Ways to calculate personnel for a restaurant

If you are starting in the restaurant sector, there are a series of requirements that you must fulfil before opening and obtaining the fruits of your investment.

This time, we will talk about how to calculate the amount of staff for a restaurant. A basic concept that you must master in order to achieve the proper functioning of your business.

We will also show you the basic positions in a restaurant and different cases of operation. The aim is to give you an example of how to assign the shifts to each of the staff members.

General calculation

General calculation

The first thing you must define is the number of shifts your restaurant has or will have. This is the first variable in the formula.

Now, let’s subtract vacation, rest, holidays, absenteeism, 365 days a year. Let’s assume the following scenario:

  • Vacation: 30 continuous days.
  • Breaks between shifts: 96 days.
  • Annual holidays: 18 days.
  • Average absenteeism: 1 day.

The sum gives us 145 days. We subtract this from the days of a year and we get the real time that each employee will work: 220 days a year. This amount corresponds to 60.27% of the days of the year.

By covering three daily shifts, we are talking about 1,095 shifts per year (3 shifts x 365 days = 1,095 shifts per year). Each person will cover 60.27 of those shifts. Therefore, we divide 1095 / 220.

The result is 4.9. We round it up and get 5. That’s the number of people we need to cover the 1,095 annual shifts our restaurant will have.

All this calculation is valid in case we have only one waiter per shift and he can take care of the optimal attention of all the tables in the restaurant.

Calculation of necessary staff – Day and a half of rest

Calculation of staffing requirements - One and a half days off

In the previous case, we managed two days of rest. Now we will calculate the amount of staff needed per day and a half of rest per week of work.

The number of days off decreases to 72. So the days worked now will be 244, not 220 as in the first case.

On this occasion, the 244 represent 66.85% of the days of the year. Let’s round it up to 67%.

We then divide the 1,095 annual shifts over 244 working days. This gives us 4.4. In other words, we will need an average of 4 employees per year to cover all the shifts.

Calculate restaurant staff – Two days off and closure in August

Calculation of restaurant staffing - Two days off and closing in August

As we have two days off and are completely closed in the month of August, the working days would be kept at 220 days. However, because of the closure in August, we would say that the year has 335 days.

In this case, we divide 220 by 335 and get the percentage of working days: 66% rounded.

In this case, the three shifts over 335 days would give 1,005 shifts per year. To find out how many people are needed, we divide 1005 by 335 to get 4.5.

We round up to 5 and establish that we need, on average, 5 employees to cover 3 shifts during 335 days a year.

With these scenarios, you will already have a solid base to make the calculation of the amount of people that your restaurant requires attention.

General considerations when calculating personnel for a restaurant

General considerations for calculating staffing for a restaurant

When opening a restaurant, there are many important decisions: location, decoration, renovations, equipment, are just some of them.

There are always doubts and uncertainties about the number of people you should hire

Although these are not questions that are answered before opening the restaurant, there are factors that will help you calculate the number of staff you will require. These general considerations are:


We have to decide what time the restaurant will be open, what days of the week it will serve and whether it will work on holidays.

From these points, calculate the number of people who will cover the shifts. It is important that the restaurant is never left unattended.

Capacity of the restaurant

Based on the size of the establishment, the number of tables and chairs at which guests will be served is decided.

To avoid long waiting periods for diners, you must hire the right amount of staff.

Don’t exaggerate, remember that -depending on the space- the waiters must move around easily when taking orders and serving the dishes. At all costs you must avoid collisions between staff.

Customer service time

Depending on the specialty to which the restaurant is dedicated, it is important to determine the time in which the diner will be served, taste his food and leave the establishment, giving way to new customers.

Time is an important element in hiring a specific number of people.

It is important to have people with ideal skills for the restaurant sector, such as knowing how to work under pressure, without losing control and quickly.

Importance of defining the positions you need

The jobs you need in your restaurant will depend on the specialty of the restaurant.

Although there are positions that are fixed within the organization of a restaurant, regardless of the type of cuisine, there are some that are subdivided and can make your business better managed.

Below, we explain which positions should be filled by people who have experience in the industry, so you can evaluate the positions you need within your business.


This position is almost always held by the owner of the restaurant, although sometimes people with more experience in organization are hired.

The manager is in charge of hiring the people who will occupy the positions and generally supervises the operation of the restaurant. The entire management of the site is under his responsibility.

In addition, the manager is responsible for organizing training for employees and arranging regular meetings to discuss the restaurant’s performance.

To set up the meetings, the manager must have frequent communication with the purchasing manager, the cooks and the head chef. It should be a fluid, respectful and constant communication.


He is in charge of managing the restaurant’s finances and keeping the accounts of the profits and losses. He is also in charge of analyzing the profitability of the sale of each dish, taking into account the cost of its ingredients.

