Improve Table Turnover Time with Tableside Tech [Sponsored Hack]

Sponsored by The French’s Food Company as part of their Improving the Tabletop series.

Time is Money…

One of the biggest complaints guests have with restaurants is that the service is sometimes slow. Too slow. Excruciating slow even.

How many guests have come to your establishment, seen the wait time and then left? Or just as bad, had their name on the list only to leave after waiting for a long time? Scenarios like this cut into your restaurant’s potential profits. And while it’s great that your restaurant is so popular, slow table turnover is keeping your restaurant from reaching its full potential.

To combat this, restaurants need to find ways of speeding up the dining process. Check your systems to see how long the average guest of a two-top and four-top sit for. But if you don’t have access to that info, the average dwell time is anywhere between 60-90 minutes – depending on your restaurant theme, etc.

What if you could shave 15 minutes off the dwell time? You could sit more guests over the course of the day. That multiplied by the number of your tables and the number of days you’re swamped with guests could end up being a pretty penny. 

There are two ways that restaurant tabletop technology can speed up service:

  1. Take Orders

  2. Take Payment

 By having either a tablet or other ordering technology right on the tabletop, guests can put their orders in as soon as they’re ready and pay their bill when they’re ready – all without trying to flag down a server. 

Once the order has gone through, have your servers bring out a condiment caddy, the side plates, and any necessary utensils. Not only does this confirm to your guests that their order has properly been placed, but you’re also proactively preparing guests for their meal. They’ll appreciate this level of service.

Tabletop ordering and payment also frees up your serving staff to handle other aspects of your business, like regularly checking in with guests on how things are, bringing out the necessary condiments and utensils, checking in on orders in the kitchen, bringing out the orders, putting out service fires (e.g., “this isn’t cooked right”), etc.

There’s some other added value to tabletop tech that we talk about in another post, but shortening dwell time is definitely one of the big ones. 

Restaurant tabletop tech isn’t a panacea, of course. Some guests just may prefer to work right with a server and you’ll still need to deal with guests that linger after their meal is done and the bill is paid. It also doesn’t account for any potential slowdowns that may occur in the kitchen. But if you’re goal is to get your restaurant to reach its full potential, slimming down dwell time should at least be on your radar.