July 25, 2023
Lauren Platero

8 Innovative Ways to Reduce Labor Work In Restaurants

Labor work is essential in all restaurants. It’s what keeps food service in motion, even if there’s a sense of work overload amongst the employees. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that reducing labor work can boost employee engagement as well as employee retention

It doesn’t matter if you’re operating within an upscale restaurant or casual dining franchise. There are always a ton of working parts to a food service business. That's why we recommend labor saving devices and automated systems. With these tools, it’s possible to reduce labor work, the labor cost, and streamline restaurant operations.  

In this blog, we're going to cover everything you need to know. From the labor work definition, to prime examples and strategies in the restaurant industry, we've got you covered. Now, read on for all the details! 

Labor Work Definition

Labor work is a term that refers to processes that require energy and time from humans. It’s also synonymous with manual labor

When we think of labor work, it's common to envision physically strenuous positions. A stereotypical example would be construction workers. However, there are many professions that fall within this bucket. But, there are also examples that exist within the restaurant space. Read more about them in the next section. 

Examples of Labor Work In the Restaurant Industry 

There are so many types of labor work in restaurants. It’s no secret that restaurant technology is shaping the way in which eateries operate. However, there are still numerous positions that keep a restaurant business afloat. Typically, every restaurant must hire the following roles:

But how can these employees increase staff optimization and reduce labor work on a daily basis? We’ll cover several strategies in the section below! 

8 Innovative Ways to Reduce Labor Work In Restaurants 

Reducing labor work within a restaurant is easier than one might assume. It’s certainly a process, so take it one step at a time. To get started, consider adopting one or more of the following strategies:

1. Automate Online Ordering Processes

Offering food via delivery and takeout are some of the most profitable options a restaurant can implement. Doing so will broaden your reach and increase sales. 

By using off-premise ordering solutions, restaurants can automate numerous processes. For instance, businesses and customers can enjoy live order monitoring and digital payments. In turn, the restaurant staff won't have to complete as much work. Online ordering apps make it easier than ever to get food and beverages from their current location.

2. Install Self Ordering Kiosks 

Kiosks completely eliminate the labor work that is required from the wait staff. If your restaurant is casual enough, you can consider operating a kiosk-only business. In doing so, you would only need to hire staff to prepare the food.

Even though you would still have to employ managers and the maintenance crew, going this route will dramatically decrease the cost of labor. Plus, turnover rates would be much quicker, resulting in a simpler workplace.

3. Utilize Restaurant Inventory Assistance 

The larger the restaurant, the more ingredients you'll need to obtain. Keeping up with inventory levels can get extremely time-consuming. And if you take inventory manually, there's a good chance that doing so can result in overspending and other errors.

By using a restaurant Inventory management system, you'll be able to automate inventory control and the reorder point. So not only can it save you money, but it will save a significant amount of time, as well. Sound good? Book a demo with BlueCart to learn how you can improve inventory management techniques.

4. Add a Tabletop Device to Each Table

Tabletop devices can do so much more than accept orders and payments. In doing so, they can reduce labor by a long shot. While customers are handling tasks on their own, busy staff members can pay tend to what needs their undivided attention. 

Just ensure that your business is casual enough for such digital solutions. In upscale establishments, people often dine there for the stellar customer service. So, implementing customer-facing labor solutions might hinder the experience. But when they’re suitable they can make quite a positive impact. 

5. Allow Contactless Payments 

Mobile POS systems and handheld devices for card readers can reduce labor work at the time of checkout. Instead of taking the time to process a payment and print a receipt, all of it can take place in a flash. Want to know the best part? These transactions are just as secure as traditional ones, if not more so due to encryption technology. 

6. Base Scheduling Off Of Analytics 

Restaurant data analytics can provide you with great insight regarding your business. Some of the most useful metrics pertain to busy seasons. 

If the restaurant manager is aware of which time periods experience a surge of business, then that’s when to assign more staff members a shift. This practice will reduce labor for each individual employee during their days at the restaurant. Over time, this will result in a more engaging and productive team. 

7. Use Cloud Technology to Monitor Data 

When information is in the cloud, you can access it from anywhere in the world. Cloud tech solutions can also allow staff members to change data whenever they would like. Maybe there’s a menu item you need to remove. Or, perhaps you need to change the online ordering options due to inclement weather. Any changes can be made virtually when it’s hosted through a cloud server.

8. Outsource Non-Core Tasks

There may be additional areas of work that seem simple, but take up a great deal of time. A prime example of what we’re referring to would be restaurant marketing strategies. Or, event management services to pair with catering options.

By hiring through third-party companies, you'll drastically reduce the labor within your restaurant. Plus, it'll prevent burnout amongst your team. This is because you won't be stacking extra responsibilities on everyone's plates.

Benefits of Reducing Labor Work In Restaurants

There are many ways that reducing labor can benefit the business owner and their employees. As a result, simpler operations will trickle down toward the customer experience. Here's a list of perks you can expect from implementing the previous strategies:

  • Seamless on and off-premise technology integrations. 
  • The ability to save more money, resulting in higher profits. 
  • Consistency in the quality of food and service from staff. 
  • Greater efficiency and productivity across the entire team. 
  • Improved time management skills amongst employees. 
  • More opportunities for staff development and growth. 
  • The ability to thrive and survive during a labor shortage
  • Flexible staffing and scheduling processes. 

As you can see, proper workforce management tactics are an integral part of lessening labor. Once these become a part of your routine, you'll start to notice major improvements in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Labor Work 

Labor work comprises many variables. Now that you know its role within the food and beverage ecosystem, it’s time for a brief overview from a more general standpoint. Check out the following FAQ section for more information.

What Does Labor Work Mean?

Labor work refers to manual processes that must be performed by a human being. It takes time, energy, and skill to complete such jobs.

What Kind of Work Is Labor?

Labor work consists of work that requires time and energy from a person. More often than not, this kind of work is manual and takes time. So in order to be efficient, the employee must hold the right skill set.

What Are Examples of Laborers? 

Several of the most common examples of laborers include:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Construction workers 
  • Custodian workers 
  • Electricians 
  • Landscapers 
  • Plumbers 

What Are the Four Types of Labor Work?

The four types of labor work are:

  1. Skilled 
  2. Unskilled 
  3. Semi-skilled
  4. Professional 

What Type of Labor Work Do Skilled Laborers Do?

Skilled labor work consists of professions that require a specific degree or skill set. Some of the most popular occupations within the skilled labor work category include doctors, electricians, and plumbers. If you need a specific education to do the job, it's a skilled labor job.

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The Less Labor Work, the More Productivity 

It might sound contradictory to say that with less labor work there can be more productivity. But when there are fewer responsibilities on the table, it becomes much easier to streamline operations. This concept revolves around the idea of doing more with less, which is essential in the restaurant space. After onboarding systems to reduce labor work, it'll be hard to believe that you went so long with traditional processes in place.