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Papers >> Business & Economics >> Bakery Business Analysis

Finale’s reputation for providing high quality
desserts and maintaining above average
customer service motivated members of our
team to observe and analyze the bakery’s
operational process. Its outstanding
performance was recognized when the
restaurant was chosen as the Best of Boston
2000 in the dessert category and was
featured on the Food Network. All team
members participated in the observation and
data collection process. The task time and
efficiency analysis was assigned to three
team members while the other two members
analyzed ways to improve the process and
developed the appropriate recommendations.
Between Monday, March 19 and Saturday,
March 24, 2001, we went to Finale on
Columbus Avenue at Park Plaza. In our two
visits, we observed the process for a period of
one hour. During this period we timed and
analyzed the efficiency of the following tasks:
customer waiting (before placing the order),
customer placing order, box preparation,
obtaining desired dessert, wrapping and
placing dessert in the box, tying the box, and
payment. We also spoke to the manager,
employees, and customers in order to obtain
different perspectives regarding the process.
Our observations were conducted at two
different times, one during the bakery’s peak
hours (Saturday afternoon), and one during
off-peak hours (Monday late-afternoon).
The order taking/filling process that we
observed is the last, and one of the most
important processes that take place at Finale.
Since it consists of providing the customer
with the output of a series of processes that
include ingredient selection, dessert
preparation, dessert decoration and dessert
presentation to the customer, it is the ultimate
test regarding service and quality. This
operational process seeks to provide
customers with a high quality, specialty
desserts of their choice in a timely manner.
Finale attempts to maximize customer
satisfaction. Their continuous dedication to
provide customers with timely service and
high quality products in a warm atmosphere
gives Finale a
1. Customer waiting period 2.
Customer places order 3.
Preparation of box/packaging 4.
Obtaining the product 5.
Wrapping/ placing product in box
6. Tying box 7. Payment

The process begins with the customer
placing the order. Once the order is placed,
employees use their skill along with
materials, such as boxes, ribbon, and wax
paper, to produce a finalized output with
added value. The value is added to the
provided materials in the following manner.
The employee gets the necessary box in
which the dessert will be packaged. Then, the
employee’s skill is used to assemble the box.
The employee obtains the requested
dessert(s), wraps them and places the
products in the box. Again, employee skill and
material (ribbon) is used to tie the box. The
employee proceeds to ring up the customer’s
purchase. Once the process is finished, the
completed output consists of a properly
wrapped dessert that meets customer
Our observation and analysis of the tasks
involved in the process accounts for
differences in average time per task
depending on the size of the order and
whether the process takes place during peak
or non-peak hours. Peak time includes the
hours 11am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday, and
Sunday and 4pm to 7pm other weekdays for a
total of 42 peak hours per week. The
remaining 32 hours of operation are
considered non-peak hours due to the lower
volume of customers.
The average task times are as follows:
Peak Non-Peak
1. Customer waiting period 240 sec 60 sec
2. Customer places order 13 sec 18 sec
3. Preparation of box/packaging 3 sec 3 sec
4. Obtaining the product 15 sec 10 sec
5. Wrapping/ placing product in box 13 sec
13 sec 6. Tying box 10 sec 10
sec 7. Payment 15 sec 10 sec
Based on the task times the process’
throughput time during non-peak hours is 2
min. per customer and 5 min 45 sec during
peak hours. The cycle time for the process is
59 sec during non-peak hours and 74 sec
during peak hours. The capacity available
during non-peak time is 61 customers per
hour and 48 customers per hour during peak
time per employee at work. There is an
average of 5 employees at peak hours and 2
employees at non-peak hours. (total
customers) The direct costs involved in the
process include labor (average $9/hour) and
cost of materials ($.25) per order). These two
costs are minimized because boxes and
ribbon are ordered in bulk and because of the
high yield per unit of labor (worker). Including
the costs mentioned the estimated unit cost is
$1.07 (without product costs).
The overall quality of the process based on
customer satisfaction and yield is excellent.
Customer satisfaction based on a 25 person
sample is 96%, based on quality, service and
efficiency, while yield based on a 25 process
sample is 98% and scrap 2% (boxes and
In Finale, the customer is served by one
employee who carries out all of the
aforementioned processes. This setup allows
for uninterrupted service to customers. It also
contributes to the highest number of order
taking/filling processes being completed
overall in the work center, since an
interruption or delay in a particular task does
not interfere with the completion of similar
processes that take place simultaneously.
Although Finale is currently a smoothly run
operation there are some improvements to be
made. In particular, the fact that the bakery
only has one cash register presents a
problem during both peak and off-peak hours
when five and two employees, respectively,
must share it. We suggest that Finale add an
additional cash register in order to reduce
waiting time.

In order to increase the output, Finale would
have to decrease the long waiting times
during both peak and off-peak times. The
waiting time can be reduced by adding
another employee to

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