Lingering diners are eating into your revenue. Increased table turnover means more sittings, more tips, and more profit.
The concept of increased table turnover boosting sales is not new, but it is still as relevant as it was in the pre-pandemic restaurant industry. Now that we are back on track, we can focus on how to optimise table turnover to produce profitable results, both for our businesses and for our servers.
Let’s examine some of the statistics and data surrounding table time per meal, to find out what optimal times are. Later, we will talk about how we can improve those turnover times in your restaurant or diner.
How Long Should Table Turnover Be?
Optimal table turnover varies per eatery. Ideally, you don’t want to rush your guests, but you do want them to finish quickly so you can reuse the table. As any good server knows, there is no way of telling which customers will linger over a meal and which won’t prior to them booking.
Studies have shown that the average dinner can complete their meal in 30-40 minutes. If your diners are staying longer than this, you can work out your own average turnover.
Calculate your average table turnover by taking the number of tables you have and dividing them by the number of sittings you get each dinner service. If you have 20 tables and you manage to serve 80 meals, your turnover is 4 sittings per night.
The Different Ways to Improve Table Turnover
Now that we know what it means to improve table turnover in your diner, let’s examine ways to improve that number.
Offer Alternative Seating
No diner wants to feel rushed, but you can still move them away from the table and offer them bar seating so you can turn it over. You could even placate them with a free drink or complimentary mints.
Ask if they would like anything else
Sometimes, a simple question is all it takes. Ask the group that is lingering if they would like to order more food, if there is anything else you can get them, or if they would like to look at the sweet menu again. All these signs will eventually translate. Don’t be pushy, but hints are allowed.
Dining booths are a customer’s preference when it comes to dining in privacy. However, they darken down the restaurant space and take up more room than a standard dining table set. Look at your layout and think about how to maximise the number of tables you can have. Remember, it must not feel crowded.
Streamline Serving Processes
Service is one of the top priorities of any restaurant business model. Ensuring your servers are offering top-quality solutions for customers, as well as doing things in an optimal manner, can streamline processes to shave time of table turnover. Put simply: slow waiting staff can prolong dining experiences and drag down your bottom line.
How an Online Payment App Would Help
Digital POS systems speed things up exponentially in a service industry environment. Your order is placed through the online payment app and arrives directly at the kitchen. It is fulfilled and brought to you, without the need of interruption.
As any chef or waiter will tell you; miscommunications between handwritten orders both slow down service and cost you in food waste. An online payment app solution provides a solution for both problems at once.
The Different Ways A Payment App Could Help
A payment app like Kayana could help in different ways. The Kayana payment app allows diners to have a contactless payment experience when they eat with you. It’s simpler, more effective, and allows you to increase that crucial table turnover time. When used correctly, you could benefit from the following positives in table turnover.
Decreased waiting times
Customers can order before they sit down. They can use the app to order and pay, wait in the bar until their food is ready, and then eat at the table. This means the bill can go out faster while it reduces the number of people lingering on your tables. You could gain a higher turnover.
QR Code Payment
Placing QR codes on your table means customers can pay as soon as they are ready to leave. This automates the payment process, freeing up the time a server would have spent making up the paper bill.
Better Customer Service
Restaurant servers who have less to do, have more time to focus on the customer. This is beneficial to you because it encourages consumer loyalty, and it is beneficial to the servers, who earn more electronic tips.
The “Split the Bill” feature allows customers to easily pay for their own food when they attend in groups. This eliminates server frustration and limits the need for exchanging of financial information.
Customers who use the “Kayana App” feature can exchange payments within as little as four clicks. This works on any Kayana account.
Automation frees up Staff
Employees who are unconcerned about splitting group bills, taking paper bills to tables, and accepting payments through a cash register, are happier employees. Automating the payment process gives them time to cater to the needs of the client.
Less Margin for Error
Similarly, employees who have less to do with payment and cash handling, are less likely to make mistakes. Automating payment processes means allowing less likelihood of errors. It even allows the customer to go completely contactless.
Contactless Payments are Better for Cleanliness
In the post pandemic world, we can all agree that operating a contactless payment system both reduces risk and the need for repetitive cleaning of payment portals. When customers pay through the app, they do not need to handle your POS equipment. This is safer for everyone.
Boosted Table Turnover Involves Various Factors
Boosting table turnover in your restaurant is a key element of increasing revenue. Finding the balance between ushering them in and out, and rushing them in and out, is the key to your success.
By Katriona MacMillan