A Few Ways To Handle The Bum Rush


Question From: Janine in VA

”Need an advice. How do you manage the situations, when everyone is arriving in the same time?

"Don't sit everyone in the same time" is not an option for us. :(

P.S. yesterday from being totally empty we got 100% full + waiting table in 5 minutes. It was a hell!!!”


While I understand the need to sometimes offer people a seat right away (elderly, injured, tired or those just leaving a theatre or sports arena nearby) if the restaurant isn’t designed to handle that kind of rush, the responsible choice is to either revamp the menu, the physical space or guest expectations...and I wouldn’t want to be charged with doing that latter.

At the end of the day, if your line is as efficient as it can be, there really is no perfect solution to fitting a square peg into a circle hole that doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the peg or put so much pressure on the hole that it ends ip cracking.

Controlling flow is one of the most proactive measures the front of the house manager can take to ensure a positive guest experience.

Seating the restaurant at once usually results in servers getting weeded (mis fires/orders), the kitchen getting killed with non-stop tickets resulting in long ticket times and bad kitchen morale, customers get restless from the wait and inability from your server keeping up with their needs.

That being said, there are only a few ways to handle necessity to seat everyone at once as far as I know:

1. Extend / stagger the orders by adding or spacing out steps of service.

2. Increase the size of the line / #of cooks.

3. Limit menu and/or introduce signature items that have minimal to no pick-up time beyond unwrapping or pulling from a steam table or sandwich board.

4. Have one hell of a bread basket / chips (i.e., tots or complimentary anything).

5. Install Televisions / Tablets at the table to distract.

6. Speed up the line / Make the Line more efficient (i.e., lose the slow cooks, install KDS system, pre cook and hold as much of the menu as possible).

7. Offer a Salad Bar / Pizza Bar / Buffet or Grab & Stay Deli Case.

8. RESERVED signs on tables.

Remember: the Kitchen Mgr and FOH Mgr should be in constant communication with where tickets times, when a lg party walks in and how many open menus are down AND are and how long (if at all) to put walk-in guests on a wait / send them to the bar.