Restaurant Engineering

By Marc Resnick:


According to this article, we are changing the way we eat out.  Because of our economic experiences over the last boom and bust cycle, apparently we want to have our cake and eat it too (almost literally).  Instead of really cheap or really fancy, we want a discount establishment that has been gussied up.  Think newly remodeled Red Lobster with an upgraded menu.  Kind of like Target (Targey) instead of Walmart or Neiman Marcus.  We want to feel like we are getting a good deal (because of the economic bust), but we also want to feel like we are treating ourselves well (left over from the previous boom).

Why is this relevant to industrial engineers?  Well, first of all, Darden (owner of Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, etc) is more likely to hire IEs than Joe’s Diner or Bouchon de Paris.  Firms like SRE have done layout and optimization consulting for fast food and mid-level chain restaurants for years, but it wasn’t a growth industry.  Now, on the other hand, IEs should be in high demand because the only way that these places can offer fancier meals at discount prices after a huge capital expenditure on remodeling is if they cut out waste, increase quality control, and get more out of less.  Right in our wheelhouse.  Lean Six Sigma, Performance Management, Enterprise Transformation, Work Measurement & Design, and so on and so on.

But lets make sure that we are the place they go to.  The last thing we need is for “Business Analyst” to be the discipline of choice for all of these new jobs.