How Many Workers Are Needed to Meet the Targeted Labor Cost?

Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As a seasoned entrepreneur who has navigated the challenges of managing labor costs, I know the importance of finding the right balance in staffing. 

So, let’s dive into the topic of how many workers are needed to meet the targeted labor cost. 

In this article, I’ll share insights and strategies to help you optimize your workforce and achieve your desired labor cost goals. Let’s uncover the secrets to staffing success!

How Many Workers Are Needed to Meet the Targeted Labor Cost?

Determining the number of workers needed to meet a targeted labor cost requires analyzing your labor budget and business needs. 

Calculate the labor cost per hour and divide your targeted labor cost by this figure to estimate the number of workers required. 

Regular monitoring and evaluation of labor costs will help you maintain optimal staffing levels for meeting your targeted labor cost.

What Are Labor Costs?

Labor costs refer to the expenses associated with employing workers, including wages, salaries, benefits, taxes, and insurance [1]. 

It encompasses direct labor costs (compensation paid directly to employees) and indirect labor costs (related expenses like payroll taxes).

What Is an Example of a Labor Cost?

An example of a labor cost is employees’ wages for their time and work. This can include hourly wages, salaries, overtime pay, commissions, or bonuses. 

Other labor costs can include benefits such as health insurance, retirement contributions, and paid time off.

How To Calculate Labor Costs?

Chef Cooking

To calculate labor costs, follow these steps:

  • Determine the total wages paid during a specific period, including regular pay and overtime.
  • Add the costs of employee benefits, such as health insurance premiums, retirement contributions, and paid time off.
  • Include payroll taxes and other related expenses, like workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Divide the total labor costs by the number of hours worked to determine the labor cost per hour.

How To Lower Labor Costs?

Lowering labor costs without compromising productivity requires strategic management. Consider these approaches:

  • Optimize scheduling: Implement efficient scheduling practices to match labor demand with the actual needs of your business, avoiding overstaffing or understaffing.
  • Cross-train employees: Train employees to handle multiple tasks or roles, allowing you to adapt labor resources based on workload fluctuations.
  • Streamline processes: Identify and eliminate bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or redundant tasks that can waste labor hours.
  • Implement technology: Utilize technology solutions like automation, time-tracking systems, or workforce management software to improve efficiency and reduce manual labor.

Why Is Labor Cost Percentage Important?

The labor cost percentage is a crucial metric for businesses, as it reflects the proportion of total sales revenue allocated to labor expenses. 

It helps gauge the efficiency of labor utilization and provides insights into the business’s overall profitability and financial health.

What Is the Labor Cost Percentage in Restaurants?

In the restaurant industry, labor cost percentage is a key performance indicator. It represents the portion of total sales revenue spent on labor expenses. 

Generally, a labor cost percentage of 20-30% is considered acceptable in the restaurant industry, although it can vary based on factors like the type of restaurant, location, and business model.


Determining the optimal number of workers to meet a targeted labor cost requires careful analysis, considering factors like productivity, wages, and business needs. 

You can estimate the number of workers required to achieve your goals by conducting a labor cost analysis. Regular monitoring and adjustment will help maintain the right staffing levels. 

Finding the right balance is key to maximizing efficiency, controlling costs, and achieving desired labor cost targets. 

So, put your analytical hat on, evaluate your workforce needs, and march towards staffing success with a team that optimizes productivity and profitability.


Lauren Beck
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