Speed of Service 2: Organize for Speed

14 Oct

The question of lowering speed of service comes to every fast food manager. Let’s face it–considerable pressure is applied from above to achieve and maintain a gold standard service time. In a previous post, I have identified six points for faster service. I am now discussing each one in separate post.

Point 2 is organize for speed. In the drive-thru, everything should be organized for speed. Each condiment and supply should be within arm’s reach of the drive-thru attendant. They should remain in a consistent place from one day to the next so that precious seconds aren’t lost looking for them. Ideally, the drive-thru area should be a small space so that precious seconds aren’t wasted walking from one counter to another in order to retrieve something. That way, everything stays at an arm’s length.

The drive-thru area should never be messy. Each item should have a place and be in its place at all times. Again, this helps save precious seconds.

Organization isn’t just for items in the drive-thru. Same thing goes for the people that staff the drive-thru. The people should remain in their positions at all times, waiting to serve the customers. In a perfect world, that would be possible. But we live in a world where the only thing that matters more than the drive thru time is the cost of labor. That means that people can’t just be standing around idly; they must keep busy with other tasks.

At all costs, minimize the tasks that the drive-thru attendants work on. This way, they can be ready to serve customers. At Burger King, it is easy to have the drive thru attendant stock the Kid’s Meal bags, since these bags are usually kept in a box near the drive-thru station. It is “busy work” that can be abandoned in favor of waiting on a customer at any time and returned to just as easily. Any task assigned to the drive-thru attendant should fit that same bill: easy to leave, easy to return to.

The next item for our consideration is having the right people in the right place at the right time. That goes hand-in-hand with organization. Instead of organizing products, it is organizing people. We’ll cover that tomorrow.

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