We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having
been in business for many years, we noticed that although the number of
customers we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was
10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even though we added
more staff and cut back on the menu items...
One of the most common complaints on review sites against us and many
restaurants in the area is that the service was slow and/or they needed
to wait a bit long for a table.
We decided to hire a firm to help us solve this mystery, and naturally
the first thing they blamed it on was that the employees need more
training and that maybe the kitchen staff is just not up to the task of
serving that many customers.
Like most restaurants in NYC we have a surveillance system, and unlike
today where it's a digital system, 10 years ago we still used special
high capacity tapes to record all activity. At any given time we had 4
special Sony systems recording multiple cameras. We would store the
footage for 90 days just in case we needed it for something.
The firm we hired suggested we locate some of the older tapes and
analyze how the staff behaved 10 years ago versus how they behave now.
We went down to our storage room but we couldn't find any tapes at all.
We did find the recording devices, and luckily for us, each device has
1 tape in it that we simply never removed when we upgraded to the new
The date stamp on the old footage was Thursday July 1, 2004.
14 out of 45 customers take pictures of each other with the food in
front of them or as they are eating the food. This takes on average
another 4 minutes as they must review and sometimes retake the photo.
The restaurant was very busy that day. We loaded up the footage on a
large monitor, and next to it on a separate monitor loaded up the
footage of Thursday July 3 2014, with roughly the same amount of
customers as ten years before.
I will quickly outline the findings. We carefully looked at over 45
transactions in order to determine the data below:
Customers walk in.
They gets seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to
be seated elsewhere.
Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show
they are ready to order.
Waiters shows up almost instantly takes the order.
Appetizers are fired within 6 minutes, obviously the more complex items