Case Studies - See How Our Consulting Works
Restaurant Couldn't Make a Profit
A restaurant was bought and sold twice times in 3 years. It was the same kitchen staff for both owners. We were brought in to look at both the food and the staffing.
It kept failing due to high payroll costs at 55% of the kitchen budget. The Sous Chef was making the same money as the Executive Chef. The prep cooks were making more money than the line chefs. The newer line chefs were making more money than the more experienced line chefs. All of this created dysfunction and resentment, and was primarily caused by staff putting managers against the wall to demand more pay or else they would leave.
We gave the Executive Chef a raise. We learned that the Sous Chef had been trying to sabotage the Executive Chef's role. We let him go. One of the lead line cooks was promoted, but at a fraction of the Sous Chef's old salary. We restructured the payroll and benchmarking system allowing some of the prep chefs to work as line cooks and hired some lower paid prep cooks who can be trained and work towards becoming line chefs. Morale and productivity improved.
From our onboarding analysis, we were able to decrease the payroll by 20% to 35% of the kitchen budget. This translated to a $200,000 profit, or weekly cost savings of $4,000. Productivity and morale improved. Additionally food costs went down because there was less wastage and the kitchen became more consistent.
Payroll Costs Astronomical
A restaurant was doing $1,000,000 in revenue. However, 15 kitchen employees led to payroll costs of $600,000 or 60% of revenue. The food was amazing but the owner was losing his mind.
The menu was way too complex. The kitchen was always overstaffed. The Executive Chef was hiring blindly to simply find the best cooks, not realizing that the kitchen was already qualified for the food they were making. The Executive Chef just wanted to show off his food.
They even had prep cooks making over $32 an hour on overtime. There was no staff leadership. The chef thought the owner wanted the fancy food. The owner thought the chef wanted to work 80 hours a week.
The first thing we suggested was to simplify the food, shrink the hours of operation, and cut out the OT. We helped with negotiation and compromise allowing the Executive Chef to have an extra day off with family, for less pay, and with modified restaurant hours the payroll costs dropped and it succeeded with simpler food.
From our onboarding analysis, we were able to decrease the payroll by 30%, saving $180,000. The simplification of the food also allowed cost savings in the food budget. With our benchmarked employee program in place, the payroll has remained lower and the staff has stayed consistent.
Chef After Chef Lost Money
A restaurant kept bringing in top chefs, 5 chefs in 7 years to be exact. Each time the restaurant lost money and staff turnover was high. Each chef brought specific problems.
One chef did not practice the posting of proper schedules, allowing the entire staff to work from open to close as often as they wanted. This led to staff burnout and budget overages. Other chefs did not work enough. Another did not teach the staff how to order food so the inventory was high on a regular basis leading to spoilage and wastage.