Good problems to have

Maybe this is a rant maybe it’s questions. I need help. In the past 6 1/2 months my restaurant has hit a growth spurt. Our growth from last year is as follows Jan 1.2% feb 3.4% march 9% april 19% may 25% as far as June without official numbers were are killing it. This week over this week last year alone could be 40%. We went from averaging About 9,000 on good weeks 10,000 on great weeks. All in all we hit 12,000 multiple times this month and could possibly creep up at 13,500 if fathers day doesn’t damage my next 5 hours.

These past couple months have been tough trying to adjust. More food is easy, especially when you have the Capital to buy it. The labor is making me nervous. We are pretty much running with the same staff we were at 9,000. I need help and I f-in need it quick. How do I manage my payroll? How many employees can I have to effectively push out food without getting Murdered on wages? This has always been our busy season but never like this.

Happy fathers day to all the fathers :slight_smile:

Congrats! I too went through this and you just have to keep adding one employee at a time till you are comfortable with your workforce. We have grown from 8 with 2 full time to 13 with 3 full time in the last 3 years.

Keep track of your hourly sales and learn to schedule the employees as you see fit based on those figures. If you keep good records you can really keep your payroll down without having employees go home early or staying late or even being called in at the last minute. You and your staff will be better off.

Nice to see the results going your way.
IMHO I think that you will find that you will probably only require the same staff to do $9k as you do $12 - $13k, albeit them working a fair bit harder.
My experience is that we have let people go when it gets quiet when we go down to high $9k - low $10k, but have the same staff on for a little longer when it is busy.
I know that we can do at least another $1.5k over our highs of $13k with the same amount of staff with them working fully and not having any stand around time. The only change we will make is when we get our second oven where we will have one person taking the pizzas off the oven and another cutting and baging, but this will only be in busy times. Otherwise we will manage with the current numbers.
If anything I think any additional will be a driver on Friday / Sat nights for a 3 hour period for the dinner 5.30 - 8.30 rush period as we will be getting pizzas out a lot faster with 2 ovens than our current 1 oven situation. Delivery times will be slashed and I would expect more deliveries from this.
Look carefully at the productivity from all staff as you will find some are not as efficient as others for whatever reason (attitude, laziness, position they hold etc) and they will probably be made to overcome this as your numbers rise.
I am not going to increase my staff levels until evryone is physically incapable of doing any more, and that includes myself.
Nothing better for lifting everyones productivity as the store operating to it’s max.


I would not call this a problem at all but rather a great situation to be in. The first thing to do is to look at your payroll as a percentage of sales rather than as a dollar amount. Let’s suppose you were running 30 percent payroll at 9,000/week that would be $2700. At 12,000/week you could spend up to $3600 and still be at 30 percent. Typically, as your volume goes up your labor percentage will go down slightly and your service might even improve. Continue to hire and train as many people as necessary to continue to provide your customers with excellent service. I have seen a lot of stores that understaff and wonder why their sales don’t grow, and I have seen a few store continue growing at 10-20% annually for multiple years in a row. Most of us would love to be in your position right now!

What is your goal as far as a % of total sales. Also are you included in the number? In my place me and my partner draw a salary of 10% of our previous sales. That left us about 15% to payout. now I’m not searching for money to pay people I’m searching for people to pay.(ones that aren’t horrendous) the hardest part now is getting people with experience who can walk in and help us get food out.

Our goal is 28% labor. Every store is different. Without delivery we might strive for 15-18%. You have to look at your volume and decide what is ideal. For some operations it may be under 20 %, for others it may be over 35%.