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The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

Four Ways to Boost Your Restaurant Table Turnover Rate Without Impacting Guest Experience

Mark Atkins
Director Of Sales, UK & Ireland

A full restaurant is a wonderful thing to see and keeping customers happy keeps them coming back. However, there is a fine art to keeping tables turning while maintaining good service. Maximizing the number of covers you can do during peak hours is what transforms a good restaurant business into a great one.

Here are some top tips I have picked up over the years on how restaurant POS systems can help keep tables turning without undermining guest experience.

1. Know Your Restaurant POS Analytics Data

I often hear it said that every day in a restaurant is different, but we all know that’s not true. The customers may be different, but whatever your business model, and wherever you are located,  great restaurant POS analytics can help spot trends in your data. Understanding the data will help you realize the times you need to maximize revenue and increase turn times – and identify the times that you can enhance service as speed is not as important.

Knowing which items are popular at which times of the day means that they can be prepped in advance in the kitchen, reducing wait time from order to service. Also, knowing which times are busy means you can staff accordingly, allowing them to serve fewer tables and turn them quicker.

What you should never forget is that reading whether a customer is in a rush or not is still in the hands of the waiting staff, and that is only achieved with the right training and experience.

2. Use Kitchen Management Technology

Having the right information sent to the kitchen is the key to keeping business moving and keeping customers happy. Even your best staff can have an off day, so using kitchen display systems that help them with prompts and reminders can be invaluable. Oracle MICROS Simphony has built-in conversational ordering, which keeps orders flowing and enables quick, logical order inputs while ensuring servers never forget to ask key questions such as “How would you like your steak cooked?” These features ensure that the kitchen has all the right information immediately, reducing waiting time. They also lead to better service as no customer wants to constantly be interrupted with more questions.

3. Use Mobile POS Devices for Restaurants

A great point-of-sale system really can increase table turn and customer satisfaction at the same time. By providing hosts with tablet POS systems for restaurants, they can take drink orders as they are seating customers, which can help increase guest spend.

4. Help Guests Leave When They Want

One of the most frustrating experiences in a restaurant is trying to catch the attention of the server to let them know you’d like the bill, waiting for the bill and then waiting to pay it. With good training and technology, you can quickly and easily reduce the average wait time from more than 12 minutes to less than 5. Staff needs to be trained to identify clues that suggest people are ready to leave and promptly bring them their bill. Technology can help by offering Pay at Table, enabling servers to deliver the check and a payment device at the same time. It’s yet another way to significantly reduce customer frustration and help turn those tables faster.

To learn more about how Oracle solutions for the food and beverage industry can help take your enterprise forward, explore Oracle Solutions for Your Restaurant Business.

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