Efficiency and quality are the key business strategy components. The efficiency concept and quality capability help organizations in attaining a level of service that can be described as excellent. In the current competitive business environment, firms must be able to continuously manage process innovations and improvements regarding quality to get at par with customer expectations. In this case, I will be seeking for answers to basic questions that will enable Daniel obtain high quality and also increase efficiency of its services.
Daniel refers to a French restaurant in New York City. Chef Daniel Boulud, a French celebrity who also owns it runs it. Daniel established itself as one of the best restaurants in the world by the Grand Awards of the Wine Spectator in 2002, and it went on receiving the awards for four consecutive years. The once five-star restaurant, however, was graded downwards to three stars. Daniel has since lost its place as one of the world's best. Currently, Daniel is struggling with poor standards of service and therefore forfeiting the brand image that it once had. The lost brand name of the company evidences itself in the now reduced tips the customers usually extend to the waiters (Wells, 2013). There are some problems the restaurant faces such as standardizing the product quality, limited parking area, slow execution of services and extended customer waiting time for meals.
Identification of the Problem
While seeking to identify the main issue affecting the customers, I conducted a survey about four quality issues that the restaurant is facing. In the study, the customers were to indicate their satisfaction with the four items whereby the item which has the least customer satisfaction is the main problem of the organization, which I will then subject to the cause and effect analysis. The survey involved four issues: problem of parking, the lack of dinner waiting area, long time of preparing meals, and non-standard products supply chain.
Out of a sample of 83 people, 70 indicated that they sit promptly and three disagreeing. Seventy-three contended that their waiters were satisfactorily and ten differed. Fifty-eight indicated that the time in which they received a reasonable service and 25 had a contrary opinion. Seventy-two indicated that their food was enjoyable and 11 disagreed. Sixty-seven agreed that their dining experience matched the cost and 16 opined differently. From the findings, one can argue that the customers' main problem is time. Time, therefore, is the problem that Daniel needs to assign solving priority.
Analysis of the Problem
The time it takes for meals to be ready is also of great importance as long as restaurant service quality is concerned. In the restaurant, it takes 12 minutes to prepare food after a customer places an order which is too long relative to the industry's recommended 10 minutes. According to the survey conducted, 70 of the 83 respondents indicated that the prolonged wait time before they received their orders is often the case on weekends and holidays. The restaurant can address the problem by raising the number of employees who work in the kitchen, for instance, through hiring helpers on a contractual basis during weekends and holidays. According to Hwang and Lambert (2008), the contract helper can thus help the restaurant chief chef during the agreed days, therefore, reducing the burden carried by the chief chef. The head chef can then specialize in paying attention to the food quality instead of preparing all the meal.
The significance of the Problem for Daniel
Solving the problem of time is very strategic for Daniel not just because it seems to be affecting the highest number of customers. Additionally, it is because the problem is interrelated with several other problems such that solving it is a way of indirectly solving other problems and according to Pareto analysis, such a problem is the most opportune one (Gawdzinska, 2011). Taking a long time to complete preparing an ordered meal renders the space expansion of the space unnecessary.
Application of Fishbone Diagram (Ishikawa Chart) to the Time Problem
The Ishikawa chart is also called root-cause analysis or cause and effect diagram. The name fishbone traces its roots from the shape of the fishbone diagram which resembles fishbone. It is a type of brainstorming that is done in a format that is structured. The technique employs graphical means for relating problem causes to the problem itself. It majorly seeks to establish cause and effect. The analysis focuses on the causes as opposed to the effect. Now that there can exist multiple triggers of just one problem, the Ishikawa Diagram tries to uncover the problem cause in a manner that is systematic and structured. It places an emphasis also on each cause before it identifies the problem causes (Gawdzinska, 2011).
The Ishikawa chart technique is entirely applicable to the hotel industry and Daniel restaurant especially. With the use of the Ishikawa chart, I will try finding a solution to the problem of a long time taken for a meal a customer has ordered to be ready, which is the most significant problem and thus my topic of choice. The analysis begins with the identified problem which is indicated in the fishbone diagram region. The major problem causes are then traced along the fish spine. At this point, the definition of the main causes includes material, procedure, equipment, and personal among others. At this point, it is now possible to the problem cause by looking at the individual causes separately (Gawdzinska, 2011).
