Have you ever thought of your restaurant’s tables and seats as revenue generating assets? For a restaurant of any capacity, increasing the table-turnover rates is a critical path in ensuring success. Consider this: By turning all tables at least three times per dinner service, you could possibly triple your revenue for the evening.
On the flipside, we know what a low table-turnover rate can do to a restaurant. When diners hog seats or only order one item off the menu for an extended period of time, you’ll need to step in to ensure consistent cash flow throughout the day.
However, while you’re ensuring a higher revenue from high table-turnover rates, you also need to factor in a seamless customer service experience. We recommend three things you should adopt.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Peak periods can get tough with hungry guests — nobody likes waiting in line on an empty stomach.
When the going gets tough, it’s important to notify guests of their limited dining time to manage their expectations. Customer service is everything here — choose the right words to inform guests of limitations during the reservation process, and consider utilising tools such as a table management app to maintain consistent levels of communication.
2. Schedule resources to meet demand
From aggregating reservations across more than 4,000 restaurants in Asia, we found that table-turnover rates are consistently higher with each passing day of the week. Unsurprisingly, the highest table-turnover rates occur during Saturday dinners. Plan ahead and prepare for a busy service by increasing the staff count and ensuring that your kitchen is sufficiently stocked.
3. Optimise for quicker turns
Understandably, smaller groups dine quicker. The average turn time for a table of two is two times shorter than a group of six, freeing up tables faster to accommodate more diners.
With this in mind, sit smaller groups to optimise your tables for the best table-turnover during peak periods. Create a Gantt chart to visualise reservations that help you identify gaps and offer tables to groups. Start with a stacked bar chart on Microsoft Excel, or leave it to the experts to sort this out.
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