The science behind perfect timing


The science behind perfect timing

A man holding a mobile phone sat opposite a woman holding a drink

At HGEM, we believe that perfecting your timing is both an art and a science. It's one of the key factors that guests mention really matters when we gather feedback. Whether it's seating guests in a timely fashion, taking drinks orders as soon as possible or dealing with the bill swiftly and efficiently, timings can make all the difference between a good guest experience and a bad one.

Savvy operators will understand that there's more to perfect timing than speed of service. Creating an atmosphere of momentum using well thought out lighting, music and furniture placement can have a powerful impact on guests without committing the cardinal sin of making them feel rushed.

Sometimes, perfecting your timings can mean placing some of the responsibility into the hands of the guest. Payment innovations, such as touchscreen ordering and apps, return the control to the guest, allowing them to choose exactly when they pay, even if it's before the end of a meal.

However, whilst tech can be useful, it's important not to forget the human element of hospitality – the communication and intuition that's essential for smooth and timely running of service. Whilst ensuring there is a rough framework in place to guide staff is useful, staff should take care to pay attention to guests so they can adjust timings according to the situation.

Our clients regularly tell us that one of the most useful aspects of the guest experience feedback we deliver is food timing delivery. Having an accurate picture of this helps to keep kitchen staff on their toes and provides good steer on how far short of timing targets a restaurant could be falling.

Sometimes, of course, there might be some discrepancy between the guest processing speed an operator requires and the ideal speed of service for the guest. In this case, polite and clear communication of stipulations, such as when you might need a table back, at both the time of booking and on arrival, will help keep the process transparent and manage expectations. Also, including areas beyond tables, where guests can sit comfortably to finish their drinks, ensures guests won't feel hurried whilst providing an opportunity for additional spend too.

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