10 Best Ways to Maximize Restaurant Turnover
With restaurants, one of the major things that determine how much revenue is generated in a day or a week is their table turnover rate. Now, as a restaurant owner, you can always sit back and hope that your reputation as an exotic restaurant will get you fast table turnovers or you can go out of your way and make a conscious effort to achieve that.
This, however, can be a delicate thing to do seeing as sometimes some customers like to stay back even after they have paid their checks and the longer they stay the more customers who could have sat there you lose; the trick here now is how to get such customers to leave without making them feel like they are been pushed out.
Here at Complete Commercial Refrigeration we have put together a list of very reliant tips on how restaurant owners can positively affect their turnover rate;
- Make certain every staff in your service is punctual
This may not come off as important but it actually is. Here’s how it works; if every staff does what they should be doing when they should be doing it, there would not be a reason for customers to stay a second longer than they should; at least on your part. Now, this tip doesn’t just help you make customers leave on time, it also leaves no room for the customers to get pissed with the staff or the restaurant because when people receive such top-notch service, they are bound to come back. So this way you not only save time you also save customers.
- Save time, drop the check before the customers are done
This strategy can be tricky because sometimes it may make it seem like you tactically telling customers that their time is up. Hence the strategy is better suited for casual restaurants or when the customers say they are in a rush. And to make it even more professional, waiters should know what phase of the meal customers are on so when they have been served desert then the check comes along.
- Don’t be scared to use technology
Don’t be so traditional that you entirely scrap off technology. Check paying and processing is a particularly tedious and time wasting task, servers have to collect credit cards, run them back to the register, print out receipts and deliver them back to the table.
The stress is even bigger when the server has to split the bill between credit cards. Using the mobile POS system alleviates all of this. With the POS system, all it takes is one swipe of the card and everything is done, this way customers can complete checks right at the table. You can use the Ziosk, iPad, or Square as your budget permits.
- Put more than one waiter at large tables
Sometimes people like to come in groups and at times like this using just one waiter for those tables will not be fair for both the waiter and the customers. The waiter will have to remember all their orders and then will have to keep going back and forth till he or she is done serving them. The customers, on the other hand, will have to wait longer and as a result, stay longer at the tables. This, however, can all be avoided by putting more than one waiter at such tables. This way the waiters don’t have to carry or remember much and the customers are all served on time.
- Reservations should not be accepted on very busy nights
Giving customers reservations is basically taking tables off your list of tables available, and sometimes the customers who placed the reservations don’t come on time and you end up losing other customers that may have at there.
To avoid this on nights that are always particularly busy, don’t accept reservations at all. If you still wish to accept reservations there is an alternative route. Shorten reservation hold times. Instead of placing a 10-15 minute courtesy hold on each reservation cut the hold time down to approximately 5 minutes (if possible).
- Minimize your menu as much as possible
Giving customers large menus with long lists of items leaves them confused most times, and hence they spend time deciding what to order.
This, however, can be avoided if instead you just offer small menus that include only your most popular options.
You can also let the seasons regulate what you serve or offer unique specials every week. (When applicable for your restaurant and location)
- Don’t re-explain the menu to guests
We know explaining the menu to guests should be part of a standard routine, this way the best choices can be highlighted to them; it, however, becomes annoying when the waiters do it for customers who already know.
They just end up wasting time and getting the customers annoyed. So to avoid this, the menu should only be explained to first-timers and customers who may have specifically asked for a rundown.
- Indulge customers
Sometimes the only nice way to get customers to leave a table when they are done with their checks is to entertain them somewhere else. This you can do by offering them a free drink at the bar.
This way you can free up the table and still not make the customer feel like he or she is getting pushed out. Courtesy, after all, is the watchword. In modern times, the “Thank You” economy is everything… indulging your customers will have them raving about your product or service on social media thereby leveraging your customer’s advertising abilities in a single pleasant transaction or gesture.
- Maintain an Organized Seating System
This will help make sure freed up tables don’t stay idle while there are guests in line. To achieve this, you can pre-assign tables to guests already in line so that when the tables are freed up and cleaned they get seated immediately.
You would also need to have a great communication between servers and hosts so when the host gives the server a signal, he or she knows exactly what to do.
- Be courteous!
With all the tips we have given you, it is important for the staff to do these things in a nice manner such that customers do not feel like they are being rushed out and not being treated well. When customers feel this way, chances are they will not return and this by extension means you end up hurting the turnover rates instead.
So to avoid all of that, make sure your staff is nice, they should act nice, say everything with a smile, and be friendly even when customers are being difficult.
10 Best Ways to Maximize Restaurant Turnover