How to Maximize your restaurant’s Table Turnover?

June 23, 2019


It is important to know that your restaurant’s table turnover directly affects your revenue. Accordingly, you shall calculate your table turnover rate and do your best to optimize it. Here you will find the formula to calculate your table’ turnover rate and the best practices that show you how to maximize your restaurant’s Table Turnover.


Calculate your table turnover rate:

1)    Choose a period to measure:

For example, you may choose breakfast, dinner, or weeknights, so that you can increase revenues during those periods.

2) Count the number of customers served at each table during the measurement period.

3) Divide the number of customers served by the number of tables to calculate the table turnover rate.

For example, if there are ten tables in your restaurant and you serve 30 customers over the dinner hour, then your table turnover rate is 3 turns per table during the dinner hour.

The larger the table is the lower turnover rates it has since it requires more time to serve more customers.

After calculating the table turnover rate during the selected period, you should measure your sales during the same period to calculate revenues. Compare your revenues to your costs. If there is no reasonable difference then you should consider adjusting your table turnover rate.


How to maximize your restaurant’s Table Turnover?

   1) Train your servers to reach the table within one minute of customers being seated:

Instead of rushing your customer to leave the table immediately after finishing the meal, your servers should show up at the table within one minute to take drinks orders and serve water. According to David Foulquier, owner of Fooq’s Miami Restaurant: “You really want to get food orders within the first eight minutes of them sitting down. [Then,] you know that within 20 minutes, they’ll have appetizers, and within 45 minutes, they’ll have received their main courses.”

Additionally, train your servers to pay attention to your customers, if customers need anything during the meal.


   2) Save your, your staff, and your customers’ time throughout the following practices:

  • Avoid explaining the menu to regular customers. Your servers should be there for any questions.
  • A large party should be served by more than one server and busboy.
  • Prepare napkins and silverware in advance to save the time of getting the new table ready.
  • Notify your kitchen staff that they are up to prepare food for a large party.
  • Once a check is delivered, notify your hosts so that the can pre-assign the table to a customer waiting in line. Not to mention that you should notify the bussers that a table needs to be cleaned soon.
  • Once you are definitely sure that the customer finished the meal, you can pick up plates instead of waiting for everyone to be done.
  • Put the check at the table after dessert, but do not be too fast in a way that makes a customer feel rushed or offended.

These simple practices can save you 30 minutes or more per meal.


   3) Modify your restaurant’s floor space:

Implement the following modifications to psychologically influence your dinners without being pushy:

  • Use bold warm colors such as reds, golds, oranges, and yellows in your interior design. These colors increase the heartbeat, encouraging customers to eat faster.
  • Play fast-paced background music. It will psychologically increase arousal and lead to quick table turnover without disrupting conversation.
  • Use moveable chairs instead of booths since dinners take a longer time to finish their meals when sitting in booths.
  • Place tables and chairs in the center of the dining room, away from corners and walls. This will encourage customers to eat faster because the middle of the room is often the busiest and most hectic spot in the restaurant.


   4) Use a mobile Point Of Sales system:

To shorten the time your servers spend in collecting credit cards, running them back to the register, printing out receipts, and delivering them back to the table, you can invest in a mobile Point Of Sales system, if possible. The whole process of paying checks could be done at the table in front of the customers.


   5) Have a compact menu:

The larger menu makes it more difficult for your customers to decide what to order. Alternatively, a compact menu will help customers to choose quickly, resulting in shortening the dining time and increasing table turnover rate.


An empty table in your restaurant is a lost profit. You should seat as many customers as possible throughout the day. Implement the above-mentioned tips and your restaurant will profit from them.