Pie Poster Final Draft .pdf
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& Project Management
Dr. Gülru Özkan- Seely
Observing Operations in a
Manufacturing & Service
Get an industrial toaster oven and move it into the café
Plating and reheating of pie was a surprising bottleneck our swimlanes isolated.
Five minutes is a long time to reheat pie.
Front of house employees have to go through the kitchen, and utilize
kitchen tools to reheat pie. A common request and upsell.
In such a small space this can damage the efficiency of the bakers.
Installing an oven in the café will eliminate the need to travel into kitchen.
A la Mode Pies
A swing shift will help overcome the inefficiencies in the kitchen
Require each baker to spend one day a week working a swing shift.
Or hire another baker specifically to work the swing shift.
Most of the baking tasks that we observed were not time dependent.
Slicing and boxing pies is another bottleneck
Pre-slice popular pies before known peak hours or busy months.
When you slice a pie, slice two pieces instead of just one.
Prebox popular pies and have them ready for regular customers, sell if not used
The Biography of a Burgeoning Pie Institution
Front of house workers have a 23% utilization
A la Mode Pies was started by Chris Porter in
2010. At this time the business was a website
offering fresh handmade pie delivered to your
We observed a significant amount of downtime in the front of house staff.
They could be utilized better by doing more of the bakers’ menial tasks.
Rent an apple processing machine during fall
Many kitchen tools can be rented by the
day or leased by the month.
This is one of the most time consuming
tasks the bakers routinely do
Fruit pies, especially apple pies, account for
the majority of sales.
The current A la Mode Pies cafe opened in October
2012. Allowing customers to enjoy slices of
pie, coffee, and locally made ice cream.
Implement plan to produce proprietary pie ice-creams
Already have the license
Have existent equipment
Prior investment in infrastructure
Have a captive market
Have the skills & knowledge
Will open new revenue stream
Restrictions to creating new wholesale business should be removed
Our swimlanes diagram shows that the way wholesale clients create
and modify contracts is restrictive.
There is a bottleneck at the owner. Access needs to be more open.
As business grows wholesale clients will be increasingly important.
They already account for more than 50% of sales.
An observation we had was
how much was given away at
the shop. This is dangerous for
a small-business. We found that
of tracked items gift cards are
the most given away item,
which is very concerning,
and should be addressed.
Featured As “One of The
US’ Best Pie Places” on:
Warming yesterday’s pies.
Rolling dough and putting crusts into pie tins.
Cutting dough and making toppers.
Preparing filling (cherries).
Mixing with sugar and cut lemons.
Preparing pie crusts for filling.
Mixing filling and putting filling into crusts.
Lining baking pans.
Putting toppers on pies.
Taking out warmed pies.
Putting pies in the oven.
Operation : Transportation : Inspection : Delay : Storage
Wholesale as % of Gross Revenue
Layout & Design:
A la Mode is an intimate
café in an old building. It is
not capable of expansion or
being redesigned to be run
in an efficient manner. We
isolated 7 bottlenecks
to be addressed.
Pie Baking Process:
A significant amount
of operations is put into
baking a batch of pies. A
la Mode’s tight floor plan
cuts movement times
Deposit as % of Wholesale
Track differentiated wholesale records
The record keeping behaviors at A la Mode hinders operational analysis.
Not all wholesale transactions are differentiated by product categories.
Weddings, major contracts, and all reoccurring contracts are filed as “Deposit.”
So it is impossible to analyze which items are most sold.
Keeping wastage records
Neither in our observations nor in our access to
records did we see any tracking of wastage for product
thrown away or gone bad.
However we observed many pies and other products
It is hard to make valid estimates about productivity
or profits without this data.
More upselling, only one instance in swimlanes (coffee)
Putting on apron.
Prepping counter for rolling dough.
Quiches in 2015
Monthly Gross & Wholesale Revenues
A la Mode is both blessed and cursed
by its lack of long lines. When
business increases this will become a
bigger problem. The current setup is
not conducive to high volume. So this
is a major hurdle to jump.
A Single Worker Creating a Batch of Cherry Pies.
Discounts Given On Non-Pie Items
A La Mode has been featured in a variety of domestic and international periodicals,
such as The Seattle Times, Wall Street Journal, 425, the Stranger, Sunset Magazine
and many more. Revered for both their innovation in products, as well as bringing a
charming touch to family feasts, weddings, and other celebrations,
Petite (Fruit & Cream)
A la Mode is too small to efficiently fulfill existing business requirements.
In order to expand revenues and operations a new, larger location is required.
The kitchen in particular is too small and when fully staffed it is impossible to do
the work required without running into others or fighting over work space.
Redesigning the current layout will not suffice, a larger location is required.
With a focus on freshness, time honored techniques, and thoughtful preparation,
students learn to crimp crusts with the best and whip cream to a silky texture. In
offering additional knowledge and value to students, who often become regular
customers, Porter instills a portion of love he has for his own mother’s kitchen in all
those he instructs.
Diligently pursue expanding to a new location
The delightful odor of warm fruit and sugar
serenades pedestrians and pups alike. Upon
entering, one is greeted by a friendly face and a
display case, both eagerly inviting all to stay
awhile and sample the simple luxuries of rustic
baking traditions. Classes are held regularly
with A La Mode’s impresario of pies, Chris
Placement of the computer is a hindrance to the flow of operations.
Managers not able to work without distraction.
A laptop should be purchased and used in the café area.
A La Mode pies is a distinctly sweet oasis
quaintly nestled on an unassuming corner in
the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle.
Lost Lake Café &
Move the computer/office area
A Profile of a Pie Shop Near to You.
During delivery and pickup there are no guidelines for priority.
This surely results in inefficiencies, delays, and dissatisfied customers.
A la mode is currently looking to expand business by
opening another location in Seattle within the year.
A la Mode Pies Are
Establish methodologies for consolidating deliveries & pickups
A la Mode has also expanded through many
wholesale opportunities and has products featured in
several Seattle cafes and diners on a regular basis as
well as both Centurylink and Safeco Fields.
Since then A la Mode has expanded its offerings to
include a variety of pie products, both savory and
sweet. As well as wedding catering, pie making
classes, delivery through Amazon Fresh, and even
Pies Sold On Thanksgiving
% of 2015 Sales by Type of Pie:
Discount packages could be well received, could pair
high volume with high margin
items, make part of pie card.
Could run specials on cheap,
easy to produce items during
Move candles & high margin
merchandise to be more visible.
Shirts are not in an area you’d
presume merchandise to be.
Quiche is produced at a rate of 10
per week. That’s 520 quiches per
year, in 2015 328 were sold that is
an assumed 192 quiches thrown
away. By our observations it takes 2
hours 34 minutes to get a batch
of 2 quiches prepared to sell. The
average baker at A la Mode makes
13$/hr so the labor cost per
quiche is $16.68. The estimated
the food cost of a quiche is
$2.55 and they sell for 36$. The
total cost of a quiche is 19.23, in
2015 an estimated $3692.80 could
have been thrown away with an
estimated profit loss of $3,219.20.
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