I can’t quite figure out why fast casual and casual dining restaurants open exactly at noon or close during mid-day.
Given ever-increasing, longer schedules of most all of us, dining when it’s convenient for your guests matters more and more. If a restaurant has a prep team working and servers arriving, open the restaurant at 11am or even 10:45am. Welcoming time-pressed guests “in early” sends the right signal that you are open to accommodating their schedules. Work days for most have increased, with folks getting into the office earlier and dining at off hours.
It also means you have the opportunity for another table turn during non-peak hours.
And what’s served by closing mid-day around 2pm? Sure it may be slower, but the most successful operators know that limiting hours limits when guests think to frequent your restaurant. Being open from 11am until 10pm sends the right signal that you are fully open for business.
I know some old school operators may be stuck in a different generation of fixed-schedule diners or that they need the down time to get ready for dinner. Or that having a server on will inflate costs. Dated thinking.
Open your doors and accommodate old and new guests who operate on different schedules. It’s about your guests – and about doing more table turns and increasing your profits.