How To Improve Table Turns With A Full Service Restaurant POS System
Restaurant Table Turn Times Indicate The Health Of A Restaurant
You can gauge the health of your restaurant quickly with just one metric. This one metric can tell you if your staff works well together, if your menu is the right size for your concept and if the software you’re running your restaurant with is giving you the data you need. That one metric is your table turn.
Table turn is the ratio of parties you serve over the number of tables available in your restaurant. If a restaurant with 10 tables serves 30 parties, then the 30 parties are divided by the 10 tables to give a table turn of three. A party’s table turnaround time is the amount of time a diner spends in your restaurant from the moment they sit down to the moment they leave. Using the 10-table restaurant example, with an industry average table turn rate of three for a five-hour dinner service, the table turnaround time would be one-and-a-half hours.
Table turn rate is a vital statistic for a restaurant. A higher table turn rate means more revenue for the restaurant, more tips for the servers and better utilization of hourly rate kitchen crew. But there is both a science and an art to improving table turn. You don’t want to make your customers feel hurried and ruin their night out. But there are many ways to decrease the time a party sits at your table while actually improving their dining experience.
Shorten Menus To Increase Table Turns
Most of your patrons are experiencing some sort of decision fatigue by the time they sit at one of your tables. Sounding the depths of a 20-page menu will likely be seen as more of a chore than a delightful culinary excursion. In fact, a recent Gallup poll showed that the average customer spends just 109 seconds scanning a restaurant menu. Smaller menus allow customers to scan the entire menu in that time, empowering them to get on with the meal they came to your restaurant to enjoy.
Managing menus can be tricky and you can’t be in the kitchen all the time. Smaller menus increase the importance of tracking sales by order type and tracking individual items. Mobile management software allows you to track these details without spending valuable time traveling to each location or even heading into the office. With this software you can set discount, void and variable price thresholds from your phone and make menu changes based on mobile alerts while you’re on the go.
Utilize Full-Service Restaurant POS System To Give Customers The Control They Want
One of the best ways to increase table turn is to improve the efficiency of your staff. A thirty-minute delay in seating a table can add up: three or four cooks at $15 per hour, unrealized revenue of $30 or more per customer and wasted ingredients and kitchen prep time for those ingredients. Compare that to a party being greeted and seated within a minute of entering your restaurant and placing their order within eight minutes of sitting down. A highly trained staff with good procedures in place can mean big profits.
Another way to speed up table turnaround time is by utilizing a tool your customers are already using, their phones. An elegant order and pay at the table system gives your customers control over their dining experience. Your patrons can scan a QR code with their phones, place and personalize their orders and check out when they are ready, usually much more quickly than if they have to wait to catch a server to have their check brought to them.
When pay at table is integrated with a full-service restaurant POS system equipped with a kitchen display system (KDS), the customer’s orders go to the kitchen instantly, eliminating the need to wait for a server to enter the order and the kitchen does not need to print out a paper ticket. Additionally, with the Focus POS order and pay at the table system, the kitchen will send the customer a text confirming their order and emailing them a copy of their receipt. Once the customer’s information is entered once, they will never have to enter it again.
Keep It Moving With A Smile And A Beer
You should never push your customers out before they are ready to leave, but you don’t want them aimlessly lingering taking up valuable real estate either. Use the power of a smile from a friendly server to keep the night moving. Often simply asking if they want to order anything else is all the reminder people need and they will ask for the check. If this doesn’t work and people want to stay, take this as a very good sign. This means they are enjoying your restaurant and you want to keep it that way. Offering these already happy customers a free drink or dessert at the bar will help them continue their night out and will help you free up a valuable table. If you have taken care of your customer up to this point, they will most likely be happy to help you out by moving to a more comfortable lounge or the bar. A word of warning: Don’t try this in a fine dining restaurant. If your customer is already paying the price of a small car to eat at your restaurant, let them take their time at your table.
Utilizing empty space at the bar is a great way to increase restaurant table turn times. Having the right bar management software solution will help you in keeping track of patron tabs and drink orders.
People Skills And Full Service Restaurant POS System For The Win
There is an art to optimizing your restaurant’s table turn times while still providing top notch service. Getting the right tools in place will help you achieve the smooth-running restaurant you, your staff and your customers all want. With a well trained, friendly staff that knows how to keep things moving, a sleek, simple menu and a top-of-the-line full-service restaurant POS system that keeps everyone connected, you can improve your table turn times, serve more people and give them the great experience they want.