I manage for national corporate kitchen, we are in the process of adapting the entire company to a beta menu currently being run by only 3 of 50 some stores (mine is one of these 3). The new menu is extremely focused on 100% scratch food ideology and as such very labor intensive. We have to show that we can make a considerable amount of money on this new menu so that corporate isn't inclined to pull the plug. That being said, my labor budget is decreasing with every passing week. My current budget is set at 11.6% HOH labor, the lowest I have ever seen in a restaurant period. I am just wondering if anyone out there has some good, solid advice for keeping up with these kind of cuts. For clarification, I am the only salaried HOH employee, and there is no clearance for promoting a sous to salary unfortunately.
Ideas on how to make a low labor % viable
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Impossible to say with no knowledge of the menu or the kitchen setup. Controlling labor always starts with hiring, training and planning. If you hire the right people, train them well, and have a well planned menu, equipment, kitchen line and operating systems in place, the labor controls itself. As far as arbitrary numbers passed down from the corporate lords, from my vantage point its not even possible to say if their budget is realistic. Only someone in the restaurant, who is experienced at controlling labor can see if there is wasted labor.