Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

August 17, 2020

Fast food breakfast sales slumped early in the COVID-19 crisis as work commutes halted and breakfasts were eaten at home.

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin’ are still struggling to win back customers in the early hours of the day, though sales at other times of day are improving.  Restaurants are scrambling to realign their employees’ schedules, menu forecasting and design to the “new normal.”


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Breakfast sales at fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s “dried up” during the pandemic, by Kate Taylor, August 3, 2020; the Food and Wine article and video, Quarantine Could Crown a Winner in the Fast Food Breakfast Wars, by Mike Pomranz, Aug 3, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: SEG – ALL

Discussion Questions:

1.  What scheduling challenges has the breakfast slump posed?

Guidance: As compared with past demand patterns, 9:30am and 2:30pm are now the peak times at Starbucks, and with more customers wanting afternoon snacks, Continue reading

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Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine

Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine

 

Problems with testing continue, but they may not be what you think.

As the U.S. ramps up COVID-19 testing, the infrastructure to process the test results has become another impediment to containing the virus. A myriad of issues ranging from incompatible technologies to lack of data standardization has delayed the reporting of results. These delays have made it difficult for people testing positive to remember all the people with whom they had contacts before the test, which impairs the ability to control the spread of the virus.

 


Video Spotlight: Bottlenecks at the labs too


This post is based on The New York Times article, Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine, by S. Kliff and M. Sanger-Katz, July 13, 2020, and the YouTube video, Coronavirus Test Result Delays Hobble Pandemic Response Nationwide, by CBS News, July 20, 2020. Image source: Pixtal / SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is a bottleneck? How does the situation described in the article qualify as a bottleneck?

Guidance: A bottleneck is a point of congestion in a process. It occurs when demand exceeds or is equal to capacity. In the article, Dr. Shah says that “the data is Continue reading

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Going Touchless at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

Going Touchless at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

July 26, 2020

Effective operations is not just about doing things right, it’s about doing the right things.  Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) has emerged as the busiest airport in the world with the recent collapse in air travel due to the coronavirus.  These unexpected conditions have required a sharp and timely pivot for long-planned capital and operating plans.

DFW has the advantage of being both the home base and major hub of one of the world’s largest air carriers, American Airlines.  In addition to the summer ramp up in flights (though still substantially off the usual activity for this time of year), airlines have implemented their own changes by relying on more hub and spoke operations requiring less overall flights routing through central hubs.

DFW is responding to the “new normal” by emphasizing sanitation measures and moving to a more self-service model in luggage check-in and boarding.  Technology is being applied to expedite these changes and simultaneously increasing efficiency (with a 20% reduction in operating costs expected).

This quick response and re-focus of competitive priorities has allowed DFW to maintain and to improve its ability to serve both airlines and wary customers.


Video Spotlight: American Airlines to Lift Continue reading

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