Your customers want to enjoy a great dining experience – service, food, and ambiance. But even if your restaurant excels in all three areas, your revenue can be impacted by a single factor – speed. According to a study published in the Journal of Operations Management, wait times contribute to customers leaving without dining, longer intervals between return visits, and a shorter dining duration. The study concluded that without wait times, restaurants can increase revenue by 15 percent.
However, speed also matters once your guests get seated. Feed It Back found in a survey that 20 percent of negative reviews are caused by slow service, especially long lags between serving the appetizers and the main course. It’s reported that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, so consstent poor reviews caused by slow service can quickly begin to hurt your overall revenue. Even beyond reviews and guest satisfaction, operating your restaurant more efficiently leads to increased revenue through additional sales and cost savings.
Improving speed and efficiency at your restaurant doesn’t just have to do with how good your staff is and how quickly they move. Your restaurant POS can play a big role in improving service and speed in your restaurant.
Here are five ways the right restaurant POS can help you improve speed and efficiency:
1. Make it easy for employees to see table status. Your staff is busy serving customers and needs a quick way to see if a table is ready for seating or needs to be cleaned, or if guests have been waiting too long for their food. A restaurant POS that provides a graphical view of your tables with color coding allows management, servers and hostesses to quickly spot potential issues and solve any problems before a customer becomes upset. Without this quick view, your employees waste valuable time figuring out what needs to be done next and risk noticing a problem only after it’s too late.
2. Use kitchen video. Often, wait times and food delays are a result of bottlenecks in the kitchen. While printed tickets can help, printers are expensive and checking tickets can be time-consuming. Not to mention that the ticket system is prone to human error like staff misplacing tickets or forgetting to manually manage them.
With a kitchen video display system, you connect your front of the house with the back of the house so that everyone can see exactly what is happening. Your employees don’t have to stop what they are doing but instead can just glance at the screen. The video screen should also track time and flag orders that are falling out of the goal time range.
3. Provide targeted training. By choosing a POS that collects data, you have a full picture of your guests’ experience, even a breakdown of length of stay and average time at a table by server. You can then determine, based on the numbers, which servers need additional training. Because the data also includes the back of the house, you can pinpoint bottlenecks in the kitchen that may be increasing overall wait times. With targeted training, you can focus on exactly which employees need more help as well as what skills need to be reinforced. This allows you to provide individualized training that can be more effective than training all employees on all tasks in large groups.
4. Revise processes based on data. Sometimes the issues with speed aren’t tied to training or staff but rather to inefficient processes. If your technology provides different views of the data, such as by time of day and overall, you can pinpoint problems, when they occur and analyze the processes that are involved. For example, if you notice that many servers push the wrong buttons for drinks or entrees, rearrange the buttons on the POS or use a better color-coding system to make it easier to find the right selections. Being able to analyze data and then customize your POS in the way your restaurant functions is key to improving efficiency and speed.
5. Provide real-time restaurant POS access on mobile devices. Your managers may be off-site for the night or working in another part of the restaurant. With mobile access to your restaurant POS and real-time data, managers know exactly what is happening at the restaurant at any moment. Because they are able to spot issues as they are happening, they can then proactively solve the problems by calling in additional servers or kitchen staff if a busy night means longer wait times. The managers can also compare the real-time data to historical data to see if there are patterns.
As a manager or owner, trying to improve wait times can feel overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. Your problems may lie in several areas all contributing to inefficiencies and slow service. With a restaurant POS that provides you and your employees with data where and when they need it, you can easily improve your guest satisfaction, online reviews, and revenue.
Solve speed and inefficiency problems at your restaurant— and generate more revenue — with the right restaurant POS. Download our “Restaurant POS Buyer’s Guide” to get the details you need to make the best choice.