How can restaurant productivity be measured?

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All businesses need to keep a close eye on what is coming in versus what is going out to balance the books. Productivity, or how efficient your production processes are, has a significant impact on your profit and loss.

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According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, close monitoring and improvement of productivity in sectors such as retail and restaurant is key to survival in these challenging economic times.

How do you measure productivity?

One useful measure is how many customers each member of waiting staff is serving per hour. You can do this by looking at receipts or invoices and seeing how many tables were served and how many customers per table. This will help you to identify members of staff who are performing better than others and enable you to roll out good practice across the team.

You should also regularly calculate the staff cost to serve each customer and use this to see whether your productivity is improving or declining over a period of time. You can do this by taking the total wage bill for any given day and dividing it by the number of customers.

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Make sure your staff correctly record waste food at the end of each day, as this can highlight products you should be ordering less of. Also take close account of the cost of producing each meal versus waste to enable you to adjust your menu accordingly and get rid of unpopular, costly dishes. The average cost of food purchased by each customer should remain relatively static; if not, you need to find out why.

How can you improve productivity?

The right equipment plays a key part in improving productivity. A glass door refrigerator from a supplier such as – as opposed to a solid version – means that the door needs to be opened fewer times to check what is in it. This can release a bottleneck if the fridge is positioned in an awkward place and helps to maintain the cold chain.

It is not just kitchen equipment that can help; for example, a good EPOS system that enables orders to be automatically transferred to the kitchen will eliminate the misinterpretation of handwritten orders.
Training is another key area – if your staff are up to date with training, they are more likely to perform more efficiently.


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