Research: The Impact of Restaurant Table Characteristics on Meal Duration and Spending (Nov.2004)

excerpt:

“As might be predicted from the literature, tables that offered more potential for privacy regulation generally resulted in a higher average check and a longer than average duration. Tables that were more exposed, such as those along interior windows facing the patio, had a lower average check and a shorter average duration…This finding is in keeping with the demonstrated relationship between a pleasant shopping environment and higher spending.”

“While not all table characteristics appeared to affect customers’ behavior in this study, we found that booths generated the highest SPM (Spending Per Minute) of all table types, banquette seating generated the lowest SPM, and what most people might term a bad table still generated a reasonable rate of SPM during busy times. These findings are based solely on a single restaurant, but they suggest that there may be interesting relationships between a restaurant’s environment and its customers’ behavior that merit more investigation as well as consideration by restaurant planners and managers as they create new and more effective amenities.”

link: “The Impact of Restaurant Table Characteristics on Meal Duration and Spending” by Sheryl E. Kimes and Stepani K. A. Robson (Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Nov.2004) [free registration required]

WaiterBell Angle: Based on the research above, it is understandable for restaurant designers to want to include some tables with a degree of privacy with regards to customer preferences and restaurant profitability. However the question that arises is how to provide efficient attentive service to booths or semi-private tables.

The WaiterBell system would allow a restaurant to provide semi-private dining and efficient, attentive service.  This would also accomplish two additional restaurant goals: a relaxed, enjoyable dining experience and repeat customer business.

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