There is a fine line between overstocking your dining room
and making it cozy. There is an equally narrow margin between getting the right
staff, and too many people on the books. As any established restaurateur will
tell you, the correct restaurant furniture is just half of the equation.
Who Is on Your Floor?
You need to consider the type of restaurant you run, the
type of food you have on the menu and how many tables or seats you will have.
Too many servers will overwhelm your guests, too few will leave them wanting.
Of course, there will be some play back and forth as you adjust to how many
people you need and when.
What’s on Your Floor?
To seat your guests you need to have enough tables and
chairs, but not too many. Plan for your busiest times as you don’t want guests to wait unduly. Additionally, make
accommodations for larger groups or private parties. This might require you to
have tables that are convertible.
The next concern is what type of furniture you should
purchase. Family style restaurants do well with restaurant booths. They provide
an atmosphere of togetherness that stand-alone tables lack. For a fine dining
establishment you want elegance and comfort. To get the right pieces, talk with
your restaurant supplier.
How to Afford Your People
With your tables set up, and expected staffing anticipated,
you can turn your eye toward budgeting for staffing. There are many available
charts that help you anticipate your number of guests and how many people you
need both in the front and back of the house. The more guests, the more
positions you may need to fill.
For example, if you are serving 10 people per hour you
probably don’t need a dedicated busser. However, if you have 25, 50 or
even 100 guests each hour, one or more bussers may be appropriate. Keep in mind
that you have to have enough cooks in place to prepare food at a reasonable
pace as well. Use available tools to determine the right number of people for
Open or Close Sections
If you are fortunate enough to have your restaurant divided
into sections, you can close off areas, or open them, as needed. This provides
you with clean, fresh areas that can be used when guest numbers are up, making
the best use of your restaurant furnishings as well as your staff.
Additionally, you can save on wear and tear, utilities and supplies.
Are You Ready?
With your staff in place and your floor ready to go you can
expect success. Running a restaurant is a complex business. If you have any
questions regarding equipment, marketing or planning you can turn to your
regular suppliers. If they can’t answer your
questions, you can rest assured they will know who can.