Data: The optimal table turnover time is 45 minutes BrianAJackson/iStock/Thinkstock

Data: The optimal table turnover time is 45 minutes

“Campers” who linger too long drag down revenues, tips

A 45-minute table-turnover time is ideal for maximizing revenue and tips, according to a new report from point-of-sale provider Upserve, released Tuesday.

Looking at data from thousands of restaurants and millions of transactions in 2017, the software analytics firm released an inaugural report on industry trends. Among those trends is tipping, which was a hot-button issue last year.

Upserve found that the average tip increased with time spent at the table, up until about the 40- to 50-minute mark. Likewise, meal costs tended to flatline after guests had spent around 30 to 40 minutes at the table.

“Campers,” or guests who linger, can result in an increase in average check and average tip, but not if it goes on too long, the data indicated.

While the average check grew from $88.39 at 40 minutes to $123.45 at 80 minutes, the amount of revenue per minute the restaurant collects drops from $2.21 per minute to $1.54 per minute between the 40- to 80-minute mark, the report said.

Similarly, the average tip as a percentage of the overall check begins to drop. At 110 minutes, the average tip is only $3 more than it is at 50 minutes, and the percentage of the check is just under 10 percent. A server working that table may wish they had worked more tables at half the time by then, the report said.

On average, tips were highest in the Northeast, at $11.17, Upserve found, a rate of about 16 percent of the total check. In the West, the tip average was $8.41, about 15.5 percent of the total check.

Many states in the West do not allow a tip credit, so the base server pay rate was $10.42 in the West, compared with $7.42 in the Northeast.

Across the U.S., the tip rate remained around 15 percent. It was slightly higher in the Northeast, at 16.24 percent, and the South, at 16.27 percent.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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