Have you ever experienced perfect service at a restaurant? Maybe close to it, but things can always be improved. Remember, service has to do with everything from before being on location to having left. Great service of yesterday is today’s norm, so how can design improve restaurant service?
First of all, what is great service? It is hard to measure if service is good or bad, but you can set parameters. Not having to wait for more than 5 minutes for a waiter or not having to wait for more than 15 minutes for food could ways of measuring how good service is. Of course, there are other variables to take into account, but these are just examples.
Changing the way you interact with customers is a way of improving services. You could have on-demand interaction, for example. People used to listen to the radio more than nowadays. One reason for this phenomenon is that there is on-demand music. Why not have on-demand waiters? A button could be designed into a table so that if you push it, a waiter will know when to come for assistance or otherwise leave you in peace.
Another way services could be improved in restaurants is by designing the layout so that waiters can pass through the space quickly and efficiently. Note that being quick and efficient are not the same. Having a wide path to walk quickly is not efficient if you have to walk around half the restaurant to go to the kitchen.
Having quick and efficient operations and an adjusted design could save on overhead. Instead of having waiters constantly hovering over the floor, on-demand request buttons like those found in planes and refined aisles could make it possible for waiters to handle more tables and customers.
Furthermore, simple electronic menus in the form of touch-screen monitors could be used to order food instead of having to wait for a waiter. These devices could also have pictures and detailed information about the ingredients, preparation time, and manner in which the dish is prepared.
Lastly, service before entering the restaurant includes, among others branding and communication. This goes the same for leaving a restaurant where something extra is provided or done for the guests to help them remember your restaurant and come back soon.