Running a Restaurant/Wait Times


Bob Costa wrote at 2015-03-13 17:01:58
David is right that you need to look at your menu and maybe your kitchen organization. Without seeing the menu we are guessing, but here are some comments.

1. Eliminate some menu items. 90% of all restaurants have too big a menu. Cut your bottom 20% of sellers right away, then ask each kitchen staff  which 1 or two remaining items they would cut just because of time. They likely know the problem or which items they hate to see ordered. And your chef may have a different perspective than your fryer guy, so ask everyone.

2. Consider a limited menu in one area, such as a bar menu. Make sure those are super-fast easy items.

3. Consider having some kind of complimentary snack that comes to the table once people have ordered. NOT a loaf of bread, but something that will keep them interested and less upset about your long kitchen times. I would need to see your menu to suggest what item it might be. Even a nominal charge would be okay, and get your servers to push it.

4. Once you get your menu shrunk, look at how your kitchen operates. Maybe you need to move equipment or add a person somewhere. Steps matter, and moving a reefer or adding a  shelf can sometimes have massive impacts. Also, eliminate every ounce of clutter in the kitchen. If they don't need it for the current service, it should not be in there.


Running a Restaurant

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.