Speeding Up Your Service

Great restaurants have an organized seating system. You do not want your customers waiting in line very long to be seated. Make sure that your servers and hostess has a great communication system. When the server collects the check, and your diners get up, the server should then signal the busboy to clear table and alert the host that this table will be available very soon. The host can then gather the next party that’s waiting and can seat them as soon as possible.

Portrait of beautiful waitress holding order pad and pen with couple in background at restaurant. Horizontal shot.

Pre-assign tables for guest who are waiting in line. As soon as that table opens you can seat your guests. There should be a waiting area near the hostess so they can find their customers easily.

Make sure you keep your staff on schedule. The server should arrive at your table within the first minute. Bring out the water and take drink orders immediately. Ask your guest if they have dined with you before. Always go over the specials you have for that day. If a server has a large number of guests, assign two servers for that table. Keep the table clear of plates as soon as the guest is done. This will help speed up your dining room.


Always have pre-rolled silverware and plates so tables can be reset quickly. When you see that the customer is almost done, ask if they would like some dessert. If not, leave the check on the table. This also speeds things up and the guests don’t have to wait for their check. If you are having a problem with turning tables, try putting tables in the middle of the dining room. This will encourage people to eat more quickly, because this is the most hectic spot in the restaurant. This can be very important for people who are paying for fast service and convenience.

Make a compact menu. Overloading a menu will make customers choosing a dish more difficult. Always offer at least three specials. You will want your customers to decide what they want faster and will lead to shorter dining times. Making simple changes to the routines of servers and host. By updating your dining layout and menu, you will be able to get customers in and out quickly without them feeling rushed.