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Best metrics to measure restaurant employee productivity


What’s the one thing every restaurant owner wants from employees? Hint: it’s not a “World’s Best Boss” mug. They want employees to show up and be productive.

Wanting your employees to be productive is easy, but knowing they're being productive is the challenge. Most restaurant owners will start pouring over metrics to check productivity. The problem is there are so many options. Between retention rates, speed of service, voice of customer, and more, where should you look?

To answer this question, let’s look at the three best metrics for measuring restaurant employee productivity.

Sales per labor hour

An easy way to gauge employee productivity is to know your sales, or transactions, per labor hour. The more sales made, the busier your employees will be taking orders, prepping food, and cleaning up. Highly productive teams are more efficient, proven to build sales and grow customer experience scores (or results), while maintaining labor costs.

However, you do need to balance these numbers with other data. For example, if you notice lower sales on a certain day, it might be due to bad weather keeping people at home rather than unproductive employees. So, focus on the trends you’re seeing in the data and not the outliers.

Food cost

One way to help you understand if your employees are handling inventory correctly is being aware of your food cost. For example, high levels of food waste might mean employees need more training or coaching to hit peak productivity. This type of insight will show whether or not employees are being productive and efficient.

Speed of service

This number is very important for understanding the productivity of your employees. Sales per labor hour provides you with a general idea, but speed of service gives you the details. Look at how quickly customers move through your drive-thru and how long it takes to get an order out in-store. If you have high sales but a low speed of service, then your employees could be more productive.

What comes next?

Knowing your employees are meeting your baseline requirements for productivity is good. Still, how can you use this information and turn it into something great? You may notice that some days things just line up and create the perfect productivity storm. These are days when sales go through the roof. And it feels great!

If you’d like to enjoy more days like that, then you need to know your data trends. It could be that certain employees boost sales while working together. This tells you that you need to schedule them together more often. But, how will you track down every single one of these trends and leverage them to increase productivity?

Invest in an analytics dashboard, like Delaget Coach. This dashboard gives you powerful tools to help you find the nuggets that will enhance your day-to-day operations without toggling back and forth between systems. ll-in-one software like Delaget Coach collects data from your POS, back of house, voice of customer, drive-thru timers, kitchen display systems, and inventory management systems, so you have a complete picture of how each of your restaurants and employees is performing against your key metrics. Systems like this can highlight ideal numbers and situations as well as areas of concern and provide recommended actions. Armed with this information, you and your managers can make more profitable decisions and more effectively coach employees.

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