How can a restaurant survive the issues we have identified and still fulfill its mission of providing quality tasty food for it’s customers? An analysis based on LEAN principles leads to the answer.
LEAN looks at present of an organization and then looks forward to a future idea state.
Let’s look at the factors that are dragging the business down, starting with the most important and determine what the future idea state should be.
1. Staffing. The was identified as the single most critical problem the restaurant was experiencing namely the recruiting, hiring and retention of staff. It resulted in the restaurant being forced to close from time to time because of the difficulty in recruiting staff. The ideal state would be to have no staff except the chef and kitchen staff.
2. Dining room. In order to operate the dining room, staff is necessary to serve customers. Do we need a dining room? In the ideal state, we could serve customers and not have a dining room.
3. Alcoholic drinks. The costs do not justify the expense of stocking and serving drinks. In the ideal state we could eliminate this service.
4. Menu. The more extensive the menu, the smaller the margins because of the cost of supplies. In the ideal state, the menu would have proven favourites, with a limited number of specials to gauge customer demand
5. Prices would be set so that the total cost to the customer, including taxes would be an even dollar amount, simplifying money handling and accounting i.e. Wiener Schnitzel dinner $8.85 plus $1.15 tax= $10.00. Handling credit card and debit transactions are time consuming and require an Internet connection. Internet connections in the community are expensive. In the ideal state, the business would be a cash business. This would also greatly simplify the accounting process.
We have described the ideal state of the business in LEAN terms. What would the real world restaurant look like and how could it operate?