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What Are Covers in a Restaurant?

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve likely heard the term “covers” before. But what are covers in a restaurant really mean?

A cover is simply a customer or group of customers that is expected to occupy one table. In other words, if a party of four comes into a restaurant and is seated at a table, that party would be counted as four covers.

The term is generally used when discussing capacity and planning ahead for busy periods. For example, a restaurant might say that they are expecting 100 covers during the lunch rush. This means that they are expecting 100 customers to come in and be seated at tables during that time.

Knowing the average number of covers per hour is important for restaurants as it helps them to plan ahead and make sure they have enough staff on hand to handle the expected business. It also helps them to estimate how much food they will need to prepare.

How can covers be used as a useful metric in your restaurant?

There are a number of ways that you can use covers to help you run your restaurant more effectively.

  • Projecting sales [1]: By knowing how many covers you usually have during different times of day, you can more accurately predict your sales for the day. This information can be helpful in things like ordering inventory and scheduling staff.
  • Capacity planning: By keeping track of your covers, you can make sure that you don’t overbook your restaurant during busy periods. This information can be especially useful if you have a small space and need to be mindful of how many people you can seat.
  • Staffing: Covers can be a helpful metric to use when staffing your restaurant. If you know you’re going to be busy, you can make sure to schedule enough staff to handle the expected business.
  • Server effectiveness: By tracking covers, you can get an idea of how many tables a server is able to handle in an hour. This information can be useful in things like determining server workloads and tips.

As you can see, covers can be a helpful metric for restaurants in a variety of ways. If you’re not already tracking covers, it may be something to consider adding to your metrics.

How do you use cover in calculations? 

woman holding calculator to calculate financial data

Here are a few example calculations that you can use to help you understand and track covers in your restaurant:

  • Covers per hour = Number of customers seated during an hour / Average party size
  • Total covers = Number of customers seated during a shift / Average party size
  • Covers by server = Number of tables served during a shift / Number of servers working

While covers can be a helpful metric, it’s important to note that they should not be used in isolation. For example, you wouldn’t want to use covers to calculate your sales for the day as there are other factors that will affect your sales (such as what is being ordered).

Instead, covers should be used as one piece of information to help you make better decisions for your restaurant. When used correctly, covers can be a valuable tool in helping you run a successful business.

What is Cover in F and B Service?

F and B stand for food and beverage. In the hospitality industry, “covers” refers to the number of people being served food and drinks.

For example, if a restaurant is serving 50 people at once, that would be considered 50 covers.

In some cases, you may also hear the term “guests” used instead of “covers.” For example, a restaurant may say that they’re serving 50 guests.

What Is Cover Size in Restaurant?

The average cover size is the average number of people in a party. For example, if the average party size is 4 people, then the average cover size would be 4.

Cover Layout in Restaurant

The cover layout is the way that the covers are arranged in the restaurant. For example, a common cover layout is 4 covers per table. This means that there would be 4 people sitting at each table.

Another common cover layout is 2 covers per table. This means that there would be 2 people sitting at each table.

Conclusion

Covers are a metric that can be used to help restaurants in a variety of ways. By understanding what covers are and how they can be used, you can use this information to make better decisions for your restaurant.

When used correctly, covers can be a valuable tool in helping you run a successful business.

Reference:

  1. https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/erp/restaurant-kpis.shtml
Lauren Beck
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