For a small to medium sized restaurant, family health insurance will cost you $13,375* per year per employee. Many restaurants are offering dental and even 401k’s.
Why Not Offer Free or Discounted Food?
The purpose of any employee benefit is 2 things: employee effectiveness at work -which increases restaurant sales- and employee retention -which decreases turnover and reduces restaurant labor cost from training new employees-.
By offering employee meals as a benefit you will:
Increase Restaurant Product Knowledge : which increases passion for selling your food! I’ve seen so many restaurants where the employees know nothing about the food they are selling and are unable to give accurate, 5-star descriptions simply because they have not tasted it.
Reduce Theft: Part of the cost of giving away food can be offset because, let’s face it, some employees are going to find a way to steal food; this simply writes the cost of theft off.
Increase Restaurant Sales Revenue: Employees will talk friends and family into coming in and trying the food if they believe in it.
Don’t think of employee meals as 100% of the menu cost, it should really be 25%. For example, if your restaurant menu price is $22.00 then the real cost for the employee meal would be $5.50 .
Some tips for implementing an employee meal program:
Conduct Tastings for specials, wine, your most profitable items that you want to push.
Set a Restriction on ordering high restaurant food cost items.
Keep a Restaurant Employee Dining Area in order to maintain professionalism and respect of the chefs’ line.
Offer a 100%, 50%, or 25% food discount: keep it consistent
Record the Restaurant Cost of employee meals: this needs to be recorded for inventory purposes and the restaurant cost is tax deductible