Restaurant Quality Management
What about Deming’s 14points?
We have learnt to live in a
world of mistakes and
defective products as if they
were necessary to life. It’s
time to adopt a new
philosophy in America.
Foreword ...................................................................... 2
Project presentation...................................................... 2
General description ...................................................... 3
Kitchen ................................................................. 4
Saloon ................................................................... 4
PLAN ........................................................................... 5
Intelligence ........................................................... 5
Analysis AS-IS and problems identification ... 5
Design ................................................................. 17
Problems Map ............................................. 17
Alternative ................................................... 18
This report starts from the idea to implement the Quality Management within the catering services.
The aim is to find out, through the description of a real restaurant, which are the usual quality
problems (passing through the 14 Deming points) and how to solve them in a “quality way”.
This standard approach could be adopted to all restaurants as a guideline of Quality Management
according to Deming.
“The problem of quality management is not what people do not know about this
topic. The problem is what they think they know "
Crosby Philip B. (guru)
This is the objective of this report: to analyze, to understand, to study and to develop what “we
think to know” about quality within the catering services, passing through the 14 Deming’s points.
Historically Deming and his philosophy were developed in the manufacturing field, but this does
not take away the opportunity to apply it either to restaurants or to service business.
The main problems of this discrepancy between manufacturing and service business arise from the
fact that the association of the word “quality” is still tied solely to the product. Deming instead
proposed the following definition: "A product or service possesses quality if it helps somebody and
enjoys a good and sustainable market"1 which has clearly broader perspectives:
“Help somebody”: try to transmit a value that can be psychological more than quantitative.
“Enjoy a good and sustainable market”: try to have a long term way to act.
Therefore this project aims to use the 14 Deming’s points to analyze a restaurant in order to:
1. describe a sample restaurant easily comparable with a general Italian standard
2. find quality problems and solutions
3. define guided lines to describe a new standard of quality management restaurant
The Deming cycle (first developed by Shewhart) results very useful to explain which the steps of a
quality management revision are. Anyway this report will focus on the Plan phase.
New Economics for Industry, Government, Education - 1993
Do: implementation of the alternative
Check: looking if results are in line with forecasts
Act: create standards looking at new projects lunches
The restaurant was born in 1960 from the idea of Richard Invented, a famous entrepreneur who
decided to meet his love for cooking with his work career.
Starting from a small number of employees it has now become a famous restaurant also thanks to
the contribution of his two sons John Invented and Richard Invented, who have become managers
of the restaurant for 10 years.
Nowadays the restaurant covers more or less 50 seats, has 14 employees on permanent contracts
and about 15 on fixed-term contracts.
The organizational structure of the restaurant is functional and easily recognizable. There are two
levels. The first level consists of the top managers who basically make all the decisions regarding
the economic and organizational aspects of the restaurant. The second level consists of two areas:
the “Saloon” and the “Kitchen”. The first one is directed by John and the second one by James,
separately. The following scheme represents the general structure of the restaurant.
(Chef de cuisine)
At the head of that business unit there is the Chef de cuisine that reports and cooperates with Mr.
Chef de cuisine: 1
o Coordinates the work of the members of the brigade, sets work shifts and assigns free
o Directs and supports employees’ activities.
o Always ensures the proper functioning of the kitchen machineries.
o Is in close contact with the management (with Mr James).
o Proposes to Mr James the menus cooperating with chef de parties.
Chefs de parties: 4, one for each food area. They organize, direct and participate in their own
area. Moreover, they compile the weekly shopping list.
o Starters + desserts (chef patissier)
o Meat (chef rotisseur)
o Fish (chef poissonier)
o First courses (chef entremetier)
Commis: 8 (2 for each food area). They help and collaborate directly with chefs de parties.
Marmiton: apprentices. This role is overloaded. Their original roles were that of washing dishes
and, of course, keeping their department clean and in order.
At the head of that business unit there is the Head waiter that reports and cooperates with Mr. John
Head waiter: 1
o Sets and manages the service.
o Makes sure that everything is going well.
o He has a good knowledge of languages.
o He is also the sommelier: even if he is not qualified as a sommelier he has this role (no
Waiters with daily roles: 10-15
o Take the orders and maintains continuous relationship with customers.
