How To Improve Fast Food Restaurant? – Six Sigma DMAIC Example

Understand and learn how DMAIC lean six sigma works on this simple example. By simple changes you can do a lot of improvement and save a lot of money and time. Even in the restaurant, or any other similar processes 😉

this article covers:

  • DMAIC – problem definition
  • Six Sigma Define phase
  • DMAIC – Measure phase
  • Analyze phase – Understand what is going on
  • Project Improve Phase
  • Control Six Sigma Improvements
  • Key takeaways about Six Sigma DMAIC
Fast Food DMAIC – Six Sigma Example

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DMAIC – problem definition

There is Eating mania fast food snack bar, selling sandwiches to customers. Snack bar location is in the center of larger city. which is great, because there are many potential customers walking around every day. But competition is high.

Business is going well, but not growing very much. There are about the same number of customers coming to the fast food. Owner would like to grow minimum 15% per year. This is the business case, that triggered actions with the goal: to develop process, that will bring 15% more customers within 3 months. Owner would like to do some improvements, that will distinguish his restaurant from the others.

Define phase – Six Sigma project

Download DMAIC tools list, If you would like to follow tools I suggest allways to use.

Download working DMAIC tool list for your usage

I do videos, blog posts, and all templates for free, in my free time. I will appreciate if you can donate me a cup of cofee, for more energy in my creation. (1 dollar counts, too 😉 Click on this link: I would like to support Erik in his effort

Six Sigma Define phase

There a 3 person working in Eating mania, including owner. This team thought about criteria influencing final results.

  • How fast food can be delivered faster. Today it is 12 minutes per order.
  • Sandwiches price is about at the same level as competition.
  • Food quality team thinks is good.

Voice of customers done by verbal questionnaire, confirmed customers expectations.

  • Customers would be happier if they get their food in 5 minutes maximum.
  • Sandwich price is ok. But if would be cheaper, would be better, of course.
  • Food quality is great. That is why majority of customers are returning back. This is a great news for the team.
  • There is new expectation, that customers provided. They would expect larger food variety. Specially with vegetables and vegetarian.

How to develop project charter? (+free template) read here

Ideal Black Belt resumé – training video
this a excel charter to download preview

Always start your project using PROJECT CHARTER. Think of it as a contract between project leader, sponsor and the project team. Here is a link to download project charter template for your usage, with the brief description of each section. You are free to share and distribute this list.

DMAIC – Measure phase

In current process one employee is preparing sandwich, based on customer wish. The same person operates oven, if customer wants sandwich baked. Second person operates cashier. Second person is also refilling dish side once requested by first person.

Owners job is to order food to have everything fresh. Food is supplied 3 times per week by 3 different suppliers. It is stored in refrigerator. Salami and cheese is cut to slices on automatic machine prior to putting on counter. Salami, cheese, and vegetables cutting is handled by owner.

Team identified, that the most time consuming is sandwich preparation. It starts by order and is finished by baking, and meal handover to customer. Second most time demanding is refilling food stuff. It happens, that person responsible for refilling is not notified, and items are missing. Sometimes also happens, that food stuff becomes stale. It took too long to be used, and customers do not want it.

Six Sigma DMAIC – Measure Analyze phase explanation

Majority of the time is a commonsense usage, that drives changes.

erik from six sigma mania

I strongly recommend to have Learning to See book and Mixed model Valuestream for all managers, for all supervisors, engineers and leaders. You will be able to understand how valuestream should work, how to make value flow, and implement lean in any business, any process. It is really worth it.

Learning to See – Creating Mixed Model – Guru Books

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Analyze phase – Understand what is going on

Ingrediencies delivery 3 times per week was changed to daily delivery. Amount of food to be refilled is much easier to be controlled. Food, especially bread is fresh now all the time. This action reduced requirements on storage area by 30%.

More variety of vegetables and cheese are offered now. New, vegetarian sandwiches enlarged the offer as well. There was one bread type used only. 2 other bread types extended the offer. Offer enlargement had influence on proper food ordering. 3 suppliers were reduced to 1 only. This one supplier is able to provide all food required for sandwiches. Communication to supplier and food ordering is easier now.

What is Fishbone diagram? Example + Excel template

Project Improve Phase

Organization at the counter was changed too. Employee 1 receives order, cut bread, inserts required ingrediencies. Customer can choose whatever he wishes to have in his food. Then sandwich is put to oven if baking required. If not, is moved to cashier.

Employee 2 takes sandwich out from oven. There is alarm noticing when particular food is ready.

Each order has its own number. Each ingredience has own bar code. Whatever piece customer wants in his bread, is scanned, and added to the order. Cashier in the end of this process immediately knows, price customer must pay.

DMAIC project – Improve phase

8 wastes of Lean – how to identify? read here

Control Six Sigma Improvements

There are 3 most popular sandwich types ready to go in a small refrigerator. Customer can just take it, pay it. Kanban system helps keep sandwiches fresh. If one is taken, empty space is refilled immediately.

Speed, and food quality brought a lot of new customers to mania fast food. Orders riced up by 25% within 1st quarter. Sales are so good, that owner can afford to give each 5th sandwich for free for returning customers.

I do videos, blog posts, and all templates for free, in my free time. I will appreciate if you can donate me a cup of cofee, for more energy in my creation. (1 dollar counts, too 😉 Click on this link: I would like to support Erik in his effort

Business case Word template (or Excel)

You can download business case decision template right under this picture. In Word or in Excel, as you wish.

And this is BC decistion chart Excel template

Key takeaways about Six Sigma DMAIC:

  • It is a robust process improvement method
  • It is a team effort on not obvious problem reason resolution
  • There are 5 phases – Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
  • Improvement targeted based on data analysis
  • Reduces variation in processes, in other words , repeatability is improved
  • First understand current problems and pains to enable improvement changes
DMAIC Six Sigma – why to use it?

Do not be afraid to learn Lean Six Sigma tools. Do not be scared of heavy statistics, or using a lot of mathematics.

erik form six sigma mania

95% of the time I do not use it, at all. I do not like statistics. I do not like collecting data. Yes, there is a measure and analyze phase. But it only sounds terrible. In our example, cooks were able to drive changes. And they used watches to measure, and logic, that told them where to improve.

DMAIC Six Sigma example in Manufacturing – read here

Download fishbone template

Here is how fishbone template for download looks like:

Fishbone template

There is task list template I use in my projects all the time included. It looks like this:

Addressing cause template is included

There is 5 whys analysis template included, On top of that:

5 whys template is included

You can download fishbone analysis, Task list and 5 whys template on the link below:

Do not forget to visit and subscribe my YouTube channel. I am uploading Six Sigma, Lean and Project oriented videos regurarly. So, stay tuned.

Yours sincerely Erik.

DMAIC Restaurand improvement- training video

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