Restaurants turning tables at pace turn off diners

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Restaurant magazine

Diners don't like to be rushed through their meals
Diners don't like to be rushed through their meals
Restaurants that turn tables at pace and hustle customers out the door should do so with caution, according to new research from The Mystery Dining Company.

Its survey of more than 200 regular restaurant goers revealed that nearly 50 per cent of diners consider a meal ruined if they feel that staff are rushing them out and are unlikely to return to the venue.

Overzealous table turning is a common occurrence, with three quarters of diners reporting being rushed through a meal at some point and just under half of respondents claiming it happened once in every 10 restaurant visits.

Split sittings

There are mixed feelings about split sittings – the practice of dividing a service into two at high-end restaurants – with roughly two thirds in favour and one third against.

Sally Whelan, co-founder of The Mystery Dining Company, says that most diners understand that restaurants often need to turn tables for the business to be viable but want it done sympathetically.

“Efficiently-run operations with a good product are generally okay,” she said. “It’s only when it’s done badly or insensitively that it becomes a problem.”

See the June edition of Restaurant magazine, out today, for the inside track on turning tables without upsetting customers.

Related topics: Business, Restaurants

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