Anyone switched from Full Service to Counter Service?

I’m thinking of making an investment to switch from Full Service to Counter Service. It would require about $10k in investment to move some walls etc. At least half of my competitors have this type of service. You would pay, sit down with a number and wait. It would be self service soda fountain and we’d bring the pizza to the table when it was ready.

My thought is that this would reduce labor substantially but also significantly reduce service issues. Currently we have between 2 and 5 servers, a bartender, and 1 or 2 hosts/togo persons.

Has anyone made a switch like this and, if so, did it reduce labor and/or guest complaints?

Thanks in advance.

Patrick Cuezze
Next Door Pizza

I started as counter service but switched after 3 days, the guests just weren’t happy. You could see their faces after waiting in line, but my guests are older and wealthier and don’t want to wait. I found waiters cheaper with tip credit. That and the check average went way up, people don’t really want to wait in line again for second or 3rd drink.

We dumped table service and I am a much happier person because of it. But we have a very unique labor situation up here, (it’s horrible beyond all imagination) nobody wants to work, and the ones that do want to work are darn near unemployable.
People still ordered at the counter, but I thought I could have servers bring their food out without too much hassle, I was wrong!
Even with huge, highly visible numbers on the tables, with me describing to the servers where the table is, and describing the people sitting at the table, they were still taking orders to the wrong tables.
The night I terminated the last server was when I left the line, grabbed a bus pan, and started clearing tables while this server was sitting at a table doing nothing.
She decided to inform me that I dropped a napkin on the floor while I was clearing tables, that was it! Why am I clearing tables? Why am I paying this person tp work here while it sits on her butt?

We are a small place, with only 6 indoor tables, it is an open kitchen design, its not really a difficult job to get food to the correct table. BUT! I’ve actually seen a server go from table to table asking seated customers; “Is this your food?”
It didn’t matter if they already had food in front of them, she would put food down in front of the wrong customers too.
Since having a self-service operation, I have had zero screw-ups, nobody has gotten the wrong food, not once!

That is why I went to counter service and self-serv.