In addition, it is in charge of generating sales strategies, keeping up to date with gastronomic trends to evaluate their inclusion in the menu, designing budgets and determining the establishment’s sales policies.

Purchasing Manager

This position is usually held by the owner or manager of the restaurant.

The objective of this job is to buy all the food and condiments. They must be of the best quality and at fair prices.

In addition, the purchasing manager keeps track of the inventory of cleaning products that are in use and those that are in storage in order to buy them when needed



The waiters, like the chefs, have a great weight in the organization of any restaurant. They are the ones who are in most contact with the customer, therefore, they will have the capacity to influence in their satisfaction.

They are in charge of taking the orders, bringing the dishes to the tables and removing the plates from the people who have finished eating.

Depending on the style of the restaurant, we have different types of waiters:


They are in charge of taking the commands from the customers and serving them their dishes.

A good table waiter must:

  • Treat your guests with respect.
  • Ability to promote and sell the dishes on the menu
  • Working under pressure.
  • Being quick and not bothering any diner.


They are responsible for attending to the demands of the diners at the restaurant bar.

In this position, experienced people must be hired who have the capacity to sell the dishes offered by the restaurant, as well as offering a pleasant treatment to the customers.


He’s an expert in liquor or wine. A sommelier has, as one of his responsibilities, to suggest the wines that the restaurant should buy according to the dishes that make up the menu. It is up to him to build a wine list.

Likewise, the sommelier trains the staff on the techniques that should be used to serve the wines and which glasses to use, in order to give the best service to the diner.

Finally, he guides and clears up any doubts customers may have about the wine list and recommends wines with prices that are accessible to the budget of diners

Head of room

It is the job that the person who organizes all the actions in the kitchen with those of customer service occupies. In addition, he or she manages table service, reservations and promotes the dishes on the menu.

He or she is in charge of billing from the commands, prepares the schedules of the shifts in which the waiters will work and advises the diner on the options of dishes appropriate to what he or she wants to consume.


They are responsible for ensuring that all the processes carried out in the kitchen are fulfilled as expected, obtaining dishes with the right quality and to the taste of the diner.

In turn, the head chef inspects the cleanliness of each food and ingredient. He ensures that the cooking time of each order is met and that the dish is perfect.

If necessary, the boss can help in any of the kitchen sections.

To be a chef you need to have leadership and know how to work in a team, as well as previous experience in this type of position, as well as in each of the kitchen stations, at least in the most important ones.

It is very important that you have a wide knowledge about cooking techniques according to the style of the restaurant, and that you keep on training and learning. You must eliminate any fear of combining new flavors and techniques.


Cooks are part of the fundamental pillars for a restaurant to function properly.

They are in charge of preparing each of the recipes on the menu, taking into account the details of each diner’s order.

The people in this position must have experience in preparing the food served on the menu.

A cook with a broad sense of creativity and innovation is recommended, who knows how to work under pressure and maintain concentration in times of increased traffic in the restaurant.

These people also need to have been trained and have documents stating that they are authorized to handle food and its correct preservation techniques.

Kitchen Assistants

The kitchen assistants are the right hand of the cooks. They have a very important job within the kitchen. They help prepare the food that is served as part of the menu.

When hiring kitchen assistants, experience working in the culinary world is taken into account and a current food handling certificate is required.

Cleaning equipment

They are the people in charge of cleaning and maintaining each of the spaces of the establishment and its furniture.

The ideal for this job is to hire people with experience and a great sense of care for detail.

It’s one of the most important positions. It is your responsibility to make a good first impression of the restaurant on the diner.

Tools needed for your restaurant

Tools needed for your restaurant

You already know the general formulas for calculating the number of people you need for the attention of your restaurant.

As a bonus, we offered you the most common positions within a restaurant.

Now we have come to offer you the products you need to make the management of your business easy and smooth.

In Monouso, online shop for restaurant and hotel articles, we have a lot of products that you can know by browsing the sections of our website.

Among the products that could serve you, for the calculation and definition of the staff you need, we have the sections:

  • Hotel clothing: Where you can find everything you need to offer the necessary clothing to all restaurant staff.
  • Disposable clothing: Beard covers, masks, hats, towels and disposable gloves are some of the products you will find in this section, ideal for preserving the quality of your dishes.
  • Hygiene products: Equipment and consumables that will help your cleaning staff maintain the cleanliness of each space in your restaurant.

In addition, you can find: plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, packaging, products manufactured with the highest quality materials and superior performance.

What are the main jobs in any restaurant?

We highlight the following: manager, administration, purchasing manager, waiters, bar and table staff, sommeliers, head waiter and kitchen manager, cooks, kitchen assistants and cleaning crew.

What should we take into account when calculating the staff for a restaurant?

We will have to think about the schedule, the capacity of the restaurant and the time of attention to the client.

What should a good waiter be like?

A good waiter should be respectful of the diners, know how to work under pressure, be fast and have the ability to promote the menu.

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