We understand that crunching numbers may not be as exciting as cooking up a storm in the kitchen. However, accurately figuring out the cost of training your restaurant staff over a year is crucial for budgeting and resource planning. It can also help you determine whether investing in training tools is a worthwhile idea.

In this article, we'll guide you through the steps of calculating the training cost for your restaurant staff. So let's get those calculators ready and start crunching the numbers!

As part of your Opus evaluation, we can help you calculate this costs and potential saving. To get started, book time here.

How Do Restaurants Train Their Staff?

Training in restaurants usually involves a mix of formal learning and practice to teach employees the skills they need. Here's how it's typically done:

  1. Paper Training: Staff members get training materials and learn about restaurant rules, procedures, and specific knowledge.
  2. Shoulder-to-Shoulder Training: Employees put their theoretical knowledge into practice by shadowing experienced staff, doing supervised tasks, and gradually taking on more responsibilities.
  3. Role-Specific Training: Employees receive job-specific training to become skilled in their roles, like chefs learning cooking techniques or waitstaff getting customer service training.
  4. Continuing Education: Restaurants prioritize ongoing learning through training sessions, workshops, and industry events to keep employees up-to-date with trends and best practices.

Knowing how training is done in restaurants will help you estimate training costs more effectively.

Hidden Costs to Consider

When estimating training costs for your hourly restaurant staff, it's important to remember hidden costs that are often overlooked. These costs can impact your training budget if not accounted for.

Some hidden costs include lost productivity when employees are away from their regular work for training, the effect of staff turnover on training investments, the need for repeated or refreshed training sessions, costs of technology and equipment used in training, administrative tasks like scheduling and record-keeping, ongoing support and follow-up training, and evaluating and improving training programs over time. Considering these hidden costs will help you create a more accurate estimate of the investment needed for effective training programs. To learn more, read "6 Hidden Costs in Restaurant Training Estimates"

Steps to Estimate Training Costs

To estimate the cost of training your hourly staff over a year, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Training Programs.
  2. Determine Training Hours.
  3. Calculate Total Training Hours.
  4. Determine Trainer Costs.
  5. Factor in Staff Wages.
  6. Calculate Total Admin & Scheduling Hours.
  7. Factor in Admin Wages.
  8. Estimate Training Material Costs.
  9. Calculate Total Training Cost.
  10. Consider Other Expenses.

Remember, actual costs may vary based on factors like staff size, training requirements, and changes in trainers or materials.

An example of how to calculate your training costs


Accurately estimating the cost of training your hourly restaurant staff is crucial for financial planning and resource management. By following a step-by-step approach and considering factors such as training programs, hours, trainer costs, material costs, staff wages, and other expenses, you can come up with a reliable estimate. This will help you allocate your resources and investments effectively.

We've seen restaurants save upwards of 50% of their training labor by switching to Opus. As part of your training platform evaluation process, we'll help you calculate your training costs and assess the potential savings.

To see how using Opus can improve your restaurant's bottom line, book time here.