What is Lean Six Sigma? And how to use it in your restaurant?

June 2, 2019


Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that was created by Motorola and General Electric for the manufacturing business. However, you can make big use of it when applying it to your restaurant. It will help you with overcoming any challenges concerning food cost and payroll.

Applying Lean Six Sigma methodology is to concentrate on scientific technique to solve difficulties such as poor quality, low or variable output, and downtime, and to simplify business operations, avoid mistakes, and to satisfy clients by introducing their orders quickly. In this article, we will show you three benefits of using Lean Six Sigma.


  • Simplifying and organizing business operations in your restaurant:

As the manager, you always chase for paths to make your work more efficient. Accordingly, using Lean Six Sigma correctly will help you to provide your customers with their orders in no time. The first step to do so is to point out the real causes of problems not the symptoms of it, so you can fix these causes. For example, long order tickets that need to be prepared or slow table turns might appear as a cause but they aren’t. These are symptoms for an issue that needs to be figured out by dedicating time for every area at your restaurant and start defining any problem. You should have a checklist of these problems to work effectively. Moreover, you have to cooperate with your team to fix these problems.

For example, to improve the seating flow, your cleaning staff must hurry to clean tables once the customer leaves them or even before that. You might revisit moving salad station near the walk-in. Making these small changes in your kitchen will help you decrease chaos, and you can make sure that the orders would be at the tables on time.


  • Reducing waste:

“Pull vs. Push” is one of Lean Six Sigma lows, “Push” system is to prepare orders previously in big quantities before the client has asked for them, resulting in extra orders that would be wasted. On the other hand, the “Pull” system is to prepare orders upon customer’s request.

If you predict that you will have 50 tables at most on Thursday, you should prepare just for 50 tables and no more to avoid any excess.

Practicing the “Pull” system will allow you to control inventory by knowing how many items you may need and when you will need it, especially if you buy fresh products because then, you would be sure that these products would be used before they are ruined.


  • Satisfying customer about your service:

Lean Six Sigma method depends on clients’ opinions since it is an effective way to know what customers like or dislike about your restaurant; the service and the food.

There are many ways to know your clients’ opinions, for example, Comment cards, manager table visits, customer advisory boards, and suggestions’ box.

Defining clients’ opinions will help you to improve and develop your business operations in a way that satisfies customers. Additionally, it is a free way to know how to design your seasonal menu according to clients’ desires instead of a trial menu that may cost you too much.

Lean Six Sigma method is a cumulative process, you might not find results from day one, but with commitment, you will eventually find what you seek.