Recently received from a customer:
I love the food here. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Unfortunately every time I come there is only 1 order window with a long line. My last visit was a Friday evening at 6:30 and we waited in line for an hour with only 1 order window open. Food is great but would love faster service!!
Thanks for your feedback, shared by so many of our customers. First let me say that I most definitely feel your pain. I hate to wait in line – at the bank, at Walmart, in traffic…anywhere! And, as the owner/operator of Joe’ Farm Grill, I can assure you there is no one on the planet who would more like that line to move faster. Faster line equals more (and happier) customers which equals more $, etc.
Think about this with me. When I wait in line at the bank and only one teller is open, I feel just like you do. It is obvious that the more teller windows open the faster my service would be. Two tellers would cut my wait time in half, three would cut it by 3x, etc., and I am exactly correct in my assumption. This is because when I am done with my teller (or cashier at Walmart) I am totally done with my transaction. I have my deposit receipt or my groceries and I am one my way. There is nothing left to do.
This is not the case at JFG, or at any restaurant for that matter. When we finish taking your order our work has just begun. We have to season and grill your burger, butter and grill the bun, fry the onion rings (already hand-cut and breaded, of course), assemble and dress the salad with all it’s toppings, build the pizza with it’s layers of ingredients and grill it, and spin the fresh strawberry milkshake. Waffles, pancakes, eggs, all cooked fresh to order… you get the point. We must manufacture each product you’ve ordered. This is the great difference between our business and the bank or retail store.
And LB, here’s the bottom line. Our speed of service is limited, not by how many cash registers or windows we have open, but by our ability to cook only so much delicious food in so much space in so much time. Our staff currently is able to cook and serve between 130 and 150 meals per hour, or one meal every 25 seconds or so. When you look inside and watch the activity, we are working on about 35-40 meals at a time. And for every order that is being taken at the window, an order is being picked up at the opposite window. Our employees, managers, and equipment are being pushed to their limits whenever you see that line form. And no one is complaining, just working hard to see that your food is always special and served as quickly as possible. Everyone takes a lot of pride in this.
But, still, why only one cash register? Because about 85% of the time the orders generated by one continuous cash register fill up our production ability (we do utilize two cash registers together about 15% of the time). When we try to maximize the order- taking input by constantly opening two windows, we can, of course, shorten your time waiting to order, but this doesn’t do anything to shorten the time It takes to prepare your food. More windows equals more orders in but not more orders out. So to shorten your wait in line to order is to lengthen your wait for your food. We’ve learned from experience that this actually slows down our kitchen, compromises our food quality, and creates more competition for seating amongst guests – twice as many who are now waiting twice as long for their food after they’ve ordered it.
LB, here’s my commitment to you and to all of our guests. One, we won’t cut corners or compromise our passion to serve only the best food we know how. Two, we will never stop trying to improve our systems and training so that we can use two windows more often and prepare more meals per hour, thus speeding up our service.
In the mean time, please continue to enjoy the park- like setting, the unique trees and architectural details, smell the citrus blossoms, and use the time in line to catch up with your dining companions or even strike up a conversation with a fellow line- waiter. “Can you believe that so many of us are waiting in line…for a burger? It sure better be good!”
We all will be doing our best to make sure it is.
Best regards and sincere appreciation for your patience and support,