Restaurant rush hour management is no cakewalk but with the right tools and thinking it can be done without any obstruction. The ‘rush hours’ also known as the ‘peak hours’, is the time of the day when every staff member in the restaurant is expected to be on their feet. They cannot afford to lose even one minute and must ensure flawless teamwork and aim to make the customers happy.
The rush hour cannot be taken lightly in any way for two major reasons. One is that it is the means of achieving the ultimate aim of having a restaurant business, and earning money; the other reason is, it is a free marketing tool. The more the customers are served and satisfied, the more they will share the experience with their known people. I am sure, as a restaurateur, you understand the value of ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing – that is the best form of marketing by far.
Step 1- The Planning stage of your restaurant rush hour management
This is the first step of rush hour management. Having been in the restaurant business, you must have already understood during which time of the day, your restaurant sees the maximum number of footfalls. That is your ‘rush hour’. If you have just started, I suggest you research to find out the usual rush hours in a restaurant. Based on that, you should have to-do lists for the next day, the entire week, and also the entire month. Highlight the tasks that need to be prioritized and work accordingly.
Step 2 – The Preparation stage of your restaurant rush hour management
• Once you are confident with the plan, is time to prepare your team. Train your staff well, your aim should be to make them feel the strength of team power. When they understand that working together will speed up the process and increase production, they will be able to contribute well towards restaurant rush hour management .
• Assign the responsibilities, prepare rosters, schedule activities and delegate them to the one who does it best. Ensure to use the strengths of each employee you have, encourage them, and keep them motivated.
• Encourage communication among your staff. This is an essential element that has to be present in your restaurant if your wish to be successful. If necessary provide special training on communication; remember that there has that the staff need to be in constant touch with each other to make your customers happy. Communication makes the entire process, right from taking the order to the service seamless.
• Within the scheduling tasks, one very important thing is to set the meetings and exchanges with suppliers and vendors at appropriate times. You must make effort to set your calendar right so that these engagements do not interfere with the busiest hours of work. However, ensure that your supplies and stock are all in place and enough to be able to meet the customer’s demands. You should always expect the unexpected during rush hour.
• The other scheduling activity would be to schedule your staff roster. The staff must be clear about who has to be where and at what time. This ensures and enables that no one is missing from their designated position at the peak hours of service
Multitasking may be an option that you would like to consider, but do so only when you are super confident that there will not be any confusion because of this in the process of restaurant rush hour management. Alternatively, it is always better to use some help and not try to do everything by yourself.
Step 3 – The Service Stage of your restaurant rush hour management
The foremost thing to keep in mind while serving food is to not let the customers see you panic. This should be a standard instruction given to your frontline staff as well. They must never let the pressure of the rush hour show on their face.
Next, to ensure that your service is flawless, you should know that as a restaurateur, you will have to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in the restaurant business. The inclusion of automation of functionality is a compulsion in the present-day scenario. Gleeca, the free restaurant management system is your go-to place for this. It is a restaurant management system that has all the necessary technological tools that will help your restaurant business flourish. The simplicity with which you will be able to manage your restaurant or even your chain of restaurants, if you have one, will amaze you. All you will need is your smart or android phone and you will be sorted.
Restaurant rush hour management always becomes easier when you can streamline your restaurant operations. One efficient way to do that is to make online ordering services available to customers. Table reservations beforehand, are beneficial for both parties, the customer as well as you. They get to avoid the queue and you get to avoid the irritation of one customer who has to wait.
The takeaway kiosks also help a great deal in this regard. Customers can place their orders by scanning the ready-to-use QR code menu, making their payment through the specified payment gateway, and waiting for their order to be delivered. This self-service makes the customer feel they are in control and increase their patience.
The billing system is a major point of concern during rush hours. Integration of technology is very crucial in this scenario. Gleeca’s billing systems are so easy that your staff would not require any special training to operate them. The online payment options take away the hassles of cash and exchange, further reducing the wait time of the customers. Try the table-side menu and payment options for your customers; the QR code scan cards are very helpful in this regard. The customer does not have to wait for the waiter to take their order or even pay their bill.
The KOT system too helps in reducing the wait time of the customers as a best practice for restaurant rush hour management. Fine dine-in restaurants use this as a regular practice to ensure that all orders reach the kitchen and their delivery out of the kitchen within the shortest time possible. This additionally keeps all confusion away.
Another way to divert your sea of customers is to encourage a delivery system. Through this, you will retain your order quantity but will reduce the number of physically present customers. This is possible when you can establish a prominent online presence. The more people order through your site, the more controllable is your in-house customer flow.
Some other strategies
Distraction – One of the traditional methods applied to help the customers remain patient is to offer them some distraction. This can be in the form of some visuals such as a television or posters or even magazines that they can browse through. Alternatively, you could offer them complimentary drinks or samples of food you intend to introduce and get feedback on the same while they wait.
SMS – use the messaging service to inform the customer of the accurate wait time. You could also inform them when their table is ready via SMS as a practice of restaurant rush hour management. This makes them feel that you are also concerned about giving them their food as soon as possible. Customers should not feel not cared for while they wait.
Digital Signage – this is another means of including technology wherein the customers can see both the simplified menu and the orders they place. If you are the owner of a drive-through then this is an ideal thing for you. The customers can place their orders while waiting in the queue and it also saves time for the cashier or biller, thereby serving more customers.
To wrap it up, the one thing that needs to be your mantra is ‘A Happy Customer is a Happier You’. So, do all it takes to satisfy your customer. When in the restaurant business and dealing with restaurant rush hour management, the best quality food accompanied by the best service is always appreciated. If you are truly looking to feed more people and earn even more, Gleeca is your best companion. It promises you 360-degree assistance in all matters related to managing your restaurant efficiently.