All the aspects of payroll - Payroll planning

Are you achieving your staff expense budgets or are you overspending?

Do you feel out of pocket at the end of the month, and you just cannot place your finger on that unexplained cash flow leak! 

Money is lost in little bits daily and eventually, at the end of the month, there is a big gap. My granny used to say,” my child all the many little drops fills the bucket.” 

Most probably one of the big five discussions in the hospitality retail industry, “what are you doing about staff wages and expenses?”. It might be a good idea to investigate the space between the gaps where those little jackals are getting in to frazzle your proverbial hen’s feathers. 

Considering the sensitivity of the topic it is one of those expense categories where you have to apply the basics consistently. By consistently the implication is hourly, per shift, per day, weekly and monthly. Once you have a system implemented and you see that you have overspent on your budget it becomes easier to plan a corrective strategy fixing the mishaps on the run, rather than arriving at the end of the month and now you need to attempt to save already spilt milk. 

Have a look at your staff costs of the previous year add the % increase that you passed on to your staff if any and extrapolate those figures into your current yearly planning as a percentage of your nett sales. Systematically you can see what rand value you have to spend on staff hourly costs for the same period this current year, based on your projected sales figures. Now you can break the projected figure down into daily values and shift based values that will indicate to you the staff that you probably should shift for that particular day.

When I do my planning I attempt to plan and only allow for about 80% of the staffs’ cost expenditure and allow 20% to incidentals and surprisingly quiet days. Alternatively for that unannounced bus that stops exactly on shift change and you need a couple of hands quickly. 

Imagine that every hour you save, you may take R30.00 from the cash register, soon you will be saving hours left right and centre because you are making money. You suddenly realise the value of time and how real the money is that you are working with every day.

Keep your eye on your daily time sales analysis for the same day the previous year and consider the weather, salary and wages pay dates and big events happening in your area, now you will have a rough estimation of what to expect for your day! Always consider the evening and the next morning’s breakfast if you serve breakfast. Thinking ahead will help you to plan ahead and avoid running around haphazardly due to circumstances that you could have foreseen. While tracking your time sales you will have a good hourly guide to establish how many staff you might need on a given day during a specific time. The latter shows the value of keeping your store diary from the previous years for notes on special happenings, big bookings or extenuating weather. 

Growth is not a nasty medical terminology, however, the number of sales that you are achieving over and above the previous year on the same day or for the same period this financial year. In a healthy business, you will always be tracking your growth to establish a positive curve and to ensure that you can cover ever-growing expenses in your business. Public holidays or big power outages may have a big influence on your forward planning.

When planning shifts always consider the busy times during shift changes, there will be a very important overlap during shifts where you will require additional people for cleaning up the previous busy time and setting up for the busy period following soon after.

Hourly, per shift, per day, per week, before the end of the month, be responsible and be an example to your peers and then you will not have the need to cry your navy blue eyes to bloodshot roadmaps, BACK 2 BASICS and end your month off with a smile.

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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