- The “Mess Service” business structure is highly suitable for numerous service industries, including wholesale, retail chains, educational institutions, and more.
- Expanding business relies on two factors: enhancing the capacity to handle front-end operations and strengthening the service capabilities of the back-end.
- Continuously maintaining the same level of quality standards is a necessary condition for business survival.
We believe all readers that are following 3S Adviser are well aware that we once helped a food caterer business undergo a transformation. Within a short span of 10 months, they achieved a remarkable growth of 300 times!
Similar to many small businesses experiencing exponential growth, this company encountered common challenges including understaffing, operational inefficiencies, and financial constraints. As the business expanded, these issues became more apparent, resulting in an influx of customer complaints and dissatisfaction that overwhelmed their ability to address them effectively.
Diagnose and Solve: A Path to Business Growth
Before designing a business structure for this company, we conducted a thorough analysis and discovered the key to their business survival.
One of their greatest strengths is the delectable taste of their food. In order to fully leverage this competitive edge, it is imperative that every employee is able to prepare the quality food consistently.
As a food caterer service provider, excellent service is one of the essentials in business sustainability. Without exceptional service and the ability to address various challenges, satisfying customers becomes impossible.
After a thorough analysis of the company, we have chosen to adopt the “Mess Service” business structure and implement a strategic plan for operational enhancement.
The “Mess Service” business structure is not only suitable for catering businesses but also applicable to wholesalers, retail chains, educational institutions, and many other service industries.
This structure revolves around the concept of designing systems for both the front-end and back-end operations. Let’s use a simple diagram to illustrate the strategies employed by this type of structure:
The chart clearly shows that it is necessary to enhance the capabilities of both the back-end operations and the front-end service in order to expand a company’s business capacity.
Speaking of which, by now it should be clear why food retail chains must have a central kitchen for better operations. The efficiency of the central kitchen in processing orders plays a crucial role in determining the service capabilities of the front-end.
We are also confronted with a significant challenge: the company has limited financial resources.
The simplest approach to enhance the supply capacity of the back-end is through investing in technology and machinery. We have extensively discussed how to achieve this goal without requiring a substantial financial commitment.
What did we do?
One of the company’s owners is incredibly creative, particularly in devising a unique steaming system inspired by dim sum steamers. This innovation is aimed at increasing the cooking capacity and efficiency.
Furthermore, the company is actively searching the market for the largest cooking appliances available, with the goal of implementing a concept that enables large-scale, mechanized cooking, thereby maximizing productivity.
It may not be too difficult to cook a large quantity of food at once by increasing ingredients and using large cooking equipment. However, ensuring that the food quality retains its delicious taste and aroma with the same level of care and attention is not as straightforward.
Key Elements: Standardized Recipes and Quality Control
1. Recipe Development
Developing recipes that can accommodate larger quantities, enabling the cooking of meals for 1000, 1500, or even 2000 pax in a single batch.
2. Quality Control
We establish a Quality Benchmark to ensure uniformity in taste, appearance, and aroma, regardless of who prepares the food, or at the very least, we strive to maintain consistency in terms of visual and olfactory aspects.
This reminds me of a hawker food stall at a coffee shop that may not taste as good when prepared in three pax portions compared to when prepared in a single portion per batch.
A major pitfall: Inconsistent Quality Standards
The various initiatives to improve the back-end operations must all be directed towards one objective: the continuous provision of products with consistent quality standards.
As discussed earlier, offering products or services of high quality is a fundamental requirement for business survival.
While achieving good quality may not be overly challenging, sustaining that same level of quality over time can pose significant challenges.
After witnessing the growth of numerous companies in the market, it is common to see a decline in quality when the back-end operations expand. Either the product quality deteriorates or the lack of consistency in quality.
Over the years, this observation has led me to a definitive conclusion: without effective quality management, regardless of the business scale, it becomes challenging for them to sustain and stay profitable.
The above are the improvements made by the company in the back-end operations. Now, let’s explore how the front-end can be enhanced and strengthened. If you are interested to know more, please continue to follow us for further updates.
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