An unexpected rush, being short staffed or a menu item that slows down speed of service each time it is ordered. There are many of reasons why customers may wait longer than they want to be seated, get their meals or get the check. While you cannot have a plan in place for every possible situation, you can use these tips to minimize the negative impacts of slow service!
Increased Speed of Service: Restaurant Best Practices
Before you can critique how fast or slow your speed of service is, you need to define what great service is at your restaurant. According to foodwoolf.com, restaurant owners should “get clear on what great service looks like for your restaurant and write it down”. Once you have established what level of service you expect, you can work on ways to do it better and faster. This is an important and often skipped, first step.
Once you have your service levels defined, it is important that you provide your team with the proper equipment. Simple things like making sure you have enough silverware, dishes and basic inventory items all the way up to making sure your cooking equipment, dishwashers and refrigeration are working properly and have the proper capacity for your needs. This can all shave time off of everyday tasks and have a large impact on your speed of service.
Now that you know your service targets and your equipment is operational, it’s time to spend some time on the human side. According to delaget.com, restaurant owners should “prioritize training” and “schedule the right people for the right roles”. The more comfortable people are with your systems and processes, the more accurately they will perform, which in turn increases your speed of service. A training program should include the following:
- Practice in the POS system
- Role playing and menu overview
- Time job shadowing a more experienced team member.
There are many factors that impact the speed of service at your restaurant, and not all can be planned for. However, if you take some time and implement the tips above you will find your speed of service won’t suffer when you get an unexpected rush or find yourself short staffed!