Analysis AS-IS and problems identification
The objective of this paragraph is trying to explain what is the AS-IS situation of the restaurant.
This can give us an overall vision of managers and workers’ approaches toward organization,
relationship and level of responsibilities.
In order to clearly define these aspects we set a double point of view, the top manager and the
internal one. We know it is hard to ask questions and receive true answers. This way to approach
helps us to go in the deeper side of the restaurant organization, having a REAL as is situation, and
not only the one that top managers would show us.
The main goals are:
Understand if there are some quality problems in the company.
Show the best way to implement the 14 Deming’s points in a restaurant
After two long interviews with the top managers and one month study of the situation directly from
the interior (one of us worked there some months) it could have been possible to summarize the
AS-IS situation in the following way.
TOP MANAGERS POINT OF VIEW
INTERNAL POINT OF VIEW
Deming applications and suggestions improving.
INTERNAL POINT OF VIEW
1 PRINCIPLE: create vision and demonstrate commitment
The restaurant has been established for 53 years and his management is In this case, the principle concerns more the top management than the
nowadays clear: provide to the customer an experience, showing lower levels of the organization.
him/her that eating is not just to meet a basic need, but it is the best way It is clear that the vision of the restaurant is constantly pursued and it
to feel alive. In according with this vision there is a constantly research has always been the same but, mostly for the Saloon, it is difficult to
of new plates because, as James said, “the cooking is a market in identify a large commitment. Waiters are very young and most of them
continuous improvement and so you must have a flexible and always up do not see their future career here, in the restaurant.
to date menu. For this reason our chefs have an international
Having only 2 managers helps a good commitment at the top level. In
fact, their efforts are towards the same direction: having a long term
view for the company and involving all the personnel. As it was
explained previously, the two managers usually work separately, each
on his area, interacting only for main decisions. Both sides told the same
phrase during the interview: “I trust my partner”. This is the definition
of two responsible managers.
The vision is clear and well-known. The main emerged problem is the misalignment between the two levels of the company. From the description
made by the managers emerges a good overall commitment; but looking from the inside of the company it is clear that this is not the real situation:
the last part of the organization is not involved.
To solve it, the best way to act is to demonstrate to all the employees that a personal growth can be combined to the company growth. To do that an
improvement in policy contract should be implemented, underlining the long term view and the possibility to have a professional growth.
Moreover, managers must understand that improving the competitive position means to create a real social entity, in which everyone knows his role
and his value for the company.
2 PRINCIPLE: learn the new philosophy
When the restaurant was started in 1960, it was just a little eatery with In the Kitchen, it could happen that someone is in a tight spot because of
few employees, under the direction of a one person who decided both an overload of ordinations. In this case, other chefs immediately help
cooking and administration. Little by little, the cooperation improved her/him. On the other hand, it never happens that someone from the
due to the integration in the organization of the two brilliant brothers. Kitchen interacts with the Saloon, trying to better manage the waiting
They thought that a constant exchange of ideas between kitchen and top time of clients. For example, in rush hours, waiters splitting up times
level would have brought to a continuous improvement. This happened, might solve an overload in the kitchen.
and happens nowadays in the restaurant.
The main driver has always been the customer, providing him/her the
best product in term of quality. It is not the aim of the restaurant to have
a wide number of clients.
The “actual company philosophy”, well explained by the two managers, does not seem to be the “real company philosophy”. Of course, the
customer is the center and there is a good cooperation inside each business unit, but the main problem is in the relationships between Kitchen and
Saloon. Each side does not know about tasks, problems and errors of the other one.
A good solution could be a stronger liaison person (head waiter), who knows what happen in each side. He/she could check, understand and solve
problems that are correlated between the two units and, consequently, improve the overall commitment.
3 PRINCIPLE: understand inspection
There aren’t programmed and regular inspections in the kitchen.
