Recently I went to a smallish Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) outlet in Infiniti Mall located in Andheri West. That outlet was horribly overstaffed and their service levels dismal. The place was staffed with 8 people. There was one guy at the cash counter, one cleaning the floor, getting in the way of customers as they were trying to order. The other 6 were just chatting amongst themselves. They were all wearing the CCD uniform, so I assume that they were all employees.
Infact when I went to the counter, no one greeted me. It took them a good 4 minutes, before they took my order and that too when I drew their attention. It was not a good experience for me.
Given a chance, here is how I would run that Cafe Coffee Day outlet:
Considering their store size (12 x 6 foot) and footfall traffic, there should ideally be three people running that place. One person to operate the cash counter, one person to prepare the coffee and one (kind of) manager to make sure that the operation runs smoothly. Infact the manager and the cashier should pitch-in and do whatever it takes to deliver the orders faster. Basically use their common-sense to get the customers whatever they need in the fastest possible way. It could mean helping the coffee-preparer, taking orders etc. Each customer is greeted and asked what do they want within 10 seconds of the customer showing up at the counter.
The cashier should ask people to form a queue. He shouldnt serve anyone outside of the queue. This is a big problem in India. People dont form queues. They just line up parallel across the counter and thrust money at the guy operating the cash counter. The cash counