can identify your least productive employee, you can create a support plan through counselling or retraining. The result of these methods will determine if you need to let that employee go. 

A team member who cannot deliver his responsibility is an added burden. Instead of paying the wages and benefits of an unproductive employee, consider hiring a new one who you can train for the same role. 

If you cannot immediately hire new staff, consider getting the services of a short-term hire staff who will be able to fill in the role. Staffing agencies such as Anytime Staff can provide you with professional kitchen staff when you need it, eliminating the stress of the hiring procedure so that your kitchen operation can run without any hitch. 


3. Split shift schedules


Try adopting split shift schedules where the workday is divided into separate parts that are non-paid and non-working. 

Many consider it an effective way to maintain cost control in your business because it reduces your labour cost during non-peak hours relative to your sales, and you still ensure that you have the correct number of productive staff on duty. 

However, you must review your labour law and regulations to ensure that you are pretty practising this system and that it benefits not only your business but your staff as well, 

But how does it benefit employees?

A split shift can allow your staff to perform other personal roles or side jobs that they can conduct during the break. 

Another way is that you can offer more work hours to the staff by scheduling their extra shifts around an existing shift.


RELATED READ:    The Key to Transition Food Production From Busy to Slow Periods


4. Use employee scheduling tools.


Employee scheduling tools such as Tanda, HotSchedules, or Deputy can help you analyse your labour cost in real-time, and you have a better chance of making adjustments sooner in your scheduling and operation before it’s too late. You can also study your sales or operation history to determine what days or hours your sales and wage costs are low. These tools can make it easy for you or your manager to keep to your budget. 


5. Update your kitchen equipment.


Sometimes, it is not enough to use the proper tools and equipment to maximise your staff productivity. 

As technology develops, more and more tools are coming out to make the cooking process easier and more efficient, thereby eliminating tedious hand work, 

Invest in or update your kitchen tools and equipment, such as high-powered food processors, immersion blenders, etc. Much new equipment is energy efficient so that you save not only labour costs but electricity costs as well. 


In Summary:

Restaurant and other food-serving operation labour costs continue to increase due to staff asking for better wages and benefits. It is a never-ending challenge to meet this cycle of meeting employee wage demands and your business profits at the same time. Many business owners and operators are getting creative with their ways to reduce labour costs, but sometimes, you may need to apply the more simple and achievable ways to do so,  as mentioned above. 

And if you are looking for skilled chefs and kitchen staff based in Perth and Western Australia for your staffing needs, give us a call at Anytime Staff.

We have a roster of professional chefs and kitchen staff that are available as short-term hires for :

  • peak periods
  • events/private parties and celebrations/pizza chefs
  • fill in for an emergency or annual leaves
  • start-up team for opening venues  

As part of our team, we have polite, professional Kitchen Stewards to assist you in cleaning and organising your kitchens. 

Anytime staff can also assist you in looking for permanent hires by facilitating your recruitment process.

We also offer a Consulting Service to assist you in opening or running the cafe or restaurant of your dreams.


That’s it for this week.

As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Staff!

Ciao for now,


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