It’s 2023 and restaurants are feeling the squeeze of rising franchise costs. Supply chain issues, unforgiving inflation, and staff shortages have exacerbated these financial challenges for restaurants.
Restaurant prices have now outpaced grocery prices on a 12-month basis, a shift since mid-2021 (CNBC, 2021). Food costs have risen by 4.3% from August 2022 to August 2023 (Nerd Wallet, 2023) and restaurant prices are expected to rise by 9% in 2023, with fast food restaurants expecting a 15% cost increase (Simon Kucher, 2023).
Then we have the next problem – the rising cost of gas. Pump prices are creeping towards $4 a gallon nationally in the USA, making it the highest level since October 19, 2022 (CNN Business, 2023). When gas prices rise, so does the cost of transporting foods from A to B, placing more financial strain on restaurant owners.
And all of this is compounded by a severe staffing shortage, with the restaurant labor force still 450,000+ jobs below pre-pandemic levels as of January 2023 (Toast, 2023).
It’s a turbulent phase, where owners have to hang tight, cut costs, and wade through the storm. Undeniably, the boat’s been rocked but restaurants can still find innovative ways to boost financial performance, cut costs, and increase their bottom line.
In this article, we’re going to uncover a number of different strategies that will help restaurant franchise owners reduce their overhead costs and enhance their financial performance.
Consolidating HR and payroll functions is one of many strategies that can reduce restaurant costs. You can do so by simply adopting a people operating system, like Push Operations, to streamline various critical tasks and simplify operations across multiple locations.
A solution like this can immediately combine scheduling, payroll, time tracking, and hiring, all within a single platform. This eliminates the need for separate managers at each franchise to handle these functions independently.
Integrating a people operating system can create a ripple effect that can benefit every facet of your restaurant franchise business. But how exactly?
The average salary of an HR manager can range anywhere between $91,000 to $120,000 per year (Toggle, 2023). Studies show that payroll software can automate this process and reduce payroll processing costs by 80% (Symmetrical, 2023).
Other research highlights that HR scheduling software can improve employee satisfaction by 86% due to its ability to combat staff burnout by creating more predictable and consistent schedules (Shiftboard, 2023) — a crucial benefit for any restaurant owner.
This, in turn, can directly improve your employee retention rate, thereby slashing franchise costs by not having to undergo a laborious employee onboarding process.
We’ve only just scratched the surface, but using people management software can not only streamline your restaurant operations, but it can also ensure consistency, accuracy, and compliance across all locations. This results in not just cost savings but also improved operational efficiency, a critical factor in elevating the financial performance of your restaurant franchise.
Poor inventory management will burn through your capital faster than almost any other operational inefficiency. This is apparent when you acknowledge that food costs are generally 28% to 35% of total costs for a restaurant — a percentage that goes up when food is wasted (Oracle, 2021).
Yes, poor inventory management is costly; restaurant owners know this, but the problem stems from it being a difficult challenge to firmly grasp for a whole range of reasons that include:
There are so many moving parts to monitor that it’s all too easy for someone to overlook important details or make a miscalculation which is enough to have serious ramifications for stock control.
However, you can streamline your inventory management by using specialized software. Doing so will provide you with real-time data that keeps your finger on the pulse of your inventory levels.
For example, should there be a sudden decrease in demand, the software can initiate a reduction in food production, staff hours, and adjustments to supplier orders, effectively minimizing food wastage.
Momentum is everything in business, especially in hospitality. A missing skillset on the day must be replaced to maintain operational efficiency both in the kitchen and on the floor.
But if you own multiple restaurants, you will experience a sporadic spray of days where employees can’t work. It’s an inevitability that makes it crucial to have a cross-trained workforce where employees can pivot between positions and exceed expectations.
This flexibility ensures that your restaurant can maintain optimal service levels, even during unexpected staffing challenges or busy periods. Sharing employees across locations when needed further amplifies this efficiency.
If one restaurant is having a surge in customers while another has surplus staff, reallocating employees can help you balance workloads and optimize labor costs. The benefits of cross-training your team are wide-ranging and will help mitigate the risks of skill gaps and operational disruptions.
Failing to have such a dynamic workforce will put you on the back foot in an ever increasing cutthroat industry. A restaurant’s workforce is extremely interdependent to consistently deliver an exceptional culinary experience.
One small missing cog in a restaurant’s wheel is enough for operations to grind to a halt, which not only hampers productivity but can also degrade both the customer experience and your reputation — both of which will impact your profits.
The business landscape for restaurants has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Customers have less money to spend. Food prices have soared. Skilled labor is scant and more expensive. The pressure dial is increased and restaurants need to find ways to cut franchise costs and improve profits.
One sure way to achieve this is to integrate an all-in-one restaurant management software to plug in the holes that are draining your capital. Push Operations can do so by streamlining scheduling, payroll, time tracking, and hiring in one place.
Restaurant owners can maximize productivity in less time with fewer mistakes, allowing them to slash franchise costs and boost profits.
Then book your free demo now to create a more efficient and productive workforce designed to boost profitability and preserve your capital.
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations