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New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Burger King are introducing new service process designs. These changes allow for more drive-thru lanes and increase automated pick-up in the store and at walk-up windows.

The changes are in response to the 26% increase in drive-thru orders during the pandemic.  The new stores also shrink the total building square footage of the restaurants, due to less indoor seating requirements.

Contactless customer order and pick up is a key feature in the new designs as well.

Video Spotlight: 

This post is based on the CNBC article, These restaurant chains are unveiling new designs inspired by the pandemic, by Amelia Lucas, September 5, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: calimedia/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the order qualifiers being addressed by the new designs mentioned in the article?

Guidance: Students should agree that delivery speed is the major order qualifier.  Students may mention quality of the experience or the flexibility to place orders and pickups.  The goal is to have students see that order qualifiers are being addressed by each restaurant chain.  Now ask the students about the order winner.  Students will rapidly decide based on the menu and their taste buds!

2. How does throughput drive these new facility designs and why?

Guidance: Ask students to consider the question in part a again.  If delivery speed is a major order qualifier, then higher throughput of filled orders should be the goal.  To achieve higher throughout, ask the students what analysis might prove helpful to the facility design.  Students should mention waiting line analysis or Little’s law.  This is a short question that should tie order qualifiers to operations planning.

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jaswinder kaur
1 year ago

i totally agree that delivery speed is the major order qualifier. i think pick ups and walk through are good during pandemic to reduce the risk of going inside the restaurants where may be a lot of people visit and touch things.

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