Metamorphosis II: The LEAN Perspective by Michael Bayer MBA

imagesLet’s look at the restaurant from a LEAN perspective. What is the purpose of the business? Note we did not se the word restaurant. That immediately conjures up images in our minds. W want to be far more open minded. The business was cast up to provide quality, tasty food for its customers.

Let’s look at the various aspects of the business to determine their value to the business.

First the kitchen operation. In LEAN terms this is where the value is added for the customers. They are paying for tasty, quality food. The kitchen does this superbly. We, as business owners, need to is the extensive menu providing value to the business? Are we stocking supplies that have a slow turnover and risk spoilage resulting in additional waste? Do we need to focus on a few items that we do exceptionally well and are in constant demand, add a few exotic items from time to time and scrap the rest? This can be a very difficult  decision especially for a talented and dedicated chef.

Secondly, alcoholic beverage service. The margins on alcohol are large, however, the need to stock a wide variety ties up substantial financial resources. If any particular brand turns over slowly, the cost of carrying the inventory can be substantial. Many restaurants offer both a dining room and a bar. The bar will generate revenue independently of the restaurant. Patrons will not come to a restaurant to drink. Since there is no bar at this particular restaurant, all alcohol sales are itch meals. We need to ask if the return is worth the effort and expense.

Thirdly, the dining room itself. We need adequate space, tables chairs all set up n a pleasant decor. This can get very expensive very quickly. Money is made by turning the tables around. If customers want to linger over a second or third coffee, limiting the use of the table by other customers, this will result in decreased revenues because we can’t replace the customer with a new paying one.

What about staffing issues?