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Table for one please?

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

How to cater for the changing customer trends.

The restaurant scene is constantly evolving and keeping up-to-date with changing trends can be challenging. With restaurant closures on the rise it is important to understand that when taking on a new venture of this magnitude that you are catering to the market.

Understanding the economic reality of your floor plan can be one key area that can make a positive impact on your revenue and that means working on your seating configuration to capitalise on this. According to current research from Profit First Professionals, two seater tables have an average higher spend per head, and a shorter turn time, which means they earn far more per hour.

There is a common theme for restaurants to provide more larger tables and sometimes booths, in comparison to the amount of two seater tables available.

This results in restaurants not sitting two people at four or six seater tables in hope for a larger group to utilise them and therefore this effects the wait time for customers requiring a table of two. Customers are your walking advertisement, they should be telling people about their positive experience rather than how long they waited for a table!

But there is another type of repeat customer frequenting your restaurants and they are known as the solo diner.

The solo diner has always been pigeonholed as someone perhaps travelling for business, but in actual fact dining alone is a choice in 2020. The Fork booking group estimate that solo diner reservations have increased by 27% in Australia, and why wouldn't they? Most of us have a new companion in our smartphone, we can conduct business, watch Netflix and FaceTime from anywhere. But what's even more interesting about this is the solo diner is not just having a quick bite to eat, they are taking their time to indulge in the experience and treat themselves.

By having flexible seating options available in your restaurant it will allow you to increase the amount of customers you can serve at any one time. Counter top seating can have its advantages too and two seater tables can always be combined for larger bookings if needed. In addition, most Point of Sale (POS) systems will allow you to create many back-up versions of a venues seating configuration, that way staff can adapt, manage the customers and run the floor professionally at short notice.

Just a little food for thought!

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