If you’re opening a new restaurant and are trying to determine how many people you need for front of house this guide can help you.
We’ll discuss the primary factors that determine your front of house staff needs and some common ways that restaurants determine staff levels necessary for service.
Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure
Your restaurant type is the primary consideration in determining what if any wait staff your restaurant needs to hire. Counter service restaurants and fast casual establishments can get through service with a couple cashiers who take turns wiping off tables after a rush.
On the other extreme, a traditional fine dining restaurant is going to have extensive coverage to ensure that every need is catered to. The key is to determine where on this continuum your restaurant lies. The question to ask is, “How much attention do my guests expect to receive?” And then staff accordingly.
Type of Cuisine
Another factor is the type of food your restaurant prepares. This determines the difficulty or ease of serving each customer.
A casual restaurant may only need one serving tray to be carried out as a single course. However, for a full luxury dining experience multiple courses must be brought to each table over and over.
This increases the amount of work for individual servers, occupying them for long periods of time when they cannot address the needs of other diners.
The number of waiters and hosts you need will be a ratio based on the number of tables you have and the number of guests you can serve.
For a smaller restaurant guests can receive the attention they need with limited staff. Servers can buss their own tables or they can also seat guests as hosts would.
A larger restaurant naturally benefits from having more dedicated staff members with a set scope of more narrowly defined duties.
Number of Customers
The average number of customers you receive will decide the staffing requirement throughout the day. This is where keeping good records can help tremendously.
Being able to project expected capacity for upcoming services keeps you from the disaster of being understaffed and the expense of being overstaffed.
To project the number of expected diners for a service compare the customer count over a period of time to get an average.
If your restaurant takes reservations you’re at a huge advantage. Because you know what your restaurant's expected turn out is in advance you can be well prepared for service.
Table Ratio Research
A simple way to get an idea of how much staff you’ll need for your restaurant concept is to visit another restaurant with a similar level of service you desire. The type of cuisine doesn’t have to be the same since your goal is to count the number of wait staff in each position.
Take note of:
- How many bussers and how often do they clear tables?
- How many hosts / hostesses are there to seat guests?
- How many tables are in each server’s section?
Use this market research to help determine a baseline number of wait staff for your restaurant.
Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure
Efficiency of Operations
Another key component of your front of house staffing is the efficiency of your operations. Is your team using paper and pencil to:
- Write down reservations in a book
- Mark out server sections
- Check table availability
These are inefficient systems that create bottlenecks for staff and restaurant patrons.
When you equip your front of house with modern tools for an efficient service you open up the opportunities. Seating more guests with a higher level of service and reduced staffing needs becomes a reality.
Rezku specializes in reliable and affordable tools targeted to maximizing the efficiency of your front of house operations.
Rezku’s table management solution turns your host stand into a powerful control center for front of house operations.
Seat guests with a tap of the screen and a turn-time countdown starts automatically. As tables are cleared and made available their status updates across all views.
Servers are assigned tables and you can see visually how many guests are currently seated in their section.
Gone are the days of having to keep track of it all in your head.
Waitlist and Reservations
Quoting accurate wait times is difficult—are you doing anything more than guessing?
Rezku’s Waitlist and Reservations management solutions calculate accurate wait times using an AI algorithm that takes into account party size, available tables, upcoming reservations and seated guests. Can you do that?
Take bookings without the book with online reservations. And see how the dining room will look throughout service using the “futures” slider.
Tableside ordering and payment keeps servers in their section, eliminating most of the back and forth that keeps them from attending to their guests.
Tickets print wirelessly to the kitchen right from where they’re standing. No handing back chicken-scratch orders, reducing the chance of errors and remakes.
One step payment takes the hassle out of checkout. Servers present guests with their bill and take payment immediately, swiping customer cards at the table. Guests receive their cards back faster, reducing wait times.
Get Started For Free Today
Contact Rezku for a one-to-one consultation. Tell us what you want to accomplish in your restaurant and we’ll provide you with the best solution, reliably and affordably.
We want you to try before you buy, that’s why we offer a free, no obligation 2-week trial that includes unlimited training and support.
Contact us now to start your free trial.