timing

Part of providing a great customer experience in the restaurant is good timing.  A lot of fast food or quick serve restaurants believe in the rule of “Faster = Better” (they also believe in “Cheaper = Better” but that’s another article entirely).  But is this true?  Is there such a thing as going too fast?  Certainly, if a restaurant is going so fast that it is making careless mistakes then that’s not good.  Additionally, the “Faster = Better” rule doesn’t take in to account that the faster you go the less time you spend making sure each customer is receiving a great experience.

Restaurants focused on speed should understand what the ideal timing is for their business.  Essentially, how fast can we go and still avoid making too many careless mistakes, and ensure that we still have time to have conversations with customers?  What is the breaking point when we know that we’re going too fast?  100 transactions per hour?  200?  Logic says that there is only so many people we can serve well within any given time.

For full service restaurants timing is an art as well.  Customers sitting down for their meal still expect their food quickly but not so fast that they feel rushed.  The best servers know how to time each course so that the customer is able to enjoy themselves, but they are not having to wait too long.  That server also keeps a running check in their pocket so the moment the customer asks for the bill…the server has it ready.

The kitchen crew obviously plays a critical role in both of these examples.  Not only do they need to keep up with the orders and be timely in their preparation, but they also need to be able to anticipate.  A great kitchen crew not only knows their prep for the day, but can also react quickly to upticks in the business without always being told.

So “Faster = Better” should become “Great Timing & Anticipation = A Great Customer Experience”.

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