Efficiency is everything for restaurant owners.
Unlike in retail, restaurants can only serve a finite amount of people at a time. This makes your table turnover times extremely important.
If you’re looking for ways to serve more customers in a day, here are four tips for increasing the efficiency of your restaurant.
1. Prep the Kitchen Before a Shift
Before a shift starts, the kitchen should be fully prepared for the upcoming customers.
First, and most importantly, all the food preparation should be completed.
If you need a certain amount of burgers or a housemade sauce, these items must be immediately available. It’s also wise to clearly assign jobs. If a kitchen worker becomes unsure about what to do, orders could be missed or done incorrectly.
For instance, you’ll want at least one person taking care of cold foods. If some jobs need to be combined, that’s perfectly fine.
Keep in mind that large spaces require better communication in this area. If you have a big kitchen or a Reef ghost kitchen, you’ll need to set up a system for sending updates.
2. Have a Busser and Runner Available
Bussers and runners, while easy to miss when dining, are the lifeblood of restaurants everywhere. While less busy days may not require these employees, these individuals are necessary in order to lessen food and line waits.
Also, having a busser and runner can lower the exhaustion of your servers. When looking for employees to fill these roles, it’s important to find someone flexible. The employee should be willing to do an unrelated task if a customer asks.
3. Give Servers Leading Questions
During a guest’s time at your restaurant, that individual should never feel rushed. However, it’s important to keep the process moving. Therefore, you may want to give your servers some leading questions and phrases for slower customers.
An excellent option to try is, “Is there anything else I can get for you?”. This question remains pleasant while steering the customer towards the bill.
Another option to try is, “Are we thinking about dessert today?”. Even if the table doesn’t want dessert, it encourages the group to consider the next steps.
Unfortunately, parties will often ignore these leading questions and stay for hours. If this happens a lot at your restaurant, you may want to consider setting a time limit.
4. Set Up a Board
Communication is key in any workplace. Unfortunately, maintaining strong communication can be extremely difficult in a restaurant.
Supplies change constantly, customers make difficult requests, and personal issues get in the way. If communication is an issue within your restaurant, you may want to set up a board in the back.
Before a shift starts, fill the board with updates and suggestions. One of the most important things to add is eighty-sixed items.
Servers need to know if something isn’t available, especially if it’s a popular item. It’s also essential to mention any events or large reservations.
Unless your restaurant provides fast food-style service, your level of efficiency won’t be perfect. However, you can make changes that may greatly increase your daily number of clients. Know everyone’s roles, communicate changes, and improve your customer interactions.