As a restaurateur, prioritizing your guest experience is vital in garnering return visits, and longer wait times could be hindering your restaurant’s success. Nobody likes waiting, and your diners are no exception. In fact, a study of 94,000 diners found that the revenue of a popular restaurant increased by 15 per cent when wait times were eliminated.
Studies have found that 22 per cent of restaurant-goers actually hate waiting for the bill, with 10 per cent admitting to not even paying their bill after waiting. It comes down to a customer’s perception of their experience. It turns out that customers overestimate their wait times by about 36 per cent, and once the wait lasts longer than three minutes, the perceived time doubles with each additional minute.
Wait times could be affecting your staff’s tips too, as a whopping nine out of 10 diners admit to skipping the tip to avoid an additional wait. Spending the time to give your customers the experience they are looking for is good for your business.
How can you shorten the wait times?
Technology can help! Some restaurants are using a QR code scanning system so that customers can pay their bills right away at the table from their phones. For customers like millennials and Gen Z-ers, who are willing to pay a premium in order to wait less, this convenience could elevate their experience.
Training is also at the heart of the issue, with faster service yielding a better experience for your guests, your staff, and your business. When training your team, emphasize the importance of limiting the amount of time diners wait for their bill. This can also become an issue when parties decide to split the bill, delaying the delivery as the server separates all the items. Stay on top of this by clearly communicating with your guests and creating separate bills right from the start.
The amount of time your guests wait for their bill directly affects your bottom line; 70 per cent of diners skip ordering dessert or another drink in case it lengthens their checkout process. Prioritizing your guest experience as part of your guests’ experience will result in happier diners, more repeat visits, and bigger profits.