Pineapple cheese pie, and some boring notes on efficiency

What you see over here is a pineapple cheese pie with a mutilated crust; it was tricky getting it out of the paper box onto a plate. It may sound like a weird combination but it is, quite the tasty dessert. You can get one of these at Long John Silvers, a fast food chain.

In reference to my previous post, I could perhaps share some personal insights on marketing and workflow. Here is one company that seemed contented with ordinary profits: Jollibean. Citing an instance, I had at various times queued up for a bean-curd takeaway. The queuing system allows for only one customer to be served at a given time, which isn’t all that uncommon until you realized the cashier was the one doing practically everything. Still, that wouldn’t have hurt. Unless the plastic bags were on her right, the containers on her left, bean-curd at her back. And geez, the barley beans were in the kitchen. In short, the entire operation was rather inefficient and agonizing to watch. That, and they have to play catch-up to Mr Bean who entered the market at a later stage (I think), and have since extended their reach to many MRT stations.

Mac Donalds, on the contrary, has been quick to adapt to the business landscape. Having their nuts grabbed by health watchdogs in recent times, they have greened-up their menu, offering corns and salads and such (analogous to my previous post). A cup of corn to go with your double cheeseburger, mind you, does not immediately make the meal healthier! Vivid yellow and green and red colors on their menu stimulate your senses though, and we are inclined to believe that it spells good. And yep, they want a share of the coffee pie too; their coffee sales (Mc Cafe) is driving its growth.

Some shrewd marketing on their part saw the chain offer Mc Value Lunch at discounted prices, diverting customers away from food courts. At $5 a meal, it tries to level the playing field for that 12-3pm period. More shrewd marketing also saw the chain offer Coke Glasses that we didn’t really need (but heck, just up-size only right!), and Monopoly lucky draw (a huge hit which saw people gorging on up-sized meals for lunch and dinner).  To give more credit, try ordering from their counters and you will realize that they have an organized workflow to minimize inefficiency. The rest of their rivals are playing catch-up really (if you remember BK’s 1-for-1 debacle); in fact we see a shrinking market share. A good supply chain, logistics, operational efficiency translates into economy of scope and scale for this fast food giant; they are able to keep costs down and carve out a competitive edge.

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