Restaurant Flow of Service - Restaurants 101

Flow of Service

What is "Flow of Service" ? I'm sure some of you are asking yourself that question. Most seasoned managers or owners have been in a location at some point on their career where that have said "who in the hell designed this place"! Flow is service involves multiple parts, Back of House area, Wait Stations, Guest areas including Host Stand, Bar/Lounge area and Dining Room. If you are lucky enough to be designing and building your location yourself and using an experienced designer a lot of these issues can be avoided. Even if you are just remodeling you need to look at your new layout and make sure that you visualize how the venue will Flow.

Back of House- You need to look at how the main line will flow all your station need to work together to get to expo. You even need to look at each specific station location to see how the flow makes the most sense, obviously your hood location controls a lot of the hot side. Remember your POS and printers/KDS also need to be set up to help with how the tickets flow thru the kitchen. The size and style of menu and overall concept also effects the flow and needs to be taken into consideration in setup. From the station cooler to the walk-in/freezer, storage/dry storage even the dish pit needs to be set up with efficiency and flow in mind.

Server wait-stations- POS terminal location, Coffee/Tea/Expresso and Coke equipment placement is extremely important to how well your service staff flows thru this station. Glassware storage down the check presenter location needs to be set up with flow in mind. Service staff needs to be focused on selling and taking care of the guest not running around in circles or running into each other because of poorly setup stations.

Guest Areas- From the host stand to bar/lounge area the flow needs to make sense to the natural flow that guest take. its called the "Herd Mentality" As for the dining areas, table placement and size is very important. you need to look at your builds and what area is best suited for this. This also effects reservations and table turn times. Even how the guest flow to the restrooms is important depending on your concept.

Service Bar Area- This area follows the same logic as the wait station above. Servers/Bar Staff need to be able to get drinks out as fast and smoothly as possible.

Restaurants 101 can help you set up your venue or help you design your venue to flow correctly. The better flow mean less issue with staff and how well they can do their job of selling and taking care of the guest, plus less frustration for the guest and you.