The kitchen’s employees recognize the lack of inspection, but they are
It only happens that, after a claim (too cold plate, too high waiting time), conscious that, thanks to their background, they are able to organize and
managers try to investigate why it occurred, reaching always a solve problems quickly by themselves. They know it is a high
stalemate. Moreover, managers know very well that an excessive control responsibility, but they are not worried about it.
in the Saloon, could transform the waiter’s work in something hard and Differently, for the Saloon, waiters are generally young boys without
heavy. The consequence of doing that would be an excessive turnover, serious controls. That leads them to work serenely, but on the other hand
transforming the waiters’ search in something more and more difficult. to work under their capabilities, as they admit.
For that reason, they try not to blame them every time they make a
As we said before, waiters know and recognize their responsibility, but their soft way to work impacts directly on costumers. A quality control
should be done in order to find organizational solutions and continuous improvements in service. A good way to act it could be going deeper
through mistakes in order to understand which the real causes are, not stopping the control on the results of the mistake. By the way this must be
realized without a searching of
4 PRINCIPLE: stop making decision purely on the basis of purchasing costs
About the suppliers’ topic (why and how they choose them), managers’ Listening to the chefs’ opinion the relationship with the suppliers seems
answer in the same precise way: the decision driver is the products to be more problematic.
quality. They have few suppliers, one for each area of food (one for Beyond delivery delays, generally solved by a member of the restaurant
vegetables and fruits, one butcher, one fishmonger and so on), which who goes to buy whatever they miss at the supermarket, chefs de parties
always guarantee good and fresh products.
notice a lack of products quality.
It rarely happens that suppliers provide below standard products but
John and James recognize a problem of delivery delay.
Managers are adopting the Deming method regarding the number of suppliers and the relationship with them. Having a managerial view of the
company, they make us believe they take into account only the quality of their product, however talking with the chefs we understand this is not the
only driver. The lack of products quality leads us to believe that also costs have a weight on their decision. It is a typical managerial problem due to
a “money vision” that doesn’t take into consideration costs of poor quality.
It is the same for the Saloon: sometimes it would be better to hire someone more qualified that could add value to the service of the restaurant.
5 PRINCIPLE: improve constantly and forever
The single sourcing for each area of suppliers’ market is surely a way to The constant improvement in food diversification is the bases of
reduce variation in the process because, of course, they establish better restaurant philosophy. Chefs are happy to find new plates because, as
long term relationships. Therefore, suppliers often propose different they said “cooking is a science in itself (science considered as exact
products according to the best they have in every moment. formulas written on a book), it is the chef who makes it art”.
Regarding the internal improvement, we must consider the two business Waiters told us that it is difficult to apply continuous improvements
units differently. On the one side, chefs are incentivized to invent and because they do not have time to think and they do not feel the need to
purpose new plates, in line with the restaurant vision; on the other, do that.
talking about the saloon, John said that they are all qualified and well- Harshly, they are not paid enough to do that.
Again, the problem stands in the Saloon unit. The low involvement of waiters leads them to avoid the possibility to improve the customer service.
This causes a breach into the company vision. We must engage all employees to innovate and seek ways to do their job more efficiently and
effectively, providing them longer contracts and giving them the possibility to gain a better and more profitable position in the company. They must
be considered as part of the whole project.
6 PRINCIPLE: institute training
Before to become a member of the cooking team there is a six-month At the end of the training period, the chef de cuisine decides who is
stage, in which you are tested and helped in understanding the best way ready for the new role and who is not. Anyhow, there were occasions in
to work. In this period, you are called “marmiton”. Surely, it never which someone upgraded due to the necessity to recover a particular
happens that in a workday, your task is just to wash dishes but you will position.
also actively participate in the kitchen life. After the stage if you are Regarding the saloon, the more experienced waiters have the role to
well qualified, you could be hired.
explain to the new ones the job.
Regarding the service, they do not provide any stage and, usually, do not Unfortunately, this is not the best solution: on one side, the more experts
upgrade waiters’ level until they have reached a good level of must conciliate their work with the help they are supposed to give to the
new waiters. On the other, the new employees have difficulties in
understanding quickly and clearly the best way to work.
