Hi guys…and gals.

I think we are nearing a deal on the new shop. I again want to thank everyone for their input. I have a new topic for your craniums… Staffing.

How do you go about staffing your shops. Number of people inside, delivery, managers hours. I know that Fridays Saturdays and Sundays are real hot (duh!), Im curious as to everyone thoughts and stratigies for staffing.

All comments and input as ususal is greatly appreciated.


in the begining over staff! If you are new word of mouth will travel in the next weeks. That last thing you want is bad feed back because of poor service. that being said I AM NOT an advocate for the “warm body” idea. I brought in family and friends to help initially while I sought out GOOD help. I do 70 percent of my business on friday and saturday

Staff every station for every shift in the beginning. You will know how many stations you have better than I. Maybe a couple extra people. Train them all on their station and as many other stations as they can learn. Weed out the bottom 1 or 2 within a couple three weeks after opening, and replace them. By then, you should have an idea how long it takes to learn a station, what actual staffing you need per shift, and what body count you need. A couple stars may be able to work two or three stations on the slowest shifts.

That being said, you will easily run 30-50% labor in the beginning, so be prepared with the cash. To lessen the blow somewhat, be prepared to cut people towards the end of each shift, as the rush dwindles down. Although you’re new, if you can make some type of closing checklist, that delegates duties to each station. Then you can be more confident in cutting someone once their part of the close is done. Then if everything goes right, the work gets distributed among everyone, and the final closers (possibly your high dollar people) get out quicker.

good luck!

Another thing I want to add…

If you’ve never done this before and never worked in pizza (making an assumption because I don’t know you yet, I mean no offense by this), let your employees know up front that their ending time varies each day due to business demands.

That goes both ways…they may be going home early, or they may be staying later.

In pizza, for those of us that have worked it, know that there’s never a definite leaving time…but if you have new employees who have never worked in pizza, it can be somewhat surprising.

For instance, my first pizza job was at Pizza Hut, and my first night, as a trainee was a Friday night. Why, I don’t know, except for maybe that I already had fast food experience.

Anyway, my leave time was 8:30 p.m., and it was BUSY. I never asked to go home, and then at 11:00 p.m., we finally closed, and my manager said “thank you for sticking out through the rush…that’s one thing I forgot to tell you, if we’re busy, you stay”.

Set that expectation up front so there’s no uproar later.

You will also want to have menus to give the employees when they are hired. Tell them to study it and the importance of knowing what you all will be serving. This alone will save a lot of time and headache. If you are doing manual order taking you need to have abbreviations set up and give to them when hired.

As for you cooks I would throw in a copy of portion control charts.

This all may seem like a waste, but you are going to find the eagles will have it totally memorized in a matter of days and they will be able to help the ones that blew it off.

I would also do a trial run. We had a week of training and then on the final two nights we had a trial run, invited family and friends at various times to create a rush and of course some people just stopped by cuz they thought we were open.

You will need extra help…

When we opened we had one person for each phone line. One person to take carry out orders. 4 waitresses and 4 hosts. We had 2 people on maketable. One on roll ups. One on salads. Two oven tendors. A busser and a dishwasher. And all of our drivers (I think it was 3-4) Our labor was at least 50% but I did not want bad service.

Now that they are trained we use one host (answers phones, takes orders, pre busses, busses, etc) 2 waitresses
3-4 cooks and 2 drivers.

We needed every bit of help the first month.


Over staff in the beginning and then let someone go home early if you don’t need as many people. Someone always volunteers to go home early…