If you run a restaurant, you have likely considered which ways of serving food are most efficient. For Italian restaurants, serving family style offers an authentic dining experience for guests, but it can also provide your restaurant with a few surprising benefits. Here are a few things to consider if you are considering family style service.
When it comes to serving family style meals, you may find that you need fewer servers to handle your customers. With fewer individual plates being passed out, your servers need only to deliver a few large bowls or platters to each table.
You can even hire one or two staff members to bring the food out, keeping your waiter or waitress free to handle drink orders, deliver checks, and tackle other serving work. This also means that servers may be less likely to make multiple trips back to the kitchen for errors on individual orders. For businesses with a small budget for payroll, or for restaurants with limited dining room space, having fewer servers on staff for rush periods can be a great benefit.
When everyone is sharing plates, there may be a tendency to order more food for everyone at the table to sample. With a fixed plate option, people are limited to only what is on their plates, and they may be hesitant to order more than one entree. Consider adding large and small portion sizes for family style meal options, which gives your customers more flexibility to choose and order more types of menu options. The more they order, the better your sales will be.
Flexible Menu Options
Because you won't have to choose accompanying sides to go with every main course, you can offer more types of Italian cuisine on your menu. Your customers can pair each main course with the side dishes they find most appealing on the menu.
Arrange your menu with separate sections for each type of main course protein, and include side suggestions for each option. You can use this opportunity to promote dishes that have lower production costs or quicker cooking times to help increase your revenues. Be sure to add a large section for different types of pastas, and consider allowing customers to create their own pasta dishes by mixing and matching sauces with different types of pasta shapes.
Work with your serving and kitchen staff to determine if family style is right for your Italian restaurant, and give your customers great service along with delicious Italian cuisine.