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How to accommodate for large groups in your restaurant

Do you regularly cater for large groups? As a restaurateur, it is crucial to understand that catering for large groups can substantially increase the number of customers you receive. If you are sufficiently prepared for handling large groups, your customers will have an enjoyable experience at your restaurant which will encourage them to regularly visit your restaurant. This shows that catering for large groups will significantly increase the sales of your restaurant. However, catering for a large group is not as easy as it sounds and can cause problems for the rest of your customers. Here are a few tips to help you accommodate for large groups in your restaurant.

How to accommodate for large groups in your restaurant

Simplify the ordering process

Can you take orders quickly? When taking orders for a large group, it can take a long period of time which may lead to your customers becoming bored. If your customers become bored, it will lead to them leaving the restaurant earlier which will limit the number of products that your customers order. In order to cater for large groups, it is crucial that you simplify the ordering process as this will enable your staff to serve your customers quicker which will reduce the waiting times of your customers. Regardless of how big the group is, your customers will still expect to be served quickly. Before you take the orders of the large group, you should ask if the customers will require separate checks. This will enable you to prepare the bill while your customers are eating which will enable your customers to pay quickly and conveniently. An EPOS system will simplify the payment process for your customers as you will be able to split bills in a wide range of ways with the tap of a button. An EPOS system will also enable you to take orders quickly by providing you with the opportunity to provide your staff with tablets. This will allow you to serve customers at their table and send the orders directly to the kitchen. This will reduce the risk of human error as it will ensure that all of your orders are prepared by the kitchen staff.

Communication is key

Do your staff communicate with each other? When you are dealing with large groups, the probability of mistakes occurring is significantly higher. This is because you will be taking a larger number of orders which could lead to information being misinterpreted. If information is misunderstood, it could lead to your customers receiving the wrong meal which will lead to them becoming annoyed. This shows that without good communication, you will be unable to cater for the needs of a larger group which will lead to customers avoiding your restaurant. When dealing with large groups, it will be common for customers to require a change to their meal due to their dietary requirements. For example, someone who is lactose intolerant may request for their meal to have no cheese. In order to satisfy your customer’s needs, it is essential for your staff to inform your kitchen staff of any special dietary requirements. An EPOS system will ensure that your kitchen staff are aware of any special requirements by allowing you to send messages directly to your kitchen. An EPOS system will ensure that all of your customers have a smile on their face.

Be prepared

Do your staff know how to deal with a large group of customers? The sight of 20 hungry customers can be a terrifying sight for your staff and may cause them to panic. As a restaurateur, it is important to ensure that your staff remain calm when catering for a large group. This is because it will allow your staff to provide your customers with a higher level of customer service. No customer wants to see your employees stressed and running around. It is recommended for you to provide your staff with training as this will ensure that they will have the skills needed to cater for a larger group of customers. If your employees are sufficiently trained, they will be able to remain calm when serving your customers which will lead to them fulfilling their job roles in a professional manner. This will show your customers that your employees are highly skilled which will lead to your customer’s having an enjoyable experience in your restaurant. This will encourage your customers to become loyal and regularly visit your restaurant. Prepared staff will be one of the main ingredients needed to successfully cater for large groups in your restaurant.

Manage your reservations

Do you take reservations? As a restaurateur, it is recommended for you to encourage large groups to make reservations. For example, on your website, it could state “parties of 10 or more will require a booking”. This will enable you to prepare for the arrival of your customers by ensuring that you have enough tables available for them and have sufficient staff to serve them. If your customers have to wait for a long time for a table, it will lead to them becoming frustrated and leaving your restaurant. This shows that if you do not take reservations, you will be limiting the quality of the customer service that you offer to customers. When you receive a reservation for a large group, you should consider the layout of your restaurant and ensure that you can seat all of your customers together. Splitting up a large group will cause the customers to become annoyed and may lead to them leaving your restaurant. It is recommended for you to mark tables as reserved as this will prevent your staff from seating customers at the reserved tables. Do your customers cancel their reservation? When your customers make their reservation, you should ask your customers for a credit card as this will allow you to charge a cancellation fee if your customers cancel. When you buy an EPOS system, you will be able to integrate your booking software which will enable you to view all of your bookings directly from your EPOS system. This will prevent the risk of overbookings.

Don’t forget your other customers

When you are catering for a large group of customers, it is crucial to remember that they are not the only people in your restaurant. Even though larger groups will require more attention, you should not ignore your other customers. Your employees should remain aware of your other customer’s needs as sometimes large groups can become rowdy which will prevent the customers who are sitting around them from having an enjoyable experience. Remember, your other customers are also paying for your meals so you should provide them with the same speed of service and quality of customer service. If your customers do not receive a quick service or sufficient quality of service, it will prevent them from returning to your restaurant which will limit the number of customers you receive. If your customers complain about the noise or request to be moved to another table, you should address their issue quickly and professionally. This will show the customers that you care about them which will encourage to come back to your store. In order to prevent customers from becoming annoyed, you should inform customers of waiting times when catering for large groups.

Can you cater for large groups in your restaurant?

 

 

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