How to Analyze Restaurant/Bar Payroll (Basics)

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Payroll can be analyzed in different ways but the first here is “Covers” per employee. A “Cover” could be defined as one person’s table place setting. If you would like to know average number of covers per employee. Take the total number of covers served during the time period then divide this by the total number of employee. This method of analysis tells you what staff members are serving the most amount of guests. Depending on what style of service you have, you can maximize the staff to serve the most amount of guests and still give propper attention to each person.

Covers served/Number of employees = Covers per employees

 Another analysis method is sales per employee. Take the total sales for the time period and divide them between the number of employees. Total Sales/Number of employees = Sales per employee.This form of analysis helps in writing schedules as well. By know what staff members sell more you can have those employees work more shifts, or “better” more popular shifts.

 Lastly, you can find sales per hour worked. Total Sales/ Total hours worked = Sales per hour worked. I find this an accurate way of analyzing payroll, however all these methods don’t account for the timing of the covers. You may only have 20 covers in a shift, but if they are all at once, or spread out through an 8 hour shift, it makes it hard to staff. You must know your business and staff based off that. No equation can make up for bad service. You may have great looking payroll on paper, but that will not bring business back should it be poor.


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