Dealing with high volumes of guests in your restaurant

  • 11 December 2014 | Daphney Mngomeni

Every once in a while, but especially during the holiday season, many restaurants experience a massive influx of guests.

An increase in customers means an increase in revenue. And if your food and service are great during these times, the word will spread and you’ll make more money in the long run too. 

With limited seating, however, there are only so many guests any one restaurant can handle.

Here are a few tips for dealing with high volumes of guests:

  • Accurately record bookings/reservations. Make sure you take down a reservation as soon as a customer calls to make one. Failing to do so might put you in a situation where it is your word against a patron’s as to whether he or she made a reservation or not.
  • Sincerely apologising for inconveniences can go a long way. Guests appreciate restaurants who care about their needs as a customer.
  • Nobody wants an unhappy guest. If it so happens that a table has been double-booked,  see if there are any other tables available. If not, kindly explain the situation to your customers and give them the option to wait at the bar for the first table to become available.
  • Make sure there are enough ingredients in the kitchen over busy periods. Double the number of guests in your restaurant will probably result in twice as many orders having to go out. Make sure you do not run out of anything that is on the menu, and that you have a backup plan should it happen.
  • Ensure your staff are adequately trained to deal with stressful situations. It is important that they maintain their composure throughout, even if guests are making unreasonable demands.