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All You Can Eat…Or Else

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Business processes vary. The buffet is different than the sit-down restaurant. And each has its own process for charging.

A New York City all-you-can-eat restaurant is taking the role of your mother. Leave uneaten food on your plate, and you’ll be subject to a hefty surcharge.

Business Process Improvement - A Buffet

© Flickr user basykes

According to the Associated Press, the Upper West Side eatery implemented the program to save costs, but patrons appreciate the impact on their waistlines. Anti-poverty advocates note that each yer, over thirty million tons of food are wasted. The policy at Hayashi Ya Japanese Restaurant benefits three different groups of stakeholders for three entirely different reasons:

  1. The business decreases their losses. Organizations often pursue resource management strategies to reduce expenses, and a restaurant that consciously mitigates waste is directly impacting their own bottom line. Although the strategy works great for a buffet where patrons select their own portions, it would likely backfire for plated meals. Optimization of resources should usually involve all affected parties.
  2. Customers choose actively. When there are no limits on a resource, there is no reason to be selective. You can pick out some of everything and simply discard what you do not like. However, actively deciding what you want makes you a stakeholder, not a consumer. You must eat what you picked out, and you are less likely to waste calories conducting gastronomic experiments.
  3. Increased economic efficiency. Although the traditional interaction at a restaurant only involves customers and staff, both the food and the experience of dining is made possible by a thriving economy. Less waste indirectly benefits everyone outside the walls of the establishment, as both the diners and owners can transform the savings into additional purchases. All stakeholders become more satisfied because they are wasting less and getting more.

The Methodology Blog has covered the process improvement issues of food waste before, but the story of this Japanese eatery is even more poignant. Creative ideas can fundamentally change an organization and enable greater satisfaction among stakeholders. Those who benefit from change may not even benefit for the same reason.

If your company or business is ready for fresh perspectives on workflow, business process, resource management and client interaction, consider talking to the experts on process improvement. We’re here to offer all the advice you can eat.

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