How to Save Money in the Back of House as Labor Costs Rise
Sep 8, 2022

How to Save Money in the Back of House as Labor Costs Rise

With inflation on the rise and labor shortages still prevalent, we are all looking for ways to cut down on the time and labor needed in the back of the house. The foodservice industry is still being hit especially hard by increasing costs of everything from ingredients to labor itself. As expenses continue to rise, any method to save on costs are desired in every aspect of the business, so here are some easy labor savings tips to optimize your time and energy, and streamline your expenses while still maximizing profit and maintaining quality.

Focus on Employee Retention

As employee retention rates continue to suffer, it is important to keep your employee’s front of mind when making business decisions. Listen to what they have to say such as suggestions for improvement or it could be even things that are going well that could be even better. Listening to feedback from your back of house staff can just be a first step in the right direction to keep them on board and reduce turnover costs.


Cross-training is important so that every employee is trained to handle multiple tasks and roles. This leads to a growth of professional capabilities of your staff and ensures that you have a workforce who can multi-task when push comes to shove. Cross-training increases efficiency, develops empathy towards coworkers, and provides learning and team-building opportunities at the organizational level.

Optimize Cleaning Time

Having an employee dedicate their time to dishwashing can be a major time-waster. Yes, dishes pile up and can take time and effort but there are steps you can take to reduce your staff’s time on washing dishes. Try to only run a full dishwasher to cut down on water, soap, and energy costs as well. During prep, make sure to spray all pans with a high quality pan release spray like Vegalene Premium 3-Oil Blend Pan Release Spray. Coating your pans well before cooking can save dishwashing time for your staff as well as saving on your water bill.

Trim Down Your Menu

Look at the sales of all of your menu items and cut out the worst sellers. If a poor selling dish uses some costly ingredients, this is an easy way to save ingredient costs. But along with this, look at prep and cook time. If this dish is taking too much of your cooks’ time away from preparing other dishes, it may be time to cut it out if your ROI is not worth the time and cost to continue to offer this item. Seasonal items can be switched to evergreen, best-selling menu items that your customers order again and again to optimize your sales and staff energy.

Labor costs are one of the most substantial restaurant expenses that can cause financial problems for a food service business. Make sure to take some time to analyze each aspect of your business and take appropriate steps to effectively managing your labor costs.