Using Service Blueprinting to Analyze Restaurant Service Efficiency


restauraunt management, servie blueprint, time and motion studies


A time and motion study of 152 transactions at six restaurants operated by a full-service casual chain in Florida illustrates the use of service blueprinting as a method for analyzing service process efficiency. At management’s request, the researchers conducted the time and motion study to observe the extent to which individual servers followed company-mandated policies and procedures, and how well those procedures worked. Although this is a case study only and the observations cannot be generalized, the researchers noted a mixed picture with regard to policy observance and service efficiency. The restaurant chain uses a wine presentation process as a suggestive selling technique on greeting guests, but in this study the wine presentation resulted in a smaller than anticipated number of glasses sold. Moreover, unlike most suggestive selling, the wine presentation was a separate process that did not mesh with the meal order and delivery. In addition, rather than follow policy and drop checks when they check back on entrées, servers were waiting until the end of the meal to present the check, often when guests requested it. This policy omission may have added time to the table occupancy and reduced table turns. One procedure that was regularly observed—and worked successfully—was the “food ready” policy, in which any server would carry food to any table when that food was ready (instead of having the food stand until the “official” server could get it). These examples demonstrate how a comparison of actual performance to the service blueprint can show areas of inefficiency, both in terms of failure to follow policy and in terms of policies that are not as effective as expected.

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Original Citation

Hummel, E. & Murphy, K.S. (2011). Using Service Blueprinting to Analyze Restaurant Service Efficiency. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. 52 (3), pp 265-272.

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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