Employee Management Tips for Restaurant Owners


As a restaurant owner, you’re well aware that you need the help of hardworking people in order to be successful. Each member of your team must efficiently handle their responsibilities and support each other so service can go off without a hitch.

That being said, your team will look to you for direction. You need to make sure each staff member knows their role and is well taken care of so they can do their best work. Here are some tips for managing employees in your restaurant.

Schedule accordingly

Determining the right number of staff members for each shift is a fine balance. If you under schedule, your employees will likely fall behind as it gets busy, causing customer service to suffer. But if you over schedule, you’ll have to pay employees you don’t need, which is costly to your business.

You can schedule your staff accordingly by projecting the volume of business for each day. You should review the historical data collected by your POS software and reservation/seating system and also take into account factors like the day of the week and seasonality. The longer you’re in business, the better you’ll get at achieving the proper balance with staff scheduling.

Track hours, tips, and employee withholdings

Business are required to withhold and report income taxes on behalf of their employees. However, the responsibility can be a bit more difficult for restaurant owners since their employees don’t always work fixed schedules and often collect gratuities.

You can use cloud payroll software to accurately track hours, tips, and withholdings for each employee. They can enter their hours and tips so you have all the data you need to process payroll and file taxes. You can learn more about managing and accounting for employee tips in this blog post.

Follow employment laws

“Follow the law” mind sound like obvious advice but it’s something even the most well-intentioned restaurant owner can struggle with. Depending on your state and locality, there might be specific laws around overtime, breaks, or other employee concerns.

For example, California requires employers to provide their employees with a 30 minute break before they reach the five hour mark in their shift. By being aware of laws like these, you can form a strategy so your adhering to the law while making sure you’re fully staffed when it gets busy.

Consider providing staff meals

Instead of making your staff members leave the premise to eat during their breaks, you can consider providing everyone with a shift meal.

Staff meals are deductible at cost for the restaurant and not considered taxable income for the employee. By offering this benefit, you can show your employees you care without breaking the bank.  

Use technology to simplify employee management

Managing your restaurant likely takes the majority of your time and energy. Fortunately you can use different software, mobile apps, and other technology to simplify your responsibilities – including employee management.

For example, cloud payroll software is a must for efficiently tracking your employee’s hours and withholdings and processing payroll. And the data collected by your POS system can be used to help you project how busy you’ll be and schedule the right number of employees. You can learn more about restaurant technology in this blog post.

BookKeeping Express (BKE) provides accounting and bookkeeping services for quick-service restaurants, fine dining restaurant, specialty food providers, and more. Visit our restaurant page to learn how we can help your business