MODERN RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT – As part of our mission to be the go-to resource for on-the-go restaurant industry professionals, Modern Restaurant Management magazine (MRM) offers highlights of recent research. This end-of-October edition features news about the “Golden Hours” of service, the popularity of delivery services and Millennial marketing.


The ‘Golden Hours’ of Service

Balancing the art of dining with the science of running a business seems to be a never-ending duty. Timing—for both meal preparation and hours of business—is a top concern.

What is the best time to open?

To start cooking?

Is it worth it to invest in brunch service?

When are high volumes expected?

CAKE, a restaurant technology platform that uses information from their integrated POS and Guest Manager systems to track and analyze data, recently took a look at more than 2,000 restaurants with a combined revenue exceeding $100,000,000 to find the golden hour of service. Here’s what they found:


The Top Three Golden Hours:

  1.  7 – 7:59 p.m., which account for 11.49 percent of the total sales analyzed
  2. 12 – 12:59 p.m., which account for 10.54 percent of the total sales analyzed
  3. 8 – 8:59 p.m., which account for 10.27 percent of the total sales analyzed


Additional Findings:

  • Morning sales accounted for 16.55 percent of revenue, while afternoon sales accounted for a whopping 83.45 percent of total revenue.
  • The biggest single drop in sales comes after the lunch rush between Noon and 12:59 p.m. For the next four hours, average revenue continues to drop until the dinner rush begins at 5 p.m.
  • The worst time to be open? That would be between 4:00 and 4:59 a.m., accounting for a mere .02 percent of total sales analyzed.
  • During weekdays, average revenue on Thursdays is nearly double what it is on Mondays, indicating that folks begin the week with intentions of cooking at home, but tend to lose that motivation as the week progresses.


And regarding the never-ending debate about the value of opening for brunch, CAKE found that on the weekends, 21 percent of revenue came from morning and afternoon sales, while 79 percent of revenue came from evening sales. While the jury is still out on the final decision, CAKE can verify that during the weekends, dinner service seems to be more popular on Saturdays, while brunch service is more popular on Sundays. With regard to timing, the highest spike in brunch sales on weekends is at 1 p.m., while the highest spike for dinner sales is 7 p.m.