Most restaurants face the challenges of losing sales during off-peak hours, days and seasons.

 

A smart restaurant owner prepares a plan to implement for when those periods come to avoid losing potential sales. But smarter restaurant owners know they can maximise sales during their peak hours. 

Restaurants can still generate 2 to 3 times as much revenue during their peak times,

Knowing your busiest hours and their value can help you anticipate and prepare to make your peak hours a success.

 

Identifying Peak Hours

 

Every food business establishment, whether restaurants, kiosks, cafes etc., including yours, has its peak periods where customer traffic is busier than the rest of the hours of the day. 

Typically, peak periods are between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, with the busiest moment happening from noon until 1:30 pm. However, peak periods will depend on the location, type and other factors specific to your food establishment.

Some are easier to determine: 

  • Some restaurants and food establishments see more significant traffic depending on their specialisation. If they are known to serve breakfast, they will typically be busier in the mornings.  
  • If a restaurant is close to a school, then peak hours will be whatever lunch or break hours are at that school. 

 

Some are harder to determine:

  • If a restaurant is close to an establishment where the workers work in staggered shifts, then peak hours will be spread out.  
  • The same for truck stops on a highway since truckers don’t drive by at similar schedules.

 

Nonetheless, there will always be a particular pattern of customer influx that you can observe, monitor and learn from. 

 

Why is it important to identify your restaurant’s peak hours?

 

Having plenty of knowledge available is one way the restaurant works to make your peak hour experience as enjoyable as possible.

Peak periods are a good marker for managers and owners to: 

  • determine staffing needs and adequacy of training
  • create checklists to identify and improve weak areas of operation 
  • forecast for inventory 

 

When forecasting how the day will look, restaurants can somewhat expect what to look out for on that same day last year. They can plan accordingly with the number of staff scheduled for that day. 

 

RELATED READ: Avoid Kitchen Overwhelm From Various Peak Hours

 

How to maximise sales during your peak hours?

 

Peak hours are the best time for restaurants to generate the most sales. Therefore, it is the most critical time to be prepared.

 

Staffing

 

  • Ensure you have enough staff to handle the number of orders. Review your staffing schedule and be prepared for unexpected absences. Understaffing can result in missed orders, confusion, and poor service – the perfect ingredients to destroy your business reputation and lose potential sales.

 

  • Ensure that you have a record of staff availabilities and contact numbers to quickly get in touch with them to see if they can take over a shift.

 

  • You can also contact reputable chef staffing agencies, such as Anytime Chefs, to hire short-term chefs for specific hours. Short-term hiring of chefs can be a business-saving solution as you only need to orient them with your kitchen operation quickly, and most can hit the ground running. And when you call Anytime Chefs, they will team you up with a skilled professional chef that will fit your needs so that staffing will be one less of your concern for the day. 
  • Bring on an extra staff such as a bartender if needed, 

 

  • Cross-train your staff to handle other operational areas so everyone, including your managers and supervisors, can pitch in during the rush.  

 

Extra Seating

 

Open up extra seating for larger parties. 

 

Improve the Table Turnover Rate

 

Some customers prefer to dine leisurely. And because they occupy the table longer, you can lose customers because you have no vacancy at your restaurant. 

But this is no reason for you to rush your customers to leave once dinner is over. It will result in a negative dining experience, which you certainly want to avoid. 

Instead, focus on improving the efficiency and speed of your services by ensuring that: 

  • Orders are sent instantly to the kitchen
  • Prepared orders are served promptly
  • Checks are timely prepared, presented and collected
  • Once customers leave, tables are bussed and reset 
  • Arrange the right sets of tables for your average dinner party size. 

 

By improving your table turnover rate, you can increase the number of customers you serve daily. 

 

Upselling

 

Upselling is a method of enticing your customers to upgrade their current purchase or buy more items.

To successfully upsell:

  • Upsell via the menu. Use plating images in your menu with items that complement each other, such as red wine next to a tasty piece of steak. Suggest and persuade through images. If the type of your establishment allows it (such as casual dining restaurants), set images of your specials where customers can easily see them.  
  • Your staff must be very well trained to identify items they should focus on, such as new menu information. Ideally, they should upsell high-profit items and more significant portions but should be able to upsell good pairings to provide more options. They will be confident in recommending to customers when they are well informed.  
  • Train your staff to upsell with the proper disposition. For the upsell to have a chance to work, they should establish rapport with customers. They do not need to sound like a typical salesperson and should not be pushy. They should know how to identify cues of when to conduct the upsell by being observant.  
  • Provide free samples of the new items you have incorporated into your menu. These will draw your customer’s attention to these dishes and increase their chances of ordering extra. 
  • If upselling during the dine-in meal is rejected, offer it as a take-out. Your customers may be too full to eat desserts now, but they can order and bring them home for later. 
  • And if you are accepting online orders, upselling is still a technique that your staff should employ. Maximise all opportunities to do so. 

 

In Summary:

 

While peak hours are also when a restaurant is already generating sales, owners should know that they can still generate more sales if they know how to maximize these busy hours.  As an owner, you need to be on top of that opportunity because your staff’s efficiency, inventory and speed of quality service will set the tone for your restaurant’s performance for the week.

And if you are looking for skilled chefs based in Perth and Western Australia for your chef staffing needs, give us a call at Anytime Chefs

We have a roster of professional chefs that are available as short-term hires for :

  • peak periods
  • events/private parties and celebrations/pizza chefs
  • fill in for an emergency or annual leaves
  • start-up team for opening venues  

 

Anytime Chefs can also assist you in looking for permanent chef hires by facilitating your recruitment process.

We also offer a Consulting Service to assist you in opening or running the cafe or restaurant of your dreams. 

As part of our team, we have polite, professional Kitchen Stewards to assist you in cleaning and organising your kitchens. 

 

That’s it for this week.


As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Chefs!

Ciao for now,
Thomas

 


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