The process selection that Shake Shack uses is that of assembly line. Each order is made specific each customer’s wants and needs. They have a large variety of ways a customer can have their burger, and for customers with allergies, they have gluten-free burgers and certain protocols they go to prior to serving the burger to ensure their customer’s safety. Although Shake Shack is dubbed a fast-food restaurant, it doesn’t have a batch system as most fast-food restaurants do. Their kitchen is easily open for everyone to see over the counter, and they can be seen to make your order as requested, fresh when it’s ordered. However, I say the process selection is assembly line because the work between the employees is divided into multiple sections. For example, to make one burger, one employee grills the meat, one employee puts the bun through warming machine, one employee adds the remaining ingredients of the burger and does this set-up according to a certain order, and yet another employee serves the burger to the customer. This assembly line process selection allows for a continuous flow of work, and each employee is able to easily change up as needed in their station. For example, if a person needs a gluten-free bun, the employee at the bun station can change their gloves and grab a gluten-free bun, and communicate to rest of his or her team about a gluten-free bun, so everyone else can change their gloves, and continue working. Shake Shack promises healthy and fresh food, and thus they don’t have an inventory held for their food where they have some food already ready to serve for their customers. However, Shake Shack does serve a home-made Shack lemonade, and when asked the manager, they explained they make one huge batch that they put in the fridge and use throughout the day. When that batch finishes, the company makes a fresh new batch, and continues this way. So, the restaurant does hold inventory for their Shack lemonade.
Shake Shack, being a popular place to go after the movies on Lincoln Road, always has a ridiculously long line. Thankfully, the restaurant has about 8 to 10 running registers at a time with friendly employees that make it easy and quick to make your order after waiting in line finally to get your turn. To be able to get the register takes an average of 7 minutes, while being able to make one’s order itself is an average of 2 minutes and 34 seconds. The order within the restaurant is usually ready in an average of 8 minutes and 04 seconds, and to find a table takes in average 26 seconds. In average, a person spent 15 to 17 minutes between getting in line and getting their food. Although it’s not the fastest food service, thanks to the teamwork instilled within the restaurant, the quality of the food, and the reasonable prices, the overall experience is enjoyable and fun.
Moreover, to make the waiting in line more bearable, the restaurant occasionally passes out samples of their frozen custard to the line, and also has a TV that shows facts about the company, such as company mission statement, or certain discounts or deals offered by restaurant. Also, to make waiting in line better, the company ensures that there are employees passing out menus to those waiting in line, so while waiting they can make a decision from the large variety of options that are provided to them.
Even though Shake Shack recently expanded their restaurant to support their high demand and huge customer base, they still have long lines that go throughout their restaurant, and they still have extremely busy times throughout the day where the average waiting time can climb up to 30 minutes. To improve their waiting times, the restaurant can consider an updated POS system for their cashiers, because I was able to notice they use very outdated POS systems that require the cashier to put in a lot of details manually, and for the cashier to look for certain items on the menu. Instead, the restaurant can adopt a POS system that allows the cashier to search for items easily, that has a quicker check-out system, and overall more convenient system. This would allow for the lines to be shorter, and the average wait time to be lower.
Shake Shack has a strategy they stand by which is called Stand for Something Good. Their strategy speaks to how they stand for something good by having absolutely premium, top-notch, healthy ingredients, by providing a transparent business for their customers and investors, and by creating donations and events for charities so they can give back to society in their own way. One tactic adopted in Shake Shack that strongly supports their strategy is how the restaurant manufactures their own water bottles with pure water from the spring, and a bottle that’s created from 100% recyclable material, and in addition, they allow 1% of their profits gained from the water bottle to donate to the charity Waterkeeper Alliance so they can support the cleanup of water sources around the globe.
As aforementioned, Shake Shack promises top-notch, premium ingredients for their customer that are meant to be healthy and delicious. One of their tactics to support their strategy is to utilize particular ranches, such as Niman Ranch, where the ranches and farms are designed to have the minimum negative effect on the environment. Everything from the benches in the restaurant in Shake Shack, which are made from recycled bowling alleys, to the chairs within the restaurant, which are made from sustainable materials, to the lumber they use in their wall which they make sure is energy efficient supports Shake Shack’s We Stand For Something Good statement.
