Restaurant overheads are one of the largest. If you are looking to reduce costs, you should ask yourself how many staff members you require at your restaurant.

Unfortunately, no single answer is available to this crucial question. You need to consider many factors when deciding how many employees are required to run your restaurant.

It is not an easy task to find the right staffing balance. This requires constant monitoring and adjustments. It’s difficult to find the right balance between having too many people and causing cash flow problems.

To achieve sustainable success in hospitality, it is crucial to find equilibrium with your staffing levels.

Hard numbers

Remember that every restaurant is unique when it comes to staffing. Your service style, restaurant size, and type will all affect the number of employees you require.

Self-service restaurant

Staff requirements are lower because self-service restaurants operate more casually. Your wider operation may be able to operate with a lower staff requirement, as food is not prepared to order, and no staff are required to deliver meals to customers. Typical staff demands might require:

  • Front of the House (FOH) – 1 staff member per shift for every 12 tables.
  • Back of the House (BOH) – There are 4 employees per hour for every 50 customers.
  • Supporting staff (admin/accountant, HR) – 1-2 employees per shift (Cashier staff, cleaners) – 1 & 2, respectively, per shift.

Seated casual dining restaurant

These restaurants will offer better service. This means that you will need to hire more staff per customer in order to keep up with customer orders and clean up after them. You might need to hire more staff if you have the following requirements:

  • Front of the House (FOH) – Service/Servers – 1 staff member per shift for every 5-6 table.
  • Back of the House (BOH – Kitchen/Cook staff – 4 employees for 50-60 cover restaurants per shift
  • Supporting staff (admin/accountant, HR) – 1-2 employees (cashier staff, cleaners) per shift.

Fine dining restaurant

Fine dining restaurants need more attentive service and will therefore require more staff at the front and back of the house. These are some examples of general staff requirements:

  • Front of the House (FOH) – Service/servers – 1 staff member per shift for every 4 tables.
  • Maitre d’ – 1 staff member per shift.
  • BOH – Kitchen/cook staff – 6 employees per shift for 50-60 restaurant covers.
  • Supporting staff (admin/manager, accountant, and HR) – 1-2 employees (cashiers and cleaners) per shift.

These numbers are only a guideline and may vary by up to 20%, depending upon the venue and the type of menu.

Keep your employees satisfied.

You want customers to leave happy. But, it’s also important that your employees are satisfied.

To provide your staff with positive work culture and environment, you need to roster enough staff per shift so that no one is under-worked and the job is not stressful. It’s a good idea to underestimate staffing requirements. This can be helpful when dealing with possible emergencies or staffing shortages.

You will need to fill the following roles in your restaurant’s staff.

The type of restaurant that you open will determine the staffing requirements. There may be servers, chefs, dishwashers and hosts needed for your restaurant. Some roles might overlap at first. Servers can double as dishwashers during quiet times, while managers can host. It is important to find flexible and willing people to take on new roles.


The manager is the most important position in a restaurant. While some business owners may choose to manage the restaurant themselves, others prefer to hire more experienced ones.

Candidates who have worked in the same type of restaurant management will be most qualified for this job. They will also be familiar with local suppliers and methods.

Managers must be able to manage the restaurant and order stock, track inventory, open and close it, and train staff and develop a marketing plan. You want a candidate who reflects your brand and style.


The chef could be the main attraction depending on where you are located. Chefs with a reputation for creating culinary masterpieces and menus can make or break a restaurant. It is important to find a chef who fits your restaurant’s style, promotes your restaurant, and builds your reputation.


It is best to hire cooks according to the type of restaurant you want to open. You can have cooks work with chefs or head chefs. Or, you can manage the kitchen alone. If customers know what to expect, they will be more likely to return time and again.


Dishwashers can clean silverware and dishes in your establishment. You may not need one, so hire only when you have the need. These types of jobs are great for junior workers just starting out in the workforce and will be more affordable to hire due to their age.

Serving staff

Another important component of your restaurant is its serving staff. Servers interact with customers and must have a positive attitude.

They must also be able to work under pressure and meet multiple customer demands at once while still maintaining a positive outlook.

Restaurant host

You may need someone to take reservations, seat customers and finalize the bills if you own a fine restaurant. A host position requires a well-organized applicant who can deliver outstanding service. The host is the first impression that customers have of your venue.


Buspersons are responsible for setting up and clearing tables, refilling water bottles, replenishing condiments, and supporting the serving staff. These tasks are often assigned to your serving staff. However, if your venue requires additional support, ensure that they are properly trained.


A bartender is required if your business wants to make a significant portion of its revenue from alcoholic drinks. Bartenders usually start their day by setting up the bar. If required, bartenders can manage stock levels or complete purchase orders. Bartenders must be familiar with well-known drinks and can complete special requests.

In addition to these staff members at the restaurant, you might also need to hire bookkeepers or accountants, HR staff, and administrative staff. Depending on the style of your restaurant, these positions may be different.


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