For me: Texas French Toast, side of corned beef or thick slice of ham, home fries, and at the end - a small or medium glass of the coldest milk you can find as close to 33 degrees as you can get with out ice forming.
We've been to places where the line is out the door, yet you only have to wait 5 minutes for a table because the service is that efficient.
We’ve been to places where there’s 1 party ahead of us and we wait 30-40 minutes for a table.
Fact is that Restaurant Owner & Managers have variables they can and cannot control.
Things you can’t control:
Things You Can Control:
Allow me to set the stage: A few months back, my wife and I went to a place, that out in the middle of no-where but has excellent food! The timing was right: It was just the 2 of us, nobody ahead of us in line.
As we waited, the line grew - 3 more couples joined the line, and then a party of 4.
We waited over 10 minutes to be seated despite there being 10 empty seats in the restaurant.
The Dilemma: The 10 seats were all at “4-Seat Tables” - free-standing 48"x 30" tables.
There were parties of 2 at tables that could accommodate 4 people.
In addition to the tables - there were some booths that could accommodate 4 or 6 people that were also being occupied by parties of 2 or 3 people.
I’ve seen this happen before at this particular restaurant as well as other local restaurants and as a result, I’ve seen people leave out of frustration.
If the restaurant were to simply switch out the 5 - “4-Seat Tables” for 10 “2-Seat Tables” - I'm telling you they could very easily double (if not more) their weekend morning revenue by maximizing the potential dining room load and earning a reputation as being a place where you can sit fast, eat a delicious breakfast, and get on with your day.
In a restaurant setting: You can make 2 - "2’s" a "4", but unless both parties are really friendly, outgoing, and open to the idea of sitting with a couple they don’t know first thing in the morning, it’s unlikely you’d be able to take 2 "parties of 2" and seat them at a “4-Spot Table”. - You could also just use a chainsaw, but it's going to get messy, the fumes would chase people away, and you'd probably get some negative reviews on Yelp or Facebook.
OK - GET TO THE POINT:
In every business there are those "4-Seat Tables".
It may be a tool, a task, or step that is redundant or prohibits the process from moving forward at a quicker pace. What is it that holds up a customer from getting the goods or services they've purchased?
It's up to you - whether you're an employee, supervisor, or manager to regularly evaluate what you are doing and how you are doing it - and whenever possible: make recommendations to the higher ups to improve it!
If you're a manager or business owner and you're approached by an employee with such a recommendation - take them seriously.
(Note: You should already have a protocol or procedure in place for employees who want to suggest such changes. This is a great topic for quarterly or annual meetings.)
Schedule the appointment & ask them to formulate the pitch. Take them to lunch or into a conference room they've never been in before and have an honest conversation about the suggestion and how they came to these conclusions. Ask them when they first started recognizing this opportunity?
Another great question would is: "If money was no object - how would you change this process or procedure?"
Now understandably - there may be some significant capital considerations that prohibit you from immediately changing course, but in the case of the restaurant - it could be done over a period of time, slowly adding the "2's" and removing the "4's".
What you can't buy is the feeling your staff member gets when they understand such suggestions are welcomed & appreciated. Think about it, how many times a week are you asked by people from the outside for 30, 60, or even 90 minutes of your time to pitch a program or service? Now you have someone from the inside - a person on your team, under your leadership who has thought of a way to improve the process and the way business is done - That's a valuable team member who's invested in your brand and believes in what you do as a company.
In the restaurant scenario - you're talking about more money in the pockets of your wait-staff and in the drawer of the register! Now I don't work in the food service industry, but I've eaten at many many restaurants - and trust me : This theory proves the truth in the title:
"The smaller the table, THE BIGGER THE OPPORTUNITY"
So what are the "4-Seat Tables" in your workplace that are slowing you down and prohibiting growth - and do you feel comfortable enough to go to your boss and make a suggestion?