While waiting in line in Shake Shack, the guests can see the different ways Shake Shack donates to different charities and gives back to their community and society. For example, besides all the aforementioned ways Shake Shack helps their community, they also give 5% of their profits from their frozen custard to NoKidHungry charity, and feeds a person for every one of their glove boxes finished by their employees. To ensure their food is of quality, and is served in a timely manner, the restaurant has a digital screen throughout the kitchen, particularly on each employee’s section, that allows for the employees to see every order made within the restaurant, and allows for each employee to check certain orders off after they did their part in the order, allowing them to work on the next order, and continue the flow of work.
The layout of the restaurant is that of a counter splitting where the kitchen is and where the guest seating area is, and these are split 60/40 within the restaurant. The guest seating area is large with numerous tables, some designed for large groups and others designed for small. In addition to the inside seating area, there is also a medium-sized outside seating area that looks out to Lincoln Road, and that has a nice ambiance. Because it’s a restaurant where the guests come up to the counter to order their food, and there aren’t really any servers, there is minimal contact or crossings between guest and employee except when the employee is asking to clean up a guest’s plate, or when cleaning the bathrooms. The kitchen itself is large, allowing enough space for each employee to be able to work comfortably and with their bubble of personal space.
The only problem in the design of the restaurant is in their bathrooms; the restaurant has only 2 bathrooms, as in 2 stalls, which are shared by customers and employees. The restaurant already has a large customer base that begins waiting in line as soon as they step into the restaurant, and this being a fast food restaurant, it’s unreasonable that there are only two bathrooms for the customers and employees to share. The bathroom line usually gets in the way of the line for the register which creates a confusion among the customers. Additionally, whenever an employee has to use the bathroom, this creates more pressure and stress on the rest of the employees, because the employee usually has to leave for a period of 15-20 minutes to be able to use the restroom. When expanding their restaurant, it’s unfortunate that the company didn’t put this area into consideration. Perhaps, with yet another expansion, the company can install another set of bathrooms and a system where their bathroom and register lines are effectively separated.
The restaurant deals with large crowds and busy times with a flow of work established between the employees where each employee has their own station, and making something simple as a milkshake or a burger involves multiple people, with each of their job being simple so that their job can be easy, continuous, and of quality. By splitting up the job between so many people, the company is ensuring quality product in a timely manner. In addition, the employees have adapted themselves to make the most popular burgers in excess when they notice large crowds in line. For example, if there is a line of 30 people, the team who makes the burgers begins preparing at least 15 Shack burgers (their signature burgers) in anticipation that there’ll be a minimum of at least 15 Shack burgers. This system that the team of employees have adopted ensures that guests receive their order in a timely manner while no food needs to get thrown out.
The statistical process control used in Shake Shack is a digital screen along with a control of buttons. Each digital screen along with its remote is located in every employee’s section, and each screen is modified to show orders that are pertaining to that employee’s station. For example, if a certain employee is on the custard station to make milkshakes, and concretes, they won’t be coming across orders that don’t include these items. Moreover, this digital screen ensures customer satisfaction by providing timely orders by ensuring every order is in numerical order, and it has a time frame that turns red when it believes the customer has waited too long.
In conclusion, the restaurant is moving in the right direction, and is following a set of operational tactics that agree with the overall strategy and mission statement of their company. However, the restaurant can improve on things such as their waiting times as well as their restaurant layout to provide a better and faster experience for their guests which will be even more in agreement with their strategy, Stand for Something Good. The restaurant definitely can be re-oriented so that the process flow is enhanced. There need to be bathrooms specifically for employees so that employees can go and return in a timely manner, and not disrupt the work flow established in the business. Moreover, additional registers can be added so there aren’t so many long lines, but rather multiple short lines, which will be more appealing to the eye, and allow for more room for guests to pass who want to grab napkins and condiments. Besides the waiting lines and bathroom areas, it seems that Shake Shack has gotten most of their operational tactics right. With their importance on good quality food, teamwork within their business, premium ingredients, and giving back to the community, and their actions and tactics that support these business qualities, it is a company worth investing. Many companies fail to provide transparency nowadays, and if they do, their missions don’t seem to be as pure as Shake Shack’s.