Pizza Store Layout Simulation: Apply the Learning Curve Theory
A learning curve, in common terms, “is used to describe the effort required to acquire a new skill (e.g., expertise with a new tool) over a specific period of time” Wikipedia.
org. In scholarly terms, “Learning curves are also an integral part in planning corporate strategy, such as decisions concerning pricing, capital investment, and operating costs based on experience curves” Chase-Jacobs-Aquilano.
In the pizzeria scenario presented requires a full understanding of the cause and effect of decisions made and making adjustments to minimize the amount of time to complete the entire process and also minimizing the amount of potential customers from leaving. To streamline the process, it is important to recognize the transformations of the business as it moves along the entire learning curve when each scenario is considered and acted upon. Measuring the process of serving pizza
The pizzeria has been in business since 1950 and has become a recognizable mainstay in Palm Springs, CA for its quality and uniqueness. As the business is being passed down, it is important for the successor to recognize the learning curve and understand the restaurant as it functions today. During peak times, the pizzeria staffs four wait staff and two kitchen workers. With customers arriving in groups of two to four every three to five minutes there are only 14 4-top tables, but no 2-top tables to seat each party.
The entire process from when a customer walks into the pizzeria to the time they leave takes 53 minutes. Eleven of the minutes are consumed just waiting to be seated at an open table and another 13 minutes are consumed back in the kitchen processing the order – room for improvement. Applying the learning curve theorem By turning four of the 4-tops into eight 2-tops, it increases the total tables available at the pizzeria from 14 to 18 and effectively reduces the average wait time to 5. 27 minutes.
The additional tables also allow the utilization of the wait staff to a manageable and profitable 87%. The observations and learning’s of the first two weeks have allowed the pizzeria to become more efficient, reduce the amount of time customers have to wait, reduced the amount of customers who have “balked” and left before they could be served and has increased the profit from $1065 to $1653. Identifying process weaknesses The Pizzeria has incorporated key improvements from observations of the process.
Unfortunately, it is necessary to invest in capital with newer more advanced systems in order to sustain the growth. In this case, the four manual ovens are beginning to hinder the current process and the wait staff has become less effective. So by replacing the four manual ovens with two automated conveyor ovens from Plax reduced the mean processing time to four minutes and by installing the MenuPoint system has reduced the mean processing time for the wait staff to eight minutes. The average wait time now in the pizzeria is only 4. 4 minutes with an average queue time of only 2. 63 minutes. Expanding on what’s been learned The Pizzeria is experiencing, as I have heard it called, “A champagne problem” increased potential business – which, is good, but how to handle it? In this case, the location next to the Pizzeria, Cream Puffs, is closing and offers a perfect opportunity to expand the Pizzeria by seven more 4-tops and four more 2-tops. This reduces the waiting time even further to an average of 3. 47 minutes with an average queue of 2. 7 minutes. Conclusion Mario and his wife Sofia have done an outstanding job building the business since 1950, however; there was much more opportunity available for the Pizzeria to run more efficient and generate a greater profit. Mario’s successor became more familiar with maintaining a balance between the customer demand for the service and the capacity of the system to provide the service. His management of the Pizzeria became more effective and processes became more efficient as he moved along the learning curve.