Changing Glass vs. Pouring a Glass
One thing I observed at the Stars/Red Wings playoff game last Wednesday is that the arena crew could pretty much swap out one of the pieces of plexiglass behind the net faster than the concession crew could pour a glass of beer.
Two players crashed into the boards…. something got cracked or dislodged. A crew came out and, with almost-NASCAR pit crew efficiency, they replaced the glass. You could tell it was designed for a quick swap out and the team must have practiced. This isn't required every game, but thankfully they could keep the delay from being no longer than a normal TV timeout.
Now the concession stand… they are particularly bad at the American Airlines Center. They're learning their operational approach from their namesake airline, I'm guessing. Why do concession stands insist on “pouring to order” when customers order beer during an intermission? The typical process:
- Customer orders
- Employee starts to pour beer
- Employee waits for foam to subside
- Employee continues pouring
- Employee waits again for form to subside
- Employee finishes beer
- Customer pays
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In a bit of synchronicity, I just ran across a post on Coffee cup kanban in my feed reader.
My friend: (1) When we make the same amount regardless of how hard, fast or efficient we work, we tend to work not as hard, fast and efficient. (2) People that are perceptive-enough to figure this out aren’t usually pouring beers at a concession stand in the first place.
This problem reminds me of an idea I read about a while back: Fill the beer glass from the botttom up! This reduces the foamy head generated from pouring, which reduces the waiting time. Here’s another improvement to consider: the foamy head is beer that is made undrinkable. Reducing the foamy head also reduces wasted beer.Sample article: Advances in the Draft Beer system improve Profits and Keg Yields
Nathan- You said:
“(2) People that are perceptive-enough to figure this out aren’t usually pouring beers at a concession stand in the first place.”
What a rude, thoughtless comment to make. That’s straight out of Frederick Taylor, who thought people were “stupid” or they would have otherwise found better jobs than shoveling coal or whatever it was.
If someone has a simple job (pouring beer), then they are likely to find a better way of doing that simple thing. There’s a lot of creativity and ability in people, even in the uneducated or those in “bad” jobs.
Don’t be so closed minded to think they couldn’t come up with improvements if asked. Quick and Easy Kaizen wouldn’t work there? Give me a break.
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