Employee Shifts

Hey guys and gals. Ive been away from the board for a while running the shop. We finally made it through our first year. Wow what an experience. I love it, but need to make more money (who doesnt right?).
Anyway, Im really trying to watch expenses. I refuse to cheapen up any ingredients and infact have gone higher end on alot of the stuff we use. Its paid off, I get calls weekly telling me how good the product is. That being said heres my issue.
Employee wages are killing me.
My prep chef is crying for more help on prep days. I cant justify bringing in some one else on days where we might only do 250 or 300 bucks (Mondays and Tuesdays). Im running specials those days to try to increase business. But my question is scheduling.

Typically I run a 9 am to Rush (7pm ish) shift on prep days 10:30 to rush on non prep days,
and then bring in a second insider from 5pm to Close (10pm) (11pm friday and saturday)
Store opens at 11 and the day driver starts then works 11 to rush and a seceond driver 4 or 5 to close. I have extra insiders and drivers on fridays and saturdays.

Do I need to look at different shift times, consider crosstraining drivers, etc. etc. etc.

What is everyone doing with respect to this.

Like I said, these are slow day issues , but theses wages play out into the equation of the entire week.

Thanks in advance for your input and Merry Christmas to all at PMQ.



Not knowing how “big” your menu is, its a bit difficult determining how challenging your prep schedule is…

All our drivers help w/dough making & do all warewashing…

30# of dough s/not take more than 40 minutes…(CiCi standards)

There s/b plenty of prep time between 2-4 to knock out normal duties…

If you use a conveyor oven, and a POS - 1 person s/b able to slap & top 80% of the orders…

Again, our drivers help w/wings, answer phones, cashes out take-out orders & other minor items…

You s/either work the cut table (final inspection, or make the pizza)…

Our system works nicely, as the driver can also help @ the cut table 80% of the time…

With our current system, we don’t have “insiders” anymore, but have an extra driver…

Our on-line orders have reduced phone calls quite a bit…

Who needs help prepping for a $300 day???

Its common for us to have 2 employees per $1200 in sales. During lunch shifts, non-busy = single employee with up to $400 or $500 in sales. During extreme periods, we’ve peaked at $1K sales per employee. ie… $6K day/6 employees. On busy days, would I like a few more employees? Yes! But it just never seems to work out the way I’d like.

If an employee needed help doing $300 in sales/day, I’d have to let them go. My reference point is that a single employee should be able to handle $150/hr in sales. *We do not sell $4 pizzas.

I’m with Pizza2007 on this one. I’ve done 250.00 hours by myself with a driver (sure it wasn’t pretty but hey what can you do if there’s only one person in). I also don’t do 5.00 pies. For a 800-1000 day (with a swap over mid day) on my sales I’d have 1 manager and 1 driver from open till 5pm then 1 manager + 1 crew + 3 drivers for the evening.

Always cross train staff. What happens when 2 phones ring at the same time during a day shift? Get the driver to answer one. Same thing that happens if we get really busy and we have an extra delivery we get one of the store crew to take the delivery if we can spare one. Cross training is really key to a good business IMO. It allows you best chance to a) provide great service at all times and b) it allows you to offer more hours to your workers (2 instore off sick same day? offer hours to a driver who can do instore duties same goes the other way as well).

You really need to identify why they are ‘crying out’ for help. It really doesn’t make sense.

The cry for help IMHO is laziness. I can work a shift myself without a problem. It does get hectic if you get a couple calls and the driver is on a run while your trying to strech a pie. But you just deal. Plain and simple. I have another job and cant be there everyday and rely on my people to to do a good job. But the first hiccup along the way and my prep/ insider collapses. I’ve come in to thrown boxes and bent screens. Im at my wits end, becasue he is dependable, but just cant handle the shop if we need to make a quick “course correction”. Sometimes things happen and you just have to deal with them.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!! :slight_smile: Hope you and yours had a good one!

Do you mean your prep/insider are 2 people or 1? Does he have a driver, or alone during these $300 (shifts/days?)?

Has he damaged equipment?

Without hearing the answers to my questions, if it were me, this guy would be fired on the spot! For example, my guy went solo for lunch yesterday (XMAS & by himself, no driver, no other help), here’s his hourly totals:

12-1pm: $122
1-2pm: $280
2-3pm: $208
3-4pm: $154

Of course he did an outstanding job during lunch, he also earned another $90 in tips. How does your ‘dependable’ guy who damages equipment compare?

He is one.

He is excellent at prep.

Not a good pizza maker (under pressure).

He does have a driver to help when the shop opens.

I prefer his prep be done before we open.

Yes, he has bent a screen cause he cant handle pressure.

Do I use him exculsviely for prep? If I do i may have to reduce his hours. Also, I’m very short staffed due to some personality issues with another employee who just quit. (Whole other story).

This guy stuck it out, with the personality conflicts, shows up to work all the time. Never has called off. Never forgot he was supposed to work.

But he cant handle the stress…LMAO!

I can totally understand where you are coming from I had a employee that was the same way, he whined and complained he need extra help on days where I was only doing 300 from 11am-9pm I have a few other businesses, and I would be out running those so I wouldnt be there, so what I did was I would run a sunday by myself 12-8 and I would do a 600 dollar sunday in the summer by myself no problem… I dont get a lot of deliveries so I didnt need a driver…

I honestly think you should find a new guy, and yes it is tough… but you have too, it just comes down to laziness. Maybe the reason he is sticking around during all the issues is bc he is robbing you…

I usually have a guy open 1030-9 have a counter girl/driver go in around 1130-12 and work till 3 than have another guy work 430-9 and on busier nights we have a 2 drivers and a counter person, everyone is cross trained to do everything but toss dough…

We do $250-$400 for lunch on a typical day shift. Once in a while it hits $500 or even $800 by 4PM. While we do it the prep is done for the day including making dough. The opener comes in at 10AM and the driver gets there at 10:45. At 4PM more staff comes on. It takes two people, one kitchen and one driver to do it.

During the rush, we figure one driver for every $500-$700 we plan to do, so for a $1500 day we would have a day driver and two night drivers and the day driver would stay on for the first 90 minutes or so of dinner.

It is about the same for the kitchen, we will add one kitchen person for every $500-$600, so we will have two kitchen and two drivers at $1000-$1200.

Planned sales, Inside, Drivers
less than $500, 1, 1
$500 - $1,000, 1 or 2. 1 or 2 (three total, one is a floater)
$1000 - $1400, 2, 2
$1400 - $2000, 3, 3
$2000 - $2500, 4, 3 (add phone person)
$2500 - $3000, 5, 4 (add oven tender)
$3000 - $3500, 6, 5 (add another phone person)
$3500 - $4000, 7, 5 (add expeditor)
$4000 - $5000, 8, 6 (add another phone person)

Thanks for all the input guys. I guess I need to cut and run.
Good help is hard to find.

Your other option would be to re-train the guy.

Help him with setting up what is priority, and what can wait til after lunch. Seems like it would be easy to figure out, but I have problems with my employees (long time ones) they still need help prioritizing prep work. and I don’t allow throwing of my stuff, but I do know they get frustrated when orders come in and they feel they have something else to do.

Also may be a good time to re-evaluate the efficiency of your kitchen, maybe some easy fixes, a table moved, wireless phone, better knives, etc, that would make it easier for one person to handle the operation.

Sometimes you have to put yourself in your employees place, and ask what would you expect your boss to do in this situation. So ask him what the problems seem to be and if (besides bringing in more help) he has any suggestions for how they can be handled to make it easier for him.