Dining Services has taken steps to improve the flow of people through the food ordering process. The latest effort has been to change the menus so all food options can be viewed on the screens on both ends of the food court. Dining Services has decided to stop thinking about the North Coast Grill & Deli as four different shops, and instead view all the sections as one business and made the menus accordingly. The new menus include an eight-week cycle that rotates through three sandwiches and one salad each week, during the school-year it will also rotate through three additional weekly specials.
Before this project, Dining Services considered the different working stations as separate businesses and made the menus to reflect that. On average, the grill received about half of the orders, while the deli, located at the opposite end of the food court, received a fourth of the orders. This unbalance has led to the employees working in the grill section to have to work at a much higher pace than the employees working in the deli. Due to the grill’s high order rate, the customers tend to congregate at the east side of the food court to order and wait for their food. Dining Services hopes to even out the order numbers and the congestion by having more people order at the west end of the food court.
While the menu board changes were being deployed, Dining Services also moved the location of the deli sandwiches and salads station and the commissary to the pizza production area at the east end of the court kitchen for the summer.
Dining Services plans to keep this menu configuration in the food court for the school year as well. To accommodate the high number of customers, they plan to move the commissary and salad production to the west end of the court kitchen, while keeping the sandwich and pizza production at the east end. They expect that this new configuration, along with a new vendor for power snacks and grab and go items, will reduce the labor requirements of the food court area.
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