Every restaurant has the same general goal in mind, and that is to boost profitability. There are many ways to do this and we have covered many of them over the past few weeks. Today we are going to look at improving table turnover rates, which is basically the time from when a customer is seated until they leave. Decreasing the amount of time it takes means you are able to seat more customers, resulting in increased revenue for your restaurant. Of course you don’t want your guests to feel rushed out the door, but you do want to create a steady flow of operations so things run smoothly and quickly. Here are a few ways to help increase table turnover rates.
It should come as no surprise that technology would be at the top of our list. Gone are the days of writing down orders and rushing them to the kitchen only to have someone stop you to confirm what you wrote down. There is no time for that and there is certainly no need. With POS Systems, servers have the ability to submit orders right from the table. Customers can even submit their own orders if restaurants have a kiosk or POS tablet on the table. This allows them to order dessert without waiting on the server or pay as soon as they are ready. Technology can also assist in helping the host know what tables are empty, allowing them to get seated quickly.
Adequate training improves so many aspects of running your restaurant, and increasing table turnover rate is no exception. Make sure your wait staff knows the expected amount of time they have to get to a table after guests have been seated and the amount of time before they have taken the table’s order. You can train your staff to politely bring the check before the end of the meal. This signals that the meal is coming to an end. Many restaurants refuse to seat guests unless the whole party is present because they don’t want to have to wait for the one straggler who is inevitably 30 minutes late to everything before the table orders. Whatever rules or regulations you have in place to increase turnover, be sure it is clearly communicated to your staff.
Trim Your Menu
If you have a long list of menu items, consider trimming it down. When customers are presented with too many options, it can cause them to take longer to order. You want to be strategic in this process to ensure you are keeping your best sellers, but also help people make quicker decisions, allowing you to serve more customers throughout the day.
There are so many ways to boost profits through increased table turnover. Calculate your restaurant’s turnover rates and see if any of these ideas can be implemented. Don’t forget to remind your staff to always be polite and never pressure or blatantly rush customers out the door. Your goal should also be to have repeat customers, so we don’t want to scare them away. Be professional, courteous and efficient and your restaurant will begin to see more customers in a day and generate more revenue for your business.