The solution could be standardizing the waiter’s work, establishing fixed trial periods. Moreover, another important step could be to carry out
specific courses for new waiter in order to improve the saloon work. This would also give the possibility to recognize keen boys and to allow them
to go-getting in the restaurant. Furthermore, this could be a first step to an undetermined period contract eliminating, at the same time, the
variability given by the waiters.
7 PRINCIPLE: institute leadership
John and James prefer to not interact constantly with all the personnel. The two business units have different styles of management. In the
They said: “we do not want to scare them”. Nevertheless, of course, they Kitchen, the Chef de Cuisine is very strict, but at the same time, he is
are always available in helping and speaking with the Head waiter and very polite in explaining new methods, giving advices and helping
the Chef de cuisine.
younger members. “It is funny that if you make something “well” you
receive a punch on the shoulder, if you make something “wrong” the
chef usually tells how it should be made”. This anecdote is useful to
explain that, anyway, there is a good motivation and you feel part of
In the Saloon, the Head Waiter is the point of reference for all the
others. He usually tries to bridge the gap in service and he is always
polite in giving some advices to the new waiters.
The concept of leadership is well interpreted by both the Chef de Cuisine and the Head Waiter. They always help workers in order to improve their
skills and not just to supervise them.
Instead, there is a lack in managers’ leadership: they are more interested in top level decisions and not directly present in the process. Anyway, the
two figures at the head of the business units fill this gap. Probably this situation is the best to avoid the problem of “duality of command”.
8 PRINCIPLE: drive out fear
Regarding the extra rewards, in the Kitchen, there is not a real policy. Generally, the restaurant life seems to be more or less out of fear. The
The only service provided is having lunch or dinner free, before starting main problems are related to people unaware that, reporting some
work. That improves also the team strength.
ideas/problems about the process, could increase the value of the
Instead, in the Saloon, there is a tips policy: the whole month tips are restaurant. For instance, as it was mentioned before, in the Kitchen chefs
collected as extra cash and, at the end, they divide it based on monthly de parties do not report any product quality problems just because that is
not their task.
The theme of fear can be analyzed from two points of view. On the one hand, the fear of reporting is in the Kitchen, where chefs de parties avoid
discussing with the manager about some quality products problems.
A good solution could be a more informal relationship between chefs and managers, in this way, chefs could explain to managers the real
On the other hand, employees are worried about their rewards. Regarding that, it could be better to have a different approach: a solution could be
dividing tips daily instead of monthly. This could lead to a more equitable enhancement of their work.
9 PRINCIPLE: optimize the effort of team
Top managers think that teamwork is critical for the implementation of Chefs think they work in great harmony thanks to the possibility to
their philosophy. In the kitchen, this idea is clearly identified; in the confront each other in order to create new plates. This leads them to be a
saloon, there is a great difficulty to be a real team because of the high real team.
On the contrary, waiters recognize some problems regarding service
They recognize that there is low vertical interaction. The only direct quality, but they never communicate them to higher levels.
relationship between top managers and chefs or waiters is when they go It happens because they do not want to take any responsibility. The
to check something. The top management is continuously in contact turnover hides in some way these problems.
only with the highest figures of the business units.
Again, we face problems in the Saloon area. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to create a team when there is not a real tangible goal. This could
happen when the business unit provides a service instead of a product. By investing in long term contracts, you could eliminate variability and
could create better relationships among employees, enhancing communications. As Ishikawa said "Employees have the responsibility to influence
their leaders so that in the company they apply the more suitable approaches and techniques of quality"
10 PRINCIPLE: eliminate exhortations
Exhortations are part of Italian manager’s background. Those recall Employees are much flexible about the topic of exhortations; they know
every day grandparents’ aphorisms through which you grow up. that managers try to create a good climate of work. They try to follow
Therefore, it does not want to be a methodology to follow every day. those exhortations not because managers want a standardization of
Otherwise, those represent guidelines to go after during hard times. In working, but because it is a good way to work.
other words, Manager told us that exhortations are not as Mr. Deming
thinks they are. These exist only to create a good work’s climate where
you can give a good notion without stress and constraint.
