6 Ways to Increase Your Restaurant’s Service Speed
As our society becomes increasingly fixated on instant gratification, the food industry needs to be equipped to follow suit. With competitors like fast food businesses, other restaurants and eateries have to keep up with customers’ expectations. They say that customer service comes first before the actual food itself, but balancing between the speed and quality of service can sometimes be tricky.
This can especially be said for restaurants that specialize in certain types of cuisine. Whether it’s Chinese, Indian or Balinese cuisine, there will always be a need to bring the best food to the customer’s table without sacrificing time, and this can be difficult to do when traditional foods sometimes require laborious amounts of preparation.
Take for example the claypot turtle soup, wherein the preparation of turtle meat takes intense effort. Turtle soup restaurants will often need a proper strategy to maximize the efficiency of their staff for the sake of their customers. And these strategies would revolve around segmenting the entire cooking process for the food to be served to customer tables and improving them individually. For a better perspective, restaurant managers can split the work process into two segments: front of house (FOS) and back of house (BOS).
Back of House (BOH)
The back of house of a restaurant represents the kitchen and bar section of the restaurant where the chefs and cooks are stationed, as well as mixers and baristas. The workflow in this section must be as efficient as possible so that menu items can be churned out quickly for the waiters to take over. There are a few key elements that can bolster a more efficient kitchen environment, and they are:
1. Kitchen Inventory
It’s important for a restaurant to have an optimal amount of ingredients on hand to handle the volume of customer orders the restaurant receives daily. By utilizing a POS system, managers can maintain a healthy kitchen inventory stock whilst identifying problems that they can fix. With a software system, managers can also track sales reports and further forecast future demands, which in turn will affect their buying decisions.
2. Kitchen Display System (KDS)
Another form of software that a kitchen would need is a kitchen display system which can help staff keep tracks of orders. With the staff being aware of the amount of orders they have, they can then plan and coordinate their workforce effectively, helping them improve their kitchen workflow while they finish customer orders.
The last element that BOH needs to address, which is arguably the most important, is the staff. While it is paramount for managers to hire employees that are both capable and skilled, it is just as important to schedule them effectively. By optimizing labor, restaurants can schedule their workers by gauging their hourly sales as well as the respective labor costs. This can help them schedule their workers on shifts without giving up efficiency. This is especially true for turtle soup restaurants that require expert chefs and cooks round the clock.
Front of House (FOH)
The front of house of a restaurant represents waiters and waitresses that deal directly with customers. Where BOH is responsible for behind-the-scenes work, FOH plays an integral role as they represent the direct image of the restaurant, hence it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that they are the face of the restaurant’s reputation. Here are the ways to boost a restaurant’s service speed:
1. Store Layout
Some managers may overlook the importance of the restaurant layout in favor of visual aesthetics, but it’s crucial that employees can maneuver around their work environment effortlessly. Especially for restaurants that serve elaborate dishes such as claypot turtle soup, which requires delicate handling so that the broth doesn’t spill. Optimize the store layout and arrange restaurant furniture so both workers and customers can move easily.
2. Digital Payment Options
With contactless and digitalised payment systems, waiters can ensure customers have a seamless check-out experience. This avoids the hassle of customers counting their cash and waiters walking to and fro to find change.
On that note, with the world being continuously digitized, a key factor of improving a restaurant’s service speed would be to capitalize on the digital opportunities current technologies currently present.
3. Self-order and Check-out Technology
With self-ordering systems, customers can directly send in orders to the kitchen. This can help in many ways: for one, it cuts the waiting time for customers to actually make their orders, since they no longer have to wait for waiters to serve them. Two, it also avoids the problem of miscommunication, leaving no room for mistakes to happen.
The service a restaurant provides is the backbone of their business, and the speed of which is key to get customers coming back for more. Restaurants whose food is dependent on extensive preparation should keep in mind that keeping customers waiting can take a bite out of their image. Work smarter, not harder!
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