Newsletter – The Founder

Following a recommendation of a trusted colleague I recently watched the movie “Founder”. A story about how McDonald’s started and became the massive fast-food corporation it is today. It was a great movie with a few classic examples of how Lean Six Sigma thinking and bold action can deliver incredible results.
There are two strategies in particular used in the movie that the Lean Six Sigma professionals reading this will immediately recognize:
1) The elimination of motion waste by the original McDonald brothers. There is a great scene where they use a tennis court to map out the most efficient kitchen layout. The layout had almost zero motion waste and could reliably produce a great tasting burger in 30 seconds. During the 1950s it was common to wait 20-30 minutes to get your lunch from a young woman on roller skates. (Roller skates were an attempt to improve delivery speed)
2) The deliberate removal of menu items. The original brothers did data analysis and found 86% of all sales were three items: Hamburgers, fries and soda. They removed almost all other menu items which included fried chicken, roast beef sandwiches and a dozen others. This is an obvious use of the Pareto principle (80/20) for making organizational decisions. They found the few products that had the greatest impact on revenue and eliminated the rest. This focus lowered costs and reduced complexity of operations.
The product focus and kitchen efficiency made them a very successful restaurant, becoming the corporation we know today is another story. McDonald’s and how they developed the first fast food processes are a great case study on reducing employee motion to achieve organization goals…entertaining at the very least. Okay, now I’m hungry.
Order up!