When defining the leading causes, personal factors referred to include the insufficient number of employees and poor training can be among the most critical elements that cause the slow service. This way, therefore, Daniel needs to increase the number of employees especially in the course of the weekends and holidays. The restaurant also can control the problem by offering regular training to its employees.
Equipment is another critical element when an organization faces the need to reduce the time it takes to serve customers. The restaurant should purchase good equipment such as the mixer and automatic slicer, among others as they can help in reducing the time it takes for a customer's meal to be ready after order. Through conducting a study about equipment needed in the kitchen processes, it can be easy to establish how likely the types of equipment can be of use in the speeding up the food preparation process.
The process can be very technical when speed in the kitchen is an issue because it handled by cooks who at times can be erroneous just due to the human nature of erring. At times, also, the order that the waiter takes down can suffer misrepresentation of the customer's instructions which needs reworking. Daniel can thus introduce a PDA system that is handheld instead of the system. The system helps in taking customer orders whereby it feeds the system with the exact order. The order then contained in the system is reflected the cook carrying both the dish sequencing by the dishes time requirement and order numbers, resulting in time-saving. In the same way, the time the waiter or cook needs for retrieval of materials from the point of storage to the kitchen also can be decreased through altering the storage design and locating the area of storage within a short distance from the kitchen. However, implementing all the systems need initial cost. Therefore, there is the need to properly conduct a cost-benefit analysis to establish the exact return on investment as well as the investment payback period.
Regarding material, the less than expected products quality can lower the dishes quality and hence lead to the failure to satisfy customers, which consequently results to irritation and lost morale among the staff working in the kitchen. The problem can be addressed through standardizing processes of procurement and hence and thus reduce the time and costs that go in the inspection of the base supplies. The strategy can also help to standardize dishes prices all through the year. The strategy also the kitchen staff burden, more so the chef, who will then be able to pay more attention to other critical value-adding services, for example, provision of guidance to the junior staff as well as innovating new dishes that can create positive customer impacts.
Other than the above already explained elements of main causes, there are other elements such as parking facilities, restaurant ambiance among others which also tend to change customers' perceived delay value. Therefore, while a customer waits for a meal to be prepared, there should be newspapers and magazines available reading or nice music for entertainment. The customers do not tend to perceive much delay as compared to when they are just seated. Daniel can thus make sure that customers' experience matches the time value of waiting as they wait for meals to get ready.
Conclusion for the Case
After analyzing Daniel restaurant, I can conclude the fact that the main problem the restaurant faces is the prolonged period of waiting by customers after placing an order for a meal. In fact, it is due to the issue of long waiting time that has led to the other problems such as reduced satisfaction regarding sitting as well as food and the general ambiance. According to the case study of Daniel restaurant, the primary incidences occur during the weekends and holidays. The following are the other recommendations of the research:
Starting reservation system is the first recommendation. The change will be important in reducing customer wait time because it enables customers to do booking before the time they enter the restaurant. Before they get to the restaurant for the meal, therefore, the restaurant will already be aware of their respective needs. They hence will not have to wait long before they are served.
Introduction of the carry away service is another opportunity for the Daniel to reduce the customer wait time. The service can be launched but as an optional one with the aim of reducing the number of those who wait to be facilitated to get seating positions. Some people like it when they carry their food away so that they eat upon arriving in their offices or homes instead of having to waste their time while in the restaurant as they wait to get seats.
Another very important among the recommendations are the automated equipment. Automating some kitchen processes has an impact of speeding up the preparation process of food. Therefore, equipment such as the automated mixer, grinder, peeler among others can be introduced in the restaurant.
Proper training is another recommendation to reduce the amount of customer waiting time. Now that at times waiters too help in the kitchen work, they need adequate training so that no time is wasted trying to correct what was done incorrectly. Training also helps them deal with customers in the most efficient way.
The case study also suggests for an adjustment in the procurement process. The procurement system standardization should be conducted by the signing of a service level agreement. The service level agreement will help the restaurant make sure that it receives supplies of products which are standard and it will hence it will...
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