Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Change It, Make It Right, Never Stop Tweaking

The foodie movement has brought not only better and more diverse foods to the American palate, but also insights into managerial and production science within the food economy.  Most notably, and perhaps closest to my heart is the concept of continuous improvement.  Derived from the Japanese automotive shop-floor (Toyota), continuous improvement (also known as kaizen) refers to a philosophy whereby a production process is iteratively honed to improve quality and reduce production errors.  Recently, I have noticed that as the donut and biscuit shop Rise has opened for business in early December, every week their Facebook has mentioned something regarding system or product improvements (e.g. their ticketed ordering process).  Another great example would be David Chang's Momofuku, which re-invented itself after a limp take-off as a conventional noodle bar (by experimenting with the menu, e.g. headcheese, whole deep-fried chickens), thereby gaining a cult following.  Then Chang totally changed directions again on the concept of his second restaurant, the Ssam Bar (it was originally going to be a fast-food Korean wrap joint until its late-night menu took over).  If you are confident in your vision, but things don't seem to be clicking yet, change it, make it right, never stop tweaking.

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