Fast casual restaurants are minimizing the required amount of restaurant staff. At many fast casual venues, waiter training only needs to focus on ensuring that the floor is operating smoothly. However, like almost all fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants also need to take orders and serve food quickly, usually with no empty space between the customer and the computer. The reduced number of employees, due to less need for wait staff, is an obvious benefit for fast casual venues. However, this business plan is not an ideal solution for how to run a restaurant for all businesses. Some venue concepts demand high levels of waiter training in order to provide the best customer service possible. These venues are not considered fast casuals, but in some cases great customer service can increase restaurant business in equal measure to offering fast casual dining.
Don’t Leave Out Staff
Though fast casual restaurants do not need many waiters, they do need people manning the cash registers and taking orders, as well as more kitchen staff on shift to supply meals faster than a typical venue. In a study done by the NRN, it was found that about 85% of Americans visit fast casual restaurants at least once a month. These numbers show not only the potential success of fast casual restaurants, but also their urgent need to have enough restaurant staff on hand to efficiently handle high quantities of orders. Another recent study by Long Range Systems found that the average restaurant wait time is about 23 minutes. Fast casual restaurants need to beat this time, by either having restaurant staff on hand to quickly prepare dishes, or by cook and waiter training that involves teaching wait staff to refill buffet dishes often, and stresses kitchen staff to prepare large quantities often. By taking these factors into consideration, running a fast casual venue can increase restaurant business.
Customers love fast casual restaurants and other fast food venues for their no-hassle, quick, drop-in dining experience. Recently, fast casual restaurants have been increasing the quality of their food as well, drawing even health-conscious customers. Another added bonus for money-tight customers is the reduced prices of meals, due to lower business costs in a venue that does not need to pay floor employees such as waiters and sommeliers, and the fact that there is no need to leave a tip. In most restaurants, etiquette almost requires leaving a 10% minimum tip. In Fast casual restaurants, having no middle man prevents the need to leave tips. For the business, these benefits translate as a way to increase restaurant business profits by decreasing expenses. The extra employees that will have to be hired in the kitchen to make up for the higher number of customers served, will be well worth the investment.
Fast casual restaurant concepts hold a promise to increase restaurant business. By realizing the needs of a fast casual restaurant, and by meticulously developing the business concept, businesses can maximize the profits potential of fast casual businesses.