Restaurant Management: Survive the Low Season – Part 2

Apart from creating new dishes and adjusting prime cost proportion in “Restaurant Management: How to Survive the Low Season – Part 1”, In this article, we’re going deeper in to questions how to survive the low season topic to talk about how to manage restaurant staffs in each day using the idea called “Restaurant Heat Map”, which is a way to make the most of your staff employment.

Believe it or not, if we plan wisely, we can have extra money left each month after paying for the employees.

Normally, restaurant managers might think that staff management or how many staffs are required to come to work in each day is a fixed number and should all be the same from Monday to Sunday. In this article, we’re going to look closely in the expenses we paid for our crews, how to make the most of it, and how to help the restaurant owners have a bigger balance at the end of the day.

The following information is going to be just an example, which can be used in a hypothetical situation. In the reality, expenses, time, season, such as low season, of each restaurant, in each area, and in each country are different. However, you can always apply the technique and use it with your crew management. We want you to understand the idea and adapt it to use it appropriately with your own restaurant. Restaurants that pay their workers on a daily basis can use this method with, for instance, their full-time employees or contract employees

The first table below shows daily expenses:

  1. FOH: Front of the house is the crews that work in the front of the restaurant.

  2. BOH: Back of the house is the crews that work at the back of the restaurant.

  3. Other: Other expenses

  4. Total: Total daily expenses

Generally, the method we used to plan our work is to put the same number of staff and the same wages for everyday, in this case, the total is $6,600, same for everyday.

Using “Restaurant Heat Map”

The second table below shows the result of the using of “Heat Map” in the daily crew management. “Heat Map” is to categorize the density of work in each day. According to the table, you can see that the lighter color shows the days where there are not many customers. In contrast, the darker color shows the days with a lot of customers. This idea shows that the density of customers in each day is not the same. Therefore, assigning the same number of your staff to come to work every day doesn’t match or go along with the number of your customers.



In the table above, we have five different shades in our “Heat Map”.

You can surely create your own “Heat Map” with less than five degrees, as long as it suits your business. When you plan hiring your staff differently, the result is that you have extra money left. Feel free to apply this tip to use it with your restaurant. As you can see in the example, we can save up to $15,000 per year (*In real case you can save more than this) . That’s not bad. You just have to improve your staff management, making it become more efficient to survive the low season.

Main points

  1. Calculate wages as a daily payment will make it more flexible when it comes to time management.

  2. Density of the work in restaurants is not the same every day.

  3. Using “Heat Map” in planning working days for staffs to reduce costs.


Ps. If you want to see how much waiter average paid in US read more here.

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