Fast Casual Restaurants

Fast casual restaurants provide consumers with freshly-prepared, high-quality food traditionally absent from quick service restaurants. Combining ambience and meal quality comparable to casual dining with the convenience of a quick service chain, the fast casual industry continues growth within the industry. A number of factors, including affordability in conjunction with quality, taste, convenience, and customer service, form the basis for fast casual restaurants.

The Challenge:

The client was a global fast causal brand operating in over 30 countries with a regional growth strategy of 25% annually. Facing economic pressures from rising wages and food costs, the client sought out the operational expertise from Carpedia Hospitality.

The initial opportunity analysis conducted across multiple outlets highlighting current constraints to the business. The findings addressed inconsistent staffing models throughout different regions and at varying business levels. Also, informal forecasting practices throughout the brand created uncertainty for line-level management that oftentimes resulted in additional labor spend and food waste. Additionally, menu preparation varied throughout the organization resulting in higher food preparation times and increased customer wait times. A program rollout was designed to achieve consistency across outlets and regions with a focus on operational efficiency, management operating systems, management behaviors and best practices.

The Changes:

The following changes were installed to help realign the Client’s position within the market segment:

  • Enhanced the Management Operating System to improve forecasting, scheduling and reporting that was scalable across regions
  • Re-designed labor standards to better align scheduling to service delivery
  • Designed a cross training program to enable job consolidation and improve the management across low and high volume conditions
  • Implemented a dynamic food preparation forecasting program to reduce food waste
  • Created visibility tools at the regional and executive level to monitor performance and improve organizational alignment
  • Developed process changes to streamline the preparation of menu items in the back of house

The Results:

Carpedia Hospitality implemented a dynamic staffing model aligned to business levels and service delivery achieving a 9% improvement in salaries and wages. Inventory management practices and improvements in the food preparation process achieved a 3% improvement in food cost. The redesigned operating model enabled new restaurants to improve operating performance in 3 months relative to the 7 months prior to the program. The ROI for the program was 2.3 to 1 in the first year, with a break-even point at 7 months (improvement vs. fees).

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