Is Wait Time a Problem for your Restaurant? Check your Efficiency

Jan 15, 2019

There are multiple facets in a restaurant that can either decrease or increase efficiency. When we think from a consumer’s perspective, food should be received as described and promptly. Wait time is a large factor when people are making their dining choices. In just a few clicks, people can even check live wait times at certain restaurants via Google Maps. If wait time has been a particular issue for your restaurant, it’s time to dig a little deeper.  


Is your menu too complex? Do you have too many items on your menu? How simple are the items to execute? Understanding the elements of your menu is crucial. Inefficiencies in the back of house are directly correlated to long wait times for your guests. Making sure you have in place easy-to-follow procedures for prep and cooking will ensure smoother operations.


Even with solid procedures in place for the back line, if your kitchen space isn’t organized, efficiency will suffer. Is there enough space for your staff to freely move? Is equipment strategically placed to ensure flow of movement and easy access? How well is space being utilized when it comes to storage?


Is your restaurant point of sale system simple to use and up-to-date? Getting orders to the kitchen should be a streamlined process. Some point of sale systems include additional features like inventory control, employee time-clock, and even table management.

Front of House

Another consideration is your mix of dining room tables. The rule of thumb is that you only get 75% occupancy at a table. If you have a large number of four-tops, you are probably only seating three people at them at best.  Moreover, if you are seating two people at a four-top, that means you are wasting a table and only getting 50% occupancy which directly impacts wait times.  It would be prudent to carefully look at the number of guests in a party and maybe consider adding more two-tops tables to accommodate smaller parties which will directly impact table turns and wait times.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous ways you can increase your restaurant’s efficiency which will, in turn, assist in reducing guest wait times. If you would like a detailed operations assessment to uncover areas for increased productivity, please contact Synergy.