It’s common for families to get together on Easter Sunday for a large roasted lamb dinner with all the trappings. However, people are becoming more likely to just book a table in a restaurant so as not to have to deal with the stress of cooking for upwards of 8 people.
This is good for the trade and the economy, however, restaurants need to realize they can’t treat us, paying customers like cattle, however, customers also need to understand that the business needs to turn a profit and that unless you’re spending obscene amounts of money, or have booked the table for the entire afternoon, you can’t sit there at your leisure all sharing the same bottle of house white.
It’s a common tactic in restaurants to allocate times to tables on major days, Christmas, Easter and so on. For 3 courses, it’s usually 2 and a half hours with a 30 minute window for the table to be turned over, re set and the next group of guests be seated. This is where it’s only good manners to take a seat in the bar area to finish off any drinks, or have a couple more.
However, I do find 2 and a half hours to be a little stingy on the time front, especially when it’s a large table. If was call Easter Lunch £25 each, and the table comprises of 8 adults, add 2 bottles of wine at £12 and 2 bottles of water a £1.50, that’s £227.
As most restaurants also have ample tables, lets multiply the table amount by 10, which would give the restaurant a capacity of 80 people minimum, the turnover for a full check would be £2270 every 3 hours. Now, let’s multiply that with the number of sittings, which would be 3. 12pm, 3pm and 6pm, and usually a small course as it dies down at 8pm, that makes a turnover £6810 for the 3 main sittings. Also, remember, there are also going to be bar snacks, sandwiches and the standard menu being served too.
Not a bad turnover really when you do the maths like that is it?
If you want to spend longer in the venue, at your table, you should at least ensure your drinks are coming thick and fast, or come to an arrangement before hand with the restaurant to cover a ‘table fee’ to ensure that you can have the table as long as you like.
As a customer you are important, however, just because you’ve spent over £200 doesn’t give you the God given right to clog up the table at your leisure so the restaurant can’t turn over another profit. Simply go into the bar area.
And restaurants, we know you have time constraints, but you can’t virtually forced feed up and make us eat faster, so be a little more flexible with the timings, it doesn’t take 30 minutes to turn a table over, It takes more like 5 – 10.