The costs involved with your food truck staff is an issue for every food truck vendor. You must be able to pinpoint and fix problem areas. Vendors will also need figures that are easy to find, easy to interpret, and make sense to you and your staff. Measuring labor costs by food truck owners can be used to benchmark staff levels as well as assist in hiring decisions.

In addition to helping you, your food truck staff members need to understand the productivity that you expect of them and how that work contributes to your mobile food business. Because of the importance of these numbers, we’ve put together a short list of 8 metrics you can use for measuring labor costs & productivity in your food truck:

Key Figures for Measuring Labor Costs

  • Total cost of labor. Wages plus all additional costs. Some may not be paid at the same time as wages, but are still a part of your weekly labor cost (workers comp premiums).
  • Fixed and variable wage costs. This includes the staff levels you need daily but also include those that you can call when things get busy. For a large food truck business, a flexible and permanent staff will give you the greatest productivity.
  • Number of hours worked. Total hours, this should be broken down into daily street stops and catering gigs.
  • Number of staff. This will include your full-time, part-time  and temporary food truck staff.

Key Figures for Measuring Employee Performance

These numbers will have more impact when your current figures are compared with results from last week, month or year.

Staff output per hour

So what does your staff produce? Can your two person food truck staff handle 80-100 customers over a 2 hour lunch rush? Do you need any additional staff members on days that are traditionally busier, or do you have to shut down operations?

Speed of staff

How long should it take a line cook to prepare 2 entrees and two sides for a typical lunch order? How long does it take an efficient service window staff member to take an order (do they have additional responsibilities such as pouring drinks)? If you don’t know this, it’s time to set some measurable standards.

Labor costs as % of total sales, and labor cost per customer or guest

Two ways of looking at the same figures. Generally, the second looks more frightening — labor at 33% or costing $3.30 for each 10 dollar ticket?

Number and source of complaints

If your staff is rushed to get every order out the service window which in turn their errors (and waste) increase, output falls and costs rise.

RELATED: KPI Examples Food Trucks Can Use To Improve Profits

Do you already measuring labor costs & productivity of your food truck staff? Do you have other metrics you use? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to share them on social media. Twitter | Facebook