1 – What is restaurant efficiency?
2 – Improve your table turn times
3 – Choose the right ePos
4 – Improve your restaurant rating
5 – Optisime your layout
6 – Reduce your food waste
7 – Improve your team communication
8 – Create a loyalty programme
9 – Summary
In this post, we at TableYeti will share with you our top recommendation for improving your restaurant performance. With these smart ways to improve your restaurant efficiency, you will be able to notice significant results almost in an instant.
The restaurant industry is very competitive. According to CNN, almost 60% of new restaurants close within one year of opening. Of course, it depends on the city – in less competitive markets, this number can be much lower, close to 20%, while in very competitive markets like London, New York, Paris, this number could be even higher. Even large and famous restaurant chains sometimes go bankrupt (like Jamie Oliver’s empire, for example). According to a survey from PWC, in 1989, the majority of people (over 55%) only went out for a meal less than once a month. Already in 2015, this number dropped to 26%, and over 15% of people say that they go to a restaurant once a week. In 2020, we can expect people to eat out even more often.
So what is restaurant efficiency and how to make your Restaurant more efficient than it is now?
To put it simply, an efficient restaurant earns more than it spends. However, it really sounds easier than it is, as there are many processes to consider and to optimise. Sometimes, restaurant efficiency is affected by external factors that absolutely cannot be influenced. If there’s a crisis in Argentina and a restaurant mainly imports ingredients from there, there isn’t much that can be done except for trying to replace the ingredients.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of processes that can be influenced and improved. So let’s talk about the smartest ways to improve your restaurant efficiency in the UK.
Smart ways to improve your restaurant efficiency
Improve your table turn times
One of the most crucial restaurant efficiency metrics is table turn time or in other words, how long is each table occupied. If your Restaurant is bustling and guests enjoy sipping a glass of wine for hours; introducing a table time limit might be a good idea. Many popular restaurants in London limit the time you can spend at the table with 1.5 or 2 hours.
If you don’t want to limit each guest’s visit, you can try to influence how fast does your staff bring the menu, sort out the bill and the payment and prepare the table for the next guest. You can improve the payment process by switching to a smart card machine that can allow the guests to split their bills at the table themselves. The waiters don’t need to hover over the table and wait for the guests to calculate how much everyone owes anymore.
Choose the right ePOS and integrate it into all the restaurant processes
Another smart way to improve your restaurant efficiency is by choosing the right ePOS and integrating it into all the restaurant processes. EPOS is really important, as it helps you to manage your entire Restaurant in just one place – from assigning tables to generating performance reports. If you have different processes logged in different systems, that might create confusion and cause problems in the long term. Hence, it’s vital to invest in a good and reliable restaurant ePOS.
Improve your restaurant rating
You might be wondering how restaurant rating and reviews on the external platforms like Tripadvisor or Google could be affecting your restaurant efficiency, but it’s straightforward. The higher is your restaurant review rating, the more customers you will be getting. Unless your Restaurant is located in front of the British Museum and you will be getting a lot of customers anyway, the review rating matters a lot. Customers are willing to travel to another district/town to check out a place that has a good rating.
To improve your customer review rating, make sure to provide excellent service and always act on negative feedback. You can get real-time customer feedback if you use TableYeti as your payment terminal (it works with all ePos). In essence, you will be able to see right away what went wrong and how to avoid having similar situations in the future.
Optimise your restaurant layout
Another way to optimise your restaurant efficiency is to optimise your restaurant layout. It might really seem obvious, however, many restaurants don’t have the most optimised sitting space at all. Some restaurant owners emphasise design over the efficiency and end up with a lot of empty seats and tables for four occupied by couples.
You can add seating spaces at the bar for solo diners or couples and invest in tables for two than can be easily combined together for larger groups. However, before introducing these changes, you need to analyse what is the average group size of your customers and how many empty seats do you normally have during peak times.
Reduce food waste
Reducing food waste not only helps the environment and makes your business more sustainable, but it also enables you to improve your restaurant efficiency. To reduce food waste, you can get creative and offer a surprise set menu with the products you have in surplus on that day. Alternatively, don’t get scared of telling your customers that you’ve run out some ingredients or dishes. It is much better to run out of something than throw away a lot of food.
Improve communication between your staff members
The role of staff in the hospitality industry is probably can’t be underestimated. However, it’s not only the waiters and chefs your entire Restaurant depends on but also the communication between your front of house and kitchen staff. In order to improve communication, make sure to listen to your staff, solve all the conflicts that may arise and ensure that you have a friendly and rewarding working environment. If you can, make sure to visit your Restaurant every day and help your team to solve guest & restaurant issues.
Another great way to motivate your staff is by providing incentives to reach their targets and KPIs.
Create a loyalty program
Finally, the last way to improve your restaurant efficiency that we are going to discuss in this post is by creating a loyalty program at your Restaurant or participating in the external one (e.g. Embargo). It might seem like a bit of work, however, it’s worth it in the long term, and it can help you attract bargain hunters and also reward your most loyal customers.
Summary of 7 smart ways to improve your restaurant efficiency
Of course, these were not all the ways of improving your restaurant efficiency, they were the main ones we could think of, and that could be easily influenced. By improving your table term times, integrating a smart ePOS, incentifying your staff and making sure the team spirits are up as well as establishing your loyalty program and striving to improve your review score, you can quickly improve your restaurant performance and increase efficiency.
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