The 10th point of Deming quality management suggests avoiding any kind of exhortation inside the company. That is due to the fact that sometimes
mistakes are caused by process variations and not to human error. But in restaurants process variations are lower than in a manufacturing process.
For that reason, moreover in the “Saloon”, making exhortations is a good way to act under a quality management point of view.
11 PRINCIPLE: eliminate numerical quota and MBO
Recently, in the Kitchen, managers tried to purpose a new management The new policy is perceived as a good way to act. This is due to the link
policy in order to reduce cost maintaining the same level of quality. The with sustainability, more than reducing cost. In fact, sometimes, when
policy consists in decreasing average waste during the month. Daily chefs, but also young neo-assumed, see a manager in the kitchen, they
managers control the amount of waste going out from the Kitchen and usually do not throw away literally anything!
that is having good results on total costs.
In conclusion, for employees the importance of reducing waste is clear,
but they are too scared about controls.
Managers are delighted about the new waste policy, but this is not in line with a quality management view. In fact, it is correct to reduce
unnecessary waste maintaining the same quality level, but a short term control based on how much the restaurant throws away is wrong.
Sometimes, it could happen that more variations in wasting are caused by products or, generally, by the process and not by a bad application of the
policy from the personnel. In conclusion, managers must pursue the policy in another way: they must try to explain to the personnel the importance
of reducing waste without a fear of measurement. Doing that, managers can pursue the long term view objective of reducing unnecessary waste,
without acting management by objectives (MBO).
12 PRINCIPLE: remove barriers to pride in workmanship
Top managers always try to make people proud of their work.
Waiters cannot work in the right way because they do not really know
Chefs are aware about it (it is explained in the previous points).
what top management requires from them. They do not have enough
On contrary, waiters are treated as “a commodity”.
responsibilities because they are treated as occasional workers, doing
However, they try to justify themselves by telling us that these are only monotonous tasks. It is the Head Waiter who often makes decisions
temporary workers. They know that this is a “vicious cycle”, but we about work timetables and work modalities.
Waiters are proud to
understand that this is an obliged choice, due to the necessity to be belong to the restaurant, but they are frustrated because they know that
flexible and to save costs.
can provide their ideas On the other hand, chefs are well empowered
and motivated because there is a clear career path. They are happy to
belong to the organization because they can express themselves in the
The goal is to transform the as-is “vicious cycle” (concern the Waiters situation) in a “virtuous cycle”. A good solution could be the creation of
training courses also for the Saloon employees, changing the organizational structure in order to give them the possibility to improve their position
(becoming head waiter) and explain them that they could have a future in the restaurant. Doing that, waiters could be happier and more motivated
to work in the restaurant.
13 PRINCIPLE: encourage education and self improvement
Managers recognize the problem of education. In this way, they Chefs feel the willingness to invest on themselves, so they are
encourage the exchange of knowledge and self-improvement in encouraged to dare and to be brave doing their plates.
company’s core: the Kitchen.
When we asked the same question to the waiters, they burst into
However, they know there isn’t the same attention in Saloon. The laughter.
continuous turnover does not allow them to invest in specialized They do not see any investment on them. The feeling is that they seem
courses. They invest the main resources on "level 0” preparation to be a piece of the restaurant, not “important machinery”.
(standard preparation for people which don’t belong to restoration) and
on the research of new employees.
There is a great self-improvement approach in the kitchen, though they don’t make any external courses. The problem stands in the Saloon, as we
said in the previous point, a good specialization courses would be necessary. In this way, they do not want only to invest in their business, but also
in personnel development. Elevating knowledge basis, the restaurant creates self-sufficient people, improving their affinity towards the restaurant
and, above all, towards its clients.
14 PRINCIPLE: take action
The real idea of quality, in this case, belongs to plates and kitchen: the Chefs are happy to satisfy people’s expectations. They are happy to test
main goal is to create excellent food. They try to change menu and to invent something new every day.
according to seasons and according to the particular products suppliers
provide them. They told us chefs know this philosophy and, for this
reason, they are pushed to make better and create something new.
