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Whether it’s a 24-hour diner or a fine dining establishment that’s only open for twice-weekly dinner seatings, some major thought and even trial and error went into setting the restaurant’s hours of operation. That’s because your restaurant opening times and closing times can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

So, if you own or are opening a restaurant, you may find yourself faced with the monumental task of setting the hours of operation. Please — don’t just pick some opening and closing times at random. This is a task that requires serious thought, and how you proceed could have a huge impact on your restaurant’s viability and profitability over the long term.

Don’t worry, though — this blog post will help. Below, the Qwick team has compiled eight factors to consider if you’re setting restaurant hours of operation. Read on to learn more.

How To Set Restaurant Hours of Operation

Below are eight considerations to make when deciding on your restaurant hours of operation. These will help you determine what hours of operation will be the best and most profitable for your business.

1. What Hours Fit Your Menu Best?

If you’re serving eggs, bacon, and pancakes, your restaurant’s hours of operation are more than likely going to center in the morning hours. But if you’re serving sushi, you probably don’t need to be open for a breakfast shift.

That’s just a way of saying that your menu can do a lot of the work for you. Restaurant opening times should be dictated by the reasonable first point in the day that the average person might consider eating your food. 

2. Can You Maintain the Proper Staff?

You may be an ambitious restauranteur with eyes on a 24-hour dining empire, but you have to make sure you have the proper staff to support an all-day, all-night establishment. And if you think it has been tough to hire lately, you should know that experts believe the labor shortage is going to continue for the foreseeable future.

So, what does that leave you to do? You’re going to have to do a lot of planning and footwork to maintain a restaurant staff of any kind, and if you can’t get enough people you may have to limit your hours of operation. 

(If you’re looking for qualified professionals to fill shifts, don’t give up until you’ve tried Qwick.)

3. What’s Near Your Restaurant?

Is your restaurant just across the street from a movie theater? Then you may want to consider staying open late enough to catch the post-movie crowd. Are you serving alcohol and within the vicinity of a football stadium? Then Sundays may need to be on the menu. Let your surroundings influence your restaurant hours of operation, and you stand to earn a lot more.

4. Do Any Local or State Laws Apply?

Some cities and states have laws that dictate restaurant opening times and how late alcohol-serving establishments can stay open on certain days and holidays. If your location has such a law on the books, then part of your decision will have been made for you.

5. Will You Need To Adjust With the Seasons?

If you’re opening a restaurant in a tourist town, it might be worth considering seasonal hours. This might look like limited hours during the winter and longer hours during the busier summer months.

6. What Are Your Competitors Doing?

Setting hours of operation requires a lot of research and adjustments, but you can save yourself a lot of time and resources by taking a look at what your nearby competitors have chosen to do with their hours. You can bet they already did a lot of the research, and you can base your opening and closing times on theirs.

7. Are You Slower on Certain Days or Times?

If your restaurant is already open and you’re considering adjusting your hours, you can make the decision easy by simply looking at your slowest times of the day or week and reducing your hours during those periods. For example, many restaurants are slowest on Mondays and choose to close for the entire day.

8. What’s Your Restaurant’s Demographic?

Consider your ideal or typical customer. Who are they? Are they young or old? Fancy or casual? The list goes on, but the idea is to figure out who you’re primarily serving and set the hours of operation that fit what they want. For instance, if you primarily serve a college-age crowd, you may need to have late hours but limit your early shifts.

No Matter Your Restaurant’s Hours of Operation, You Can Fill Shifts With Qwick

Your restaurant’s hours of operation can make or break your ability to turn a profit. But there’s another factor that can play a critical role in your success: Your ability to operate with a complete staff for every single shift you’re open.

In these trying times, that’s no easy feat. But many restaurant owners like yourself are finding a solution in Qwick. Qwick is an on-demand staffing platform that connects restaurants with local hospitality Professionals who are looking for food and beverage shifts.

You post your shifts, and — like magic — servers, bartenders, cooks, and other Professionals, start claiming them. They show up, do the work and reduce your stress. Sound great? That’s because it is. And you can try it today. Go ahead and post a shift and see what happens. You won’t be disappointed.

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