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Budget for Staff Benefits With Food Costs

Jess Reimer

Jessica ReimerAuthor

Even if you’re committed to the idea of employee benefits, rolling out a wide-scale program across a number of benefits-related categories might not be financially feasible right off the bat, and that’s okay. Start small and ease into employee benefits by offering low- or no-cost employee perks that help improve the day-to-day experience and wellbeing of your team members. Things like free meals and team-building activities go a long way to start. 

Profit margins in restaurant are tight. We know this. Employee benefits will make employee compensation and labor costs a larger share of your overall cost of doing business. A significant shift in your business model to make employee benefits a reality for your restaurant staff might cause a short-term dip in profitability. To make the numbers work, consider increasing your menu prices, adding a surcharge to the check, or reexamining your controllable costs to find additional budget. 

Since high operating and food costs are the number one challenge facing restaurant owners in 2019, try modifying your food purchases and menu prices according to what your ideal food cost would be. Increasing the amount of inexpensive carbs to your menu helps with food cost, along with adjusting portions to satisfy your guests rather than satiate them. Other options for optimizing your food cost include menu engineering, menu design that promotes your most profitable items, and including seasonal items that use easily available ingredients and increase customer popularity.

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