If we look at the interview, it seems that managers believe only in food
quality: the secret of a good restaurant with a long time success is
The main problem is the managerial point of view. They focus the quality approach only on kitchen. It is true that this allows them to have success
for a long time but they should understand a change in service is needed. How? Creating a vision that pushes on the introduction of new
knowledge, new jobs and new feelings among employees and customers too.
The As-Is analysis of the restaurant through the 14 Deming’s Points allows us to understand which
the quality management problems are, and on which areas it could be right to take action. The aim
of the following section is try to summarize the main problems emerged during the analysis in order
to classify them, start to think some alternatives, and choose the one from which start to improve
quality in the restaurant.
Main problems identified are organized into the tree Area of the restaurant.
- Managers participate but do not
understand the real processes
- The good commitment between
the top managers is not
- Low investments in
- Old philosophy approach
- Vision is not clear
- Variation in quality
products depends on costdriven purchasing
- No-cooperation between business units
- Lack of statistical inspection with the
to improve quality
- There is no passage of information
- There is no selfimprovement
- There is no companyimprovement objective
- Lack in skills knowledge
- Most of all short term
- Not belonging to the values
of the company
High impact on customer
Normal impact on customer
Low impact on customer
- It is difficult to enter in the
The Problems Map graphically helps to understand which are the areas and the weights of problems
in the organization. In that way is easy to understand the solutions to implement in order to improve
restaurant performances are linked first with the improving of service level in the Saloon.
The objective of this paragraph is to provide a good alternative to solve the “red” problems of the
Following the “quality road”, the first step would be very precise investments. With long-term
contracts, you could bind the employees to the company, underlining your interest in making them a
real part of your machinery. The benefit is double: direct, if we consider waiters approach towards
customer and indirect, if we think about the positive influence this could have on the restaurant. It
does not mean a change in the idea of “providing a service”, but giving the service the necessary
tools to make it better and better (continuous improvement).
We could approach this change following the six sigma model:
Changing the mind-sets.
Standardize the job: it is necessary to give specific tasks in order to optimize the
saloon service, providing the right figures in the right moment.
Create a defined career path in order to give new employees a clear idea.
Look for keen people who want to pursue a career in the restaurant, giving them an
idea of “investments in the future”.
Give them the possibility to optimize the work by themselves giving every time
their own contribution (six sigma).
1. Rethought of Saloon roles: the new organization of the business unit of the Saloon must be
There will be Primo Maître with new tasks that are not present in the As-Is situation. He
must be the “strategic process owner” of the transversal process of service of customers,
ensuring a good exchange of information between the business units. The right person to
take this role is the Head Waiter who already knows what the point of strength and
weakness are. Under the six-sigma point of view, he will be the master black-belt.
There will be a sommelier: the Primo Maître (the old Head Waiter) cannot have the time
also to do this task. Therefore, a training of one of the more ambitious waiters could be
exploited/leveraged as a competitive advantage.
Some waiters must be organized looking to the output of the process (customers). So
they must be more like “account managers”, taking care of the customer from his arrival
to his departure. They have the responsibility of the customer they are taking care of.
Moreover, they will bring courses, and have a continuous exchange of information with
the Primo Maître. Under the six-sigma point of view, he will be the black-belt.
Other waiters helping in bringing/taking away courses will support each account
manager, but they will be organized by area and not by function. Under the six-sigma
point of view, they will be the green-belt.
2. Empowerment of waiters: managers must understand that improving training of waiters means
improving value in service, customer satisfaction and so value for the restaurant. In order to
reach the rethought/re-org of the Saloon roles, managers must provide the right skills to waiters.
Therefore, an investment in training courses is required. One sommelier course made for one
waiter, and another one for the other waiters to become more responsible.
"In a service or a product the quality is not what you put in but what the customer
gets from it"
Peter Drucker (guru)
This is what we hope we transmit with this analysis: both in product and service, it is the quality
that guides the company to a profitable future, towards customer loyalty and continuous
improvement. Quality must be built, not controlled. This is the reason why everyone, from top
management until marmiton, must work together. As Deming said: “quality is meeting the
customer's needs and exceed their own expectations by continuous improvement”. This must be the
goal of every restaurant and this is the principle that will make it better and better.