Can you afford Staff Benefits? – I

There is no question about it, staff benefits are expensive. The question is whether your business is gaining or hurting because of it? We know the ability to attract good staff is one of the most challenging aspects for any restaurant business. Quitting, firing and rehiring are almost natural, that any manager or owner can expect. Sometimes money is just not enough to retain staff. Today, more people entering the restaurant industry are searching for companies who can provide extra compensation in terms of benefits.

Are you a new start-up?

A driving force behind implementing staff benefits is to understand your costs. Part of this costs analysis should examine the feasibility to implement benefits. A major factor affecting the feasibility is whether your business is a new start-up concept or is it a well established restaurant/chain. The cost of implementing benefits in a new start-up restaurant may outweigh the possibility of future growth and even survival. On the other hand, larger restaurants or chains can leverage their sales to cover the costs and at same time potentially offer a greater benefit package. Therefore, the very first step a restaurant must do is to identify the Pros and Cons that can affect their business.


  • Potential to attract great employees
  • Provides employee motivation
  • Improve quality of work and life
  • Potential to maintain lower staff turnover


  • Cost a lot of money

There may be many more pros and cons of staff benefits, but these are the main points in which come to mind. Although the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages, it is still important to calculate the actual costs.

Where should I start?

Here is a list of questions you should answer to determine the cost of implementing any form of benefits.

  1. How many staff do you have in total?
  2. How many are full-time and how many are part-time?
  3. Are you going to offer benefits to all your staff?
  4. When will your staff receive benefits? After 3 months probation?
  5. Will your staff receive all the benefits at one time or will be it broken down into several months?
  6. What kind of benefits will you offer?
  7. How much does each benefit cost?
  8. What is the percentage of benefits to restaurant’s sales?

Okay, you have analyzed the cost and you have answered each of the questions listed above. If you believe it is feasible to offer benefits, now you need to know how it can benefit you and your restaurant.

Employee benefits can generate positive results for your whole restaurant. Staff become motivated, morale increases and staff turnover can potentially decrease. Restaurants need to be creative. The more attractive the benefit package you can offer, the more likely you can attract among the very best of employees.

Remember, we can always build upon what we begin. As your business grows, so too can the benefits. As a new start-up, perhaps implementing benefits may not be fit for you. Therefore, you should wait and place more focus on generating sales. Until you have achieved your sales goals, then you can slowly offer your staff benefits. Take note of what benefits you want to add on in the future and understand how they can benefit you.

We will continue on with part 2 of this post on Friday where we will discuss some of the biggest employee benefits in the restaurant industry.

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