profit and bottom line

How 16 Footsteps Added $30k To Bottom Line Profit

A very clever restaurant in Port Macquarie is boosting its bottom line profit by focusing on the little things – the inches.

Overlooking the harbour and village green of Port Macquarie is a restaurant called Chop and Chill, (one of my favourite haunts). Not only do they make great coffee, really good food and have an awesome view, they leverage inches really well.

Let me give you an example.

A while back a new head chef was brought in who, along with one of the restaurant managers, noticed something interesting. It took 16 extra footsteps to plate certain meals. A bit like a game of football where the backs cook the food (in the rear of the kitchen), the midfield move it through the centre and the forwards (front of the kitchen) serve the food onto the plates.

Solution and results.

Rather than re-configuring the kitchen they just reconfigured the process of plating the food. Meaning one less person needed in the kitchen saving them between $30k-$35k per annum. Directly boosting bottom-line profit

A Second Gap

Being an ingenious business they noticed another profitable gap. Having an outdoor seating area, tables and chairs needed to be moved in and out each morning and evening. This took up to two hours each day. That’s about $50 in wages per day, $350 each week, or $18,000 per annum. Add to this the wear and tear of constantly moving the furniture, as well as the odd bad back.

Install security shutters which can be drawn down at night and lifted in the morning. The shutters will cost about $20,000 and after 12 months they will be literally adding $18,000 to their bottom line each and every year. That’s a lot of meals and a lot of profit.

Every business, although doing most things well are letting these small steps, (inches), fall through the cracks. After all what difference can 16 steps make? It’s only a couple of hours and moving furniture and shutters are expensive right?

You see… everyone is searching for the next big idea. But here’s what I’ve seen having interviewed hundreds of businesses and their leaders, it’s actually the multiple of small ideas which are often overlooked. And are faster and easier to address and more profitable in the short term. Innovation is constant and these guys have found the secret to incremental innovation. The trick is for leadership to set the right culture and process to allow their people to find and act on them.

Similar innovation blogs posts you might enjoy are ‘Business reinvention and the town that changed itself and ‘Keep the barges coming’ and ‘Ingenious Oz Project reveals the secrets to business growth and innovation’ 

See how you can help your team find small gaps through the Game of Inches process, and innovation presentations and workshops

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Nigel Collin Speaker