Running a Restaurant/ticket times


Running ticket time if you are busy ? how long on app,entrees ? 12 tickets in the window

Hi Rubin,

It would be great to have more info - for instance the type of restaurant (casual dining, family dining, bar & grill, etc.) and the day part (lunch versus dinner?) in order to give you a better answer.  Assuming that the concept you work in is a casual dining concept, appropriate target ticket times are: APPS, 5-7 minutes; ENTREES, 10-12 minutes lunch, 12-15 minutes dinner.  If you are in a fine dining restaurant, of course these times would be different.

Should you be able to meet those times with 12 or more tickets hanging?  It depends upon a lot of variables.  Is every item on the menu able to be prepared within those time frames?  Are you short space in one area - for instance, not enough saute burners so that orders get backed up?  Are you pre-prepping or even "floating" items like burgers during a rush?  There are a lot of variables that determine whether or not you can not only hit those ticket times, but sustain them even when you are busy.  Staying out of the weeds in a rush comes from planning - from the menu to how the stations are set up to how well the kitchen staff is trained.  Also, a good expediter can really impact ticket times.

Rubin, I hope this helps.  If you want a better answer, give me more info and I will respond.

We are a restaurant/hospitality consulting firm based in the Midwest and work with all types of restaurants across the country.  When we are involved in menu and recipe development, we look at all the things I mentioned above.  Often, a restaurant's inability to consistently have good ticket times is not the fault of the kitchen crew, but is the result of a poorly planned menu.  A great menu is one that not only produces excellent food, but is built around what your kitchen equipment and crew can handle.

If you would like to email me directly, feel free.  You can reach me at  I will always make time for a no fee, no pressure, no hassle phone call as well.  Just email me and we could set a time that could work.


David Foster
Foster and Associates
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell  

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos, food court concepts, bars and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing, operational improvements, franchising etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 50 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, QSR - a publication dedicated to quick serve and fast casual concepts.

Attended Drury University, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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