Are Early Clock-ins Costing You Restaurant Labor Dollars?

how to lower restaurant labor cost labor cost
Are Early Clock-ins Costing You Restaurant Labor Dollars

Are your labor costs spiraling out of control and eating into your profits? Do you feel overwhelmed trying to keep these expenses in check? You're not alone, and I'm here to help. Welcome to the first step in our special seven-part series where I teach labor cost pain head-on and give you the tools to regain control.

Each step in this series will cover an important step to help you manage and reduce your labor cost effectively. Whether it's auditing timekeeping, cutting down on unnecessary overtime, or optimizing your schedule, we've got you covered. So, stay with me, and let's solve this problem together one step at a time.

Let's start now and take the first step toward controlling your restaurant labor cost.

Check that your staff is not clocking in too soon

This may seem like a no-brainer, but every minute costs, and those extra minutes add up quickly. Make it a habit to audit your timekeeping regularly. This starts with proper planning. Ensure you're scheduling properly and know who’s coming in each day and when.

Before each shift, make sure each manager reviews the schedule and notes who is coming in and at what time. Throughout the day, periodically check the POS system to verify clock-in times. In the morning, ensure that employees are not clocking in too soon because every minute they clock in early eats into your profitability.

By federal law in the United States, as soon as someone clocks in, if they work even for two minutes and you ask them to punch out for clocking in early, you owe them for those two minutes. You cannot take time away unless they forgot to clock out, in which case you adjust to the actual time worked. Every tick of the clock can significantly impact your profits.

Use Scheduling Software to Lock Out Early Clock-ins

For those using scheduling software like 7shifts connected to your Toast POS system, set your schedule to lock employees out from clocking in too early. This way, if someone arrives early and tries to clock in, the system stops them. Managers then don't need to monitor clock-ins constantly. However, if you need someone to start early, a manager can clock them in using a manager code.

Implementing these steps ensures you effectively manage labor costs from the start of each day.

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

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