The holiday season is here, and along with it comes the huge trail of customers lined outside your restaurant desperately waiting to party over dinner and drinks. While peak hours increase your sales, they also increase the chances of chaos, frustration and conflict. No customer likes to wait, and don’t think much before heading over to another restaurant.
The careful balance we have to strike is between keeping our customers engaged and happy while ensuring we serve as many tables as possible and rake in as much revenue as we can from peak hours. We have some great ideas on how you can make that happen.
- Make the most of peak hours
The maximum footfall restaurants encounter is usually between 8pm to 11pm. If you could save 10 minutes on an average for seating the customer, placing the order and then clearing the bill. This can help you save up to 30 minutes a table, allowing you to add one more table to your service during peak hours. This can give you a 30% increase in revenues during peak time alone, and an increase of 10% to the overall business.
That can be quite a significant part your growth strategy in the long term. But it’s easier said than done. Here are a few ways to make this happen:
- Pre-assign table for a hassle-free transition between the guests in-waiting and the ones dining
- Only accept walk-in customers to avoid dealing with no show parties from advanced reservations.
- Keep track of the group sizes on your waitlist and rearrange your tables to cater to those that show up most frequently. For example, if groups of four diners are frequently waiting at your door, it may be a sign that you don’t have enough tables that seat four people. See if you can reorganize your tables to cater to this need.
- Train your staff to politely ask if diners need anything else and then place the bill on the table quickly if the answer is “no”. If diners still don’t leave the table, it’s perfectly acceptable to go up to them and explain there are people waiting for the table.
- Schedule your service staff effectively
Nothing is more irritating for hungry customers than waiting for waiters to come to take their orders. Working out a strategy that helps your staff operate hassle-free with effective management of tables at the restaurant can save a lot of time. inResto Dine-in is an app that has a ‘Buzz waiters’ feature, with which diners can call the waiter by simply pushing a button that notifies them to come to the diner’s table. This saves a lot of time for both the diner and the waiter.
- Keep your menu interesting, compact and online
The longer your menu, the longer is the time taken by your diners to make a decision. Give them options in the form of specials but keep the menu short, helping them land on a decision quickly. You could even consider digital menus which provide the customers the ease of ordering their meal on their smartphones. Decisions can be made quickly with the help of images and reviews by other diners. Moreover, digital menus give customers the liberty to decide their order while still waiting for their table. Then, they can order as soon as they are seated, without even having to wait for the staff. This can speed up your service significantly.
We admit these strategies are a lot to handle. They take time, attention to detail and scrutiny of a wide range of factors.
However, there is an easier way. InResto’s suite of products – especially inResto Reserve, inResto Guest and inResto Dine-in – help you manage your rush hour queues, handle customer walk-ins, organize table reservations, analyze waitlist data, speed up the ordering process, and much more, to effectively increase the overall productivity of the restaurant.