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Using Pacing Limits to even out peaks in service
Using Pacing Limits to even out peaks in service

Pacing Limits determine the maximum number of guests you want to welcome per timeslot. Smear out the peaks and close individual timeslots.

Operations avatar
Written by Operations
Updated over a week ago

Do you want to slow down the peak hours in your service and spread reservations out more evenly? Formitable lets you control the flow of the day with Pacing Limits

Pacing limits determine the maximum number of guests you want to accept within a certain time span. This helps to gradually spread out the number of reservations without sending guests away. It helps to take the pressure off your front- and back of the house.

Set a maximum number of reservations & guests for all timeslots

Adjust the limit to the number of reservations and guests you want to accept in your restaurant in general. This is your overall pacing limit that will always be applied to all timeslots.

  • In Formitable, go to Settings > Setup > Reservations. Change the max. no. of guests and reservations per timeslot.

How to set pacing limits per timeslot

Prevent peak hours by limiting the number of guests that can reserve and arrive at specific timeslots. For most restaurants, there is a rush-hour around 1 pm for lunch and 7 pm for dinner. With pacing limits, you encourage guests to reserve slightly earlier or later to spread out when guests come in.

For each timeslot you can choose 3 settings: Auto, Capped, Closed.

  • Auto (green). The maximum number of guests possible is allowed as determined by your restaurant settings.

  • Capped (yellow). You limit the number of guests to a specific number. You can not choose a number higher than the automatic value. Change your restaurant settings and table groups to allow for more people.

  • Closed (red). You limit the number of guests to 0, which in practice stops all online reservations. No reservations can be placed during this timeslot. Keep in mind that they can be placed immediately before and after.

 1. To add pacing limits per timeslot, go to Settings > Shifts.
 2. In the Shifts list view (two horizontal bars), click on Pacing. Click on the blue button marked with a PLUS [+].

 3. Fill in the maximum number of guests you want to accept for each timeslot.
 4. You can leave the other ones on auto.
 5. Click on Save when you are done.

Want to apply this pacing limit to multiple days or all weekdays? 

  1. Click on the date at the top and choose how often the pacing limit should repeat: never, daily, weekly, or monthly

  2. Select the interval you want to use. For example all weekdays, or all days in the weekend.

Adjusting pacing limits throughout the day

Is your restaurant suddenly getting too busy? You can adjust your pacing limits throughout the day! Either reduce the number of reservations that can be placed or stop accepting reservations all-together for specific timeslots. We have added colors to let you see where things are heating up.

  • Grey numbers. No guests currently arrive during this timeslot.

  • Blue numbers. Some guests arrive at this time, but the number is lower than your current pacing limit. Dark blue means you are exactly at your limit. 

  • Yellow numbers. There are more guests arriving at this time than should be allowed by your pacing limit.

  1. In the overview, click on the pacing limits icon to see the limits for the current day.

  2. To limit the number of guests allowed to reserve at a timeslot, reduce the number on the right. The capped label will turn yellow.

  3. To stop accepting reservations altogether for this timeslot, click on capped. The capped label will turn red.

  4. Click on Save to apply your pacing limits.

Frequently asked questions about Pacing Limits

What is the ideal pacing limit for my restaurant?

Ask yourself how many guests your restaurant and kitchen can handle at any given time. This should be your guideline for pacing limits.

What if I have pacing limits for a day and restaurant settings that both limit guests?

You can have general pacing limits in place for your restaurant as well as pacing limits for a specific day. Both of them will be applied at the same time. In practice, the lowest one will be used to make sure you are not getting over-booked.

How do I change the length of a timeslot?

Choose between timeslots of either 15-, 30-, or 60-minutes. Whatever works best for your restaurant. Change the length of timeslots in Formitable at Settings > Setup > Reservations > Timeslot size

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