Content Assessment #3, Theory of Constraints
Outcome: Students will analyze a hypothetical process, identify the constraint (bottleneck) operation, calculate the production capacity (throughput) of the process, and identify multiple ways to improve throughput.
Scenario: A small diner is open for lunch each day. The lunch counter seats a maximum of 12 customers at one time. The average time required for a customer to complete lunch is a total of 30 minutes, including the time to be served and the time for the meal to be cooked. It takes 4 minutes of the server's time to take care of a customer (taking their order, bringing out the food, and cleaning up afterwards.) There are two servers assigned to the counter. The cook in the kitchen can prepare an order in 1.5 minutes. Answer the following questions, assuming that the diner is relatively full and operating normally (i.e., it is not at the start-up time.)
What is the constraint (bottleneck) operation in the diner? Show your work to support your answer.
On average, each customer pays the diner $10 per meal, with a variable cost to the diner of $3 per meal. What is the maximum throughput (production capacity, measured in dollars per hour) of the diner?
- A new advertising campaign is estimated to increase the number of customers to 36 customers per hour. What are some ways the diner can accommodate this increase and increase throughput?
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