Efficiency is an important element of restaurant success. It determines your customer experience based on how quickly they are welcomed, how easily they are seated, how their orders are taken, how well and how quickly their food is prepared and how quickly they can pay and leave once their meal is complete. Inefficiencies in any of these areas interfere with customer experience and can even impact the quality of the food. However, efficiency can be improved by management, communication, speed and loyalty. Here are some strategies to improve restaurant efficiency.
Front-of-house refers to the areas of your restaurant that are visible to customers. It is important because it includes all the customer touchpoints during the customer journey. When you improve front-of-house efficiency you also improve your brand reputation. Some tips to improve efficiencies include:
These basic steps will help improve efficiencies, make your process more streamlined and improve customer experience. It also helps keep staff happy as everyone is doing their jobs more effectively reducing stress and conflict.
Automating restaurant tasks is a great way to improve restaurant efficiency. Today technology makes it easier than ever to streamline processes and avoid service bottlenecks. This can include:
Skills gaps can occur in any industry including hospitality. It does not just apply to automation and a failure to include everyone in formal training, but also manual training such as replacing a beer keg at the bar. When you take time to upskill your team, they become more efficient and can also step into different areas or roles when you are short-staffed. Being short-staffed is something many restaurants worry about due to employee churn. You can use these tips to effectively run your restaurant by upskilling your team:
The design of the restaurant is a vital component in the efficiency battle. Poor layout interferes with all aspects of your operation from how guests arrive and are seated, to how easily trays can be loaded and sent out to guests and from kitchen efficiency to how well guests can hear their servers. The main aspects of a restaurant design include the following:
Ensure that the design considers both the customer and employee journey to avoid conflicts in the layout and watch efficiencies improve.
Efficient food preparation is important in any successful kitchen. Staying on top of how your kitchen runs contributes to customer experience. Streamlining food preparation becomes easier when you have the right commercial kitchen tools and have them placed in the right location to improve flow. Streamlined food prep also improves the quality and taste of food as it reaches the table faster. As a result, customers will be more likely to return to your restaurant.
Restaurants can do very well when they have a strong and loyal base of customers. Although you want to find ways to attract new customers, your “regulars” help keep your business afloat. Implementing a loyalty program using your POS system allows you to reward your most loyal customers. Whether it’s a free drink, a discounted entrée or two for one appies, customers love feeling special. You can also use customer feedback surveys to improve areas of your customer service. Turn customers into regulars and improve restaurant efficiency by offering smart incentives like:
You can even introduce a secret, off-menu ordering option for regulars to create a sense of exclusivity.
No one wants to eat in a dirty restaurant. Customers appreciate a clean environment and are more likely to return if they feel the restaurant is safe and the quality of the food they eat has not been compromised. However, cleanliness also improves restaurant efficiency by ensuring everything is in its place and that the kitchen is clear of obstacles that slow people down.
Restaurants, hotels and coffee shops require efficient, safe commercial freezers to store food and beverages. When food is not stored properly, safety and flavour is compromised. Therefore, choosing the right freezer for a restaurant is crucial.
Display refrigerators allow you to display foods and beverages available for the self-serve area of your restaurant. They also help improve efficiency in the kitchen when staff can see the ingredients they need. A display of fresh salads, desserts, sandwiches and other food products attracts clients to encourage increased impulse purchases. When items are well-organized in a display fridge it is easier for them to see both the items you sell and the things they are looking for.
Achieving restaurant efficiency can be a little tricky. However, by implementing the above strategies you can ensure your restaurant is primed for success.