Here's a fun video for a Saturday. In England, I love the Yo! Sushi chain of restaurants.
It's basically a continuous flow conveyor belt of sushi. You sit down and take what you want from the belt. The trays are color coded by price. When you're done eating, a staff member adds up your plates by color and gives you a bill.
I took this short video while I was at Heathrow earlier this month:
The times I've been past Yo! Sushis, they seem to do a good job of gauging the sushi inventory levels to customer demand. The sushi has a shelf life (I hope!) so it can't stay on the belt forever. I wonder how much of it is a pull system of sorts — seeing how much of each type of sushi is being pulled by customers, using that information to trigger more production in the kitchen?
Anyway, it's fun to watch that sushi go round and round!
True continuous flow would involve a conveyor belt directly from the sushi chef to me, the customer? The conveyor belt is just a way of circulating inventory… flowing inventory is still inventory, right?
I'm not trying to say Yo! Sushi is “lean” necessarily… I just love the conveyor belt and the restaurant is a fun concept.
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