The emergence of the digital age along with the ever-increasing expectations of customers is driving the need for agility and growth in the Hospitality and Restaurant Industry. To achieve this, lean best-practices are being implemented across these industries to optimize processes, cut waste, maximize labor potential, and provide customers with quicker and better service, more choices and new experiences.
When the term lean is thrown around, most still think in terms of its roots in manufacturing. But, those same best-practices that help streamline assembly lines can and have been tailored to many other industries as well. And, it’s much more transformational than just cutting employee headcount or dialing back services. In fact, in most-cases, it’s quite the opposite.
The emergence of the “Grocerant” is a perfect example of how lean practices can free up resources and shift the focus from simply transactional, to experiential. Companies like Wegman’s have been applying lean methods for years…
“Wegman’s wouldn’t be able to achieve their level of success, superb-service and experiences without their daily focus on improvement and perfection through tried and true lean principles.” Says, Jeff Peretin of the Connors Group. “It’s never been about cutting headcount or eliminating anything other than what doesn’t make sense to Wegman’s, it’s employees and customers.”
It’s still about creating and implementing engineered labor standards, improving process and doing time studies, but it’s what’s being done with that information and data that matters…
“We’ve become increasingly involved with space planning and design”, says Andrew Taylor, Senior Director at Connors Group. “We can garner a lot of information by observing details like table and seat utilization. The right design and planning can increase the speed-of-service, and table-turn, without compromising the experience.”
At the end of the day, the goal is to serve time-strapped customers and consumers with the same speed and efficiency from online competitors. Using lean methods to create an atmosphere that can meet or beat those expectations all while encouraging customers to linger longer and spend more is a win for everyone.