Tips for Table Turnover in a Busy Restaurant

A busy restaurant with happy diners is a profitable restaurant, but busyness can be a tight rope to walk if your staff aren’t well trained to deal with the chaos. With a long waitlist, hectic kitchen and overwhelmed servers, the final steps of table turnover can be easy to forget or overlook. However, making the payment experience as simple as possible helps to ensure that customers can quickly settle their tabs, and staff can prepare the table for the next round of guests.

Consider the following tips for table turnover in a busy restaurant, and how these changes could be implemented at your location.

Keep the Optimal Amount of Terminals on Hand

Be it debit, credit or even contactless, paying without cash has become commonplace for most restaurants. While this can make a number of organizational tasks simple, it also means that you need to have the right amount of terminals on hand to meet the needs of your customers. If your restaurant is a grab-and-go location, you may only need one terminal per POS system; However, if you have a number of tables that pay at their table, this number will need to increase significantly. Unfortunately, there’s no magic ratio of terminals to tables, so you’ll need to speak to your payment processor about what works best for you. Speaking to your wait staff about their needs and the trends they notice while customers pay their bill could also help inform your decision about exactly how many terminals you need.

As an extra simple tip, make sure to optimize the placement of the terminals around your restaurant. Keeping wireless terminals in their charging docks right beside a POS system allows servers to quickly grab one when bringing a cheque to a table. If you’re restaurant has a number of different POS stations, keeping a few terminals at each station might work best.

Utilizing an Integrated POS System

Having an integrated payments and POS system is another great way to help speed up the table turnover process. When your POS system and payment terminals are integrated seamlessly, printing and closing cheques is a simple process that only requires one tool. Not only is this easier for servers, who can quickly close tables and keep track of their end of day reports, but it allows for managerial tasks like reporting and revenue tracking to be simple as well.

Accept NFC Payments

Some diners go to restaurants for long, involved dining experiences while others want quick, convenient service before they need to be on their way. Having Near Field Communication (NFC) payments enabled on your terminals allows patrons to pay their bills through contactless methods like “tap” payments. Given that the limit in Canada for contactless payments is $100, NFC payments are a great option for solo diners with small bills who want to quickly be on their way.

For more information on restaurant payments, be sure to check out our articles Important Features to Look For in a Restaurant POS System and 3 Signs It’s Time to Update Your Restaurant Terminals.


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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