What are some strategies/tactics/tips to improve speed of service in restaurants?
– Ben Hoffmeyer, Director of Restaurant Services, Stripes, Corpus Christi, TX
Everyone wants operations to be faster, cheaper and better. One common problem is that managers ask for speed without carefully assessing where holdups are. It is one thing to expect a goal, for example, getting appetizers out within two minutes of firing them, and quite another to structure the system so that it happens.
Speed problems are often in one of a few categories:
- Employee training. Are employees skilled and working with a sense of urgency? Is their station set up efficiently with proper mise en place?
- Equipment. Does your equipment have adequate capacity for your demand during peak periods?
- Layout. Are your systems efficient and layout design intelligent?
- Menu mix. Are typical orders distributed evenly across personnel and stations? Does a particular dish cause a slowdown whenever it is ordered?
- Pickups. Do finished dishes get out to guests quickly?
By carefully observing, asking employees, or bringing in a fresh set of eyes in the form of a consultant you may be able to better identify the problems and correct them. Often that correction does not come in the form of doing the same thing faster but by making tweaks to the menu, system, or layout.
More on keeping the flow here.