In every business, staffing us always a big issue. Looking at location of the restaurant, the issues seem to be magnified. It is located in a small town, population 200. When you need eleven staff to run your restaurant, finding those eleven is a big problem. Once you gave your staff in place you need to schedule them, train them, make allowances for vacation time, sick time and turnover. Costs mount when the employers portion of a Employment Insurance and Canada Pension to the base pay. The staffing costs are probably the single largest cost in the restaurant operation. Additionally, if alcoholic beverages are served, all staff must be of legal age, diminishing the pool of potential employees on a town of 200.
With all these issues, the kitchen operation, alcoholic beverage service, the dining room and staff, the purpose of business, serving high quality, tasty food for its customers could get lost in the shuffle.
What did the chef do?
He took a LEAN approach to analyze his business. Let’s look at the factors.
The location is on a highway that serves as a gateway to a popular provincial park. A vast majority of the customers are either on their way to the cottage or are headed home. They want good good fast. A small majority of the customers are locals who take a bit more time dining, tying up tables.
With no bar, patrons would order a pre dinner drink or glass of wine. The volume did not justify the expenses.
He realized the dining room was where the bulk of his expenses were generated. It wasn’t just the cost of the real estate and decor, it was the staff expenses. He needed eleven people to keep the dining room operating.
How can he streamline the operation to give his customers want they want while still providing high quality, tasty food?