- Maintain proper staffing levels. “That is probably the biggest problem that food service operators have,” said Al Zehnder, CEO of Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Mich. “It’s important to maintain adequate staffing levels, and have a menu design that meets the time expectations of the guests.”
- Limit menu options. Diana Rodriguez of Calypso Bay Waterpark in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., said an overwhelming menu makes for an indecisive, line-delaying customer. “We recently reduced our menu to make line times shorter,” she said. “Now, we just sell the popular items.”
- Prep foods as much as possible before a lunch or dinner rush. “We pre-make our pizzas so that they’re ready to go into the oven,” said Leslie Boersma of Pirate’s Cove in Englewood, Colo. “So that when we get the rush between 11 and 3, everything is ready to be cooked. It saves a lot of time.”
- Keep all cash registers running. Sue Girardin, who with her son, Bret Girardin, manages concessions at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights, Mich., said she also maintains a consistent cashier-to-runner ratio. “We make sure every cashier has a runner, and all registers are running,” she said.
- Hire an outstanding food and beverage manager. “We sometimes have groups of 200 kids coming in at once, and so it’s important to have a manager who is calm under pressure,” said Michael Fishman, managing partner at Thunder Falls Waterpark in Birmingham, Mich. “You need to have someone who knows how to run a kitchen. Our manager, Donovan Dennis, he knows how to take care of business.”
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