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Tessa's Take: Leon Restaurants: Helping Them to Make More Money In Less Time

Tessa Stuart


Just before Christmas, one of the Leon founders asked me to look at transaction times in their peak lunchtime trading hour in one of the branches.  

How could transactions with customers be made faster? Aim: to get more sales through in the crucial lunchtime peak hour.

I did four things simultaneously:

Timing aspects of transactions and whole transactions, to establish an average, against which to benchmark. (And doing this without the staff realising they were being observed.)

Observing customers' behaviour - how do they slow down sales? ( Taking time over menu choices, asking about ingredients, discussing potential choices with their friends, adding more items at the last minute, using their credit cards.)

Observing staff - how do they sell more quickly? (Moving customers over to their till points, greeting, understanding customer orders, calling them through the pass, knowing the menu and products, up-selling, being efficient in bagging orders, handling trays, cash, cards and receipts efficiently, stamping loyalty cards. Repeating this swiftly over and over again.)

Understanding the queuing dynamics - and ways to improve these, so that when the branch is full of people waiting to get their meal, newcomers don't come in, see the queue, and make a choice to go elsewhere.

My findings are being used by Leon to make more money in less time.

Which will be handy when they open the new Leon in Old Compton Street.