Whether you’re going to start a food truck business or have been running a food truck for a few months already, there’s no doubt that the process will be expensive. Besides food costs, labor is one of the most costly factors in running a food truck business. Just as you track your the sales your truck makes on a daily basis to keep track of your expenses and to see if you are on target for your budget projection, you should track labor daily as well.

How To Track Labor Daily

Labor costs are typically understood as a percentage of sales. To determine your food truck labor cost, use the equation you see here:

(Payroll / Total Sales) * 100 = Labor Cost Percentage

Many food trucks try to run a labor percentage below approximately 20 percent. When the costs begin to climb, anxiety levels rise as well. Still, simply paying your employees less will not solve labor cost issues. The keys to controlling labor costs are improving workplace productivity and scheduling your employees wisely.

Related: Controlling Food Truck Labor Costs Through Productivity

Why Track Labor Daily?

In terms of labor costs, there is a lot you can’t change. Taxes and insurance costs are factors that are dictated to you, but there are areas where food truck vendors have more control, such as pay rates, employee schedules, and work attire.

So managing labor costs starts with knowing not to waste time spinning your wheels where you can’t make changes. Invest your energy instead on the areas where you legitimately can cut costs.

The Bottom Line

If you track labor daily if the line at your service window is trending higher than you have predicted, you can increase the number of hours used, and if you did a poor job cutting staffing levels early in the week, you can cut more aggressively to make your budget.

Do you have any additional reasons for food truck vendors to track labor daily? What has worked for you, and what didn’t? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook | Twitter