To waitress....or NOT to waitress...that is the question

So when I took over one of our franchise location last year, the system in place was waitress service from 4-close monday-sunday…Out of our 25+ locations, this store and another one were the only ones utilizing this concept. Mainly because both stores are in excess of 2500 sq ft and have ample seating. They both also have liquor licenses and we sell draft beer and bottles at both locations. The difference between the two is that one does double the other one (I have the lower one) in both food sales and beer sales.

The other locations are strictly pick up and delivery and 4-5 seats and much smaller in space.

I am torn because I like the waitress idea in that they get paid $3/ hour and they also answer phones and clean the dining area. And it keeps long lines forming at the register.

The cons are that its 4 more employees I have to deal with. When they call off and no one can take their place then we are “screwed”. Most of the complaints are “the food was great, but the service was terrible”. And they are only about their tips. They rarely are team players.

For lunch we are just as busy (not so much beer though) and we use a ticket call out method. they come and order the food, they get their receipt with a number, we call the number and have a designated pick up place for the food.

Looking for anyone doing waitressing and their opinions or insight. Thanks