People who go to restaurants expect to wait a little for their food. They know that if they want to get an exceptional meal, the chef will need some time to prep and cook their orders.
The big problem comes when the diners wait longer than they initially anticipate. If it takes more than 20 minutes for your customers to get their order, your sales will be significantly affected.
When your customers are disappointed with their wait times, it is highly likely they will share their experiences and give your restaurant a bad review online. This, of course, can affect your reputation and your business overall.
If your restaurant is one of the oldest, most esteemed and popular places in town, but your customers usually have to wait too long for their order, you need to turn things around now.
Provide Faster, More Efficient Service in Your Restaurant
Below are five tried-and-tested ways to improve the waiting times in your dining establishment:
1. Invest in a top-notch POS system
An excellent way to start reducing waiting times in your dining establishment is to get the best restaurant POS system in the UAE.
A POS system with table management features will help your front-of-house team assign customers faster to the right tables. Additionally, they can inform oncoming diners of estimated waiting times, which will make them feel that they are being attended to.
They app’s order taking and management feature will help your waitstaff have a faster time processing and sending tickets to the kitchen. With these electronic tickets, the back-of-house team will also avoid wasting time trying to decipher illegible handwriting. All these translate to quicker, more efficient service.
Additionally, a good POS program will make the payment process faster and more efficient, too.
2. Reassess your menu
A menu that has dozens of different appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts can lead to increased ticket times since customers will have numerous options to choose from. In case many of these items are complicated to prep and cook, service time will take even longer.
If your menu is ten pages long and all items are printed in small fonts, consider streamlining it to include only your most popular meals. By doing so, you will significantly improve waiting times in your restaurant.
With fewer dishes on the menu, your kitchen staff will be able to focus on making small numbers of high-quality menu items. They won’t have to rush to put together a wide range of different meals.
Before you start making changes on your menu, assess each item carefully first. The dishes you should remove are the ones that hardly ever get ordered.
3. Get rid of chokepoints
Restaurants are also prone to bottlenecks and congestion of foot traffic. A poor table layout prevents the waitstaff from moving quickly between tables and the kitchen. This significantly slows down the process of taking orders, delivering food, and even table busing.
This issue can be easily corrected by removing one or two tables and rearranging the seating in your restaurant. Make sure the servers have spacious and direct paths to deliver food and seat diners.
Evaluate the kitchen as well. Check if everyone has enough space to work. Additionally, take a look at the way they move: do they need to move from one area to another to get the ingredients and tools they need?
If the kitchen staff are moving more than is necessary and seem to be getting in each other’s way often, change the layout of the kitchen. Rearrange the equipment, prep tables, and other fixtures to ensure everyone has plenty of space and can move more freely. This tip can significantly improve service time in the restaurant.
4. Create a good shifting schedule
When your restaurant is understaffed, everything will be slower. As such, make sure you always have enough staff to cover each shift.
Prioritize having more employees during the busy hours: lunch and dinner. With enough staff, you will ensure all customers will be seated and served within an acceptable amount of time. The workflow will be faster in the kitchen as well.
Having more employees, though, means paying more people which will affect your business’ bottom line. To avoid this, determine the exact number of staff you need for a shift that will enable you to balance quick service with profitability.
5. Train your staff well
A POS system will speed up the order taking and paying process. A convection oven will cook more food in less time. These investments can reduce wait times in your restaurant. However, they won’t be of any help if your employees do not know how to use them.
Because of this, once you have a new system or equipment in your restaurant, ensure all employees who will use them are trained properly. If you need to bring in product or brand representatives to train them or to provide a demo, do so.
Additionally, have your front-of-house team undergo customer service training regularly. They should be trained in the proper holding and setting down of food on the table and with clearing plates. When they follow standard practices and steps, they will perform their jobs faster and better in a safe manner.
If you want to start improving waiting times in your establishment by investing in a restaurant management system in the UAE, shop around for one that has table and order management features. It should also have a cashier point of sale that is reliable and easy to use. Additionally, choose one that will enable you to access and track costs, sales, and profits so that you can stay on top of and manage these critical numbers.
Our sales team is ready to help you find the right POS solution that will answer your business needs. We can customize packages to ensure your program will help you run a more efficient, profitable restaurant.
Get in touch with us to know the different ways we can help grow your food business.