THE RESTAURANT MODEL is broken. As CEO of multiple restaurants, it has really felt that way for a few years and I’ve been searching for the reason and for a solution. By ‘broken’ I mean that in the industry, morale is at a serious low. The restaurant industry is one of the most abusive industries I have ever come across. Decent people promoted to management positions become megalomaniacs as a norm, it happens every time. It’s as though they think it is expected of them to rule with an iron glove, order team members around, and stop personally dealing with customer service, spending most of their time working on admin tasks rather than on the floor with customers. It’s the strangest phenomenon.

When I read Jeff and JJ Sutherland’s book, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, everything changed and many of my early insights were confirmed with hard facts and documented evidence, and case studies. We decided to implement Scrum@Scale where every facet of the organization is run with Scrum.

We will present an overview of creation of the world’s first Agile restaurant which today runs only with Scrum teams and has no managers. The goal was to improve shrinking margins due to competitive pricing and higher salaries. When teams starting doing shift planning we found that over 20% of shifts created by managers were totally unnecessary, planning time was significantly reduced, and morale substantially improved. The radical success of this implementation has spawned two new restaurants funded by investors within a year, so we will describe three restaurants run totally with Scrum.

The restaurant is run like a lean assembly line. The process efficiency of every component is constantly measured and improved. For example, time from order to the first course arriving and served – PE Benchmark 8m – Ave 12m – Bad – 15m. We will present production data and actual financial results for the restaurant. This will enable others to plan for implementation in any environment similar to a restaurant.

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