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How to Reduce Waiting Time in Restaurants?

Published Feb 17, 2022 Restaurant
How to Reduce Waiting Time in Restaurants?
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“Quick Summary” Waiting in line at a restaurant is one of the most inefficient ways to spend time that a customer can ever experience. Waiting for someone else to seat you or take your order can be tedious, adding unnecessary stress.

If you want to learn about the methods of taking orders and managing waiting time, then this article is for you where it will share insights on "How to Reduce Waiting Time in Restaurants?"  

Focus on staff training

Restaurants that are popular and have long waiting times are usually well-staffed. But they are not always as efficient as they should be. Staff training is essential to reduce customers' waiting time for their food. For this, the staff must communicate internally and work as a team. 

Restaurants that are well-staffed and have efficient staff will usually reduce the time customers spend waiting for their food. Reducing this time will reduce the number of customers who leave before they are served. This will also increase the number of customers who stay and order more food and drinks. Staff training is vital to ensure that staff can keep up with demand.

Investing in technology

Technology is the best way to reduce waiting time in restaurants. The restaurant should invest in technology and implement it properly. This will help them keep track of customers and manage their reservations efficiently.

Rethink front-of-house staffing 

One of the reasons why waiting time is so long in restaurants is because there are too many people at the front-of-house. The waiters and waitresses need to be busy all the time, so they take orders, serve food and drinks, clear tables, and they need to be there when the customers want them. If the restaurant is busy, too many people are at the front-of-house. Restaurant owners can solve this problem by reducing the number of waiters and waitresses and adding a few front-of-house staff. 

Reconsider reservations 

While waiting for a table, the customers queue up for their turn to arrive. You can avoid this by offering prior reservations to your customers and requesting them to arrive early. Try to seat the customers as soon as possible, to reduce their waiting time.

Related Blog: 15 Ways a Point of Sale System Can Help Your Business

Top 9 Ways to Reduce Restaurant Wait Times

Some ways to reduce queue waiting times include the following:

1. Utilize Mobile POS

If you are not using a mobile POS system, you should be. With a mobile POS system, your customers don't have to wait for the waiter or waitress to return with the order slip. The orders are in the system and can be sent to the kitchen immediately. Additionally, the mobile POS system allows accepting payments from your customers right at their table.

Related Blog: How Can Tablet POS System Improve Your Restaurant Business?

2. Use a Wait Management System

A wait management system will help you track the length of your queues and provide information on how to improve them. 

3. Optimize Labor

Restaurant labor is a high cost for restaurants. When too many people are working, the labor costs go up, and profits go down. Restaurants should try to optimize their labor to have just enough people working at any given time.

4. Train Thoroughly

Make sure that all staff is trained thoroughly in the art of hospitality. When your servers are trained well, they will anticipate customer needs and deliver excellent service. This will also reduce the time customers spend waiting for their orders. 

5. Online Food Ordering is a Trend

Many restaurants are now offering online food ordering, which is a trend that will continue to grow. Online food ordering can reduce queue waiting times because it reduces the number of customers who need to wait in line to order.

6. Self-Service Kiosk

Many restaurants are now offering self-service kiosks for customers to place their orders. Customers can browse the menu, customize their order and pay for it all without waiting in line. They pick up their food when it is ready, which allows the restaurant to reduce the number of servers needed, thus reducing wait times for customers.

7. SMS Text Management System

An SMS text management system is a great way to reduce wait times. With this system, customers can send a text message to the restaurant and receive an immediate response with their estimated wait time. This allows customers to decide where to eat based on the wait time.

8. One Team, One Dream

You can employ several team-building exercises for your restaurant's service teams to improve their efficiency and quality of work. 

9. Close Out Checks With A Tablet

Many restaurants are moving to a tablet-based system for their close-out process. This gives them the advantage of reducing the time to complete a check and reduces waiters’ time at the tables.

Related Blog: 5 Reasons Why You Need a POS System for Your Small Business


Who wants to spend that time waiting for your food? Nobody. If a restaurant does not offer anything unique or different from the others, it better has some pretty quick service. There are many other places to choose from with shorter wait times. We hope this article helped you learn how to reduce wait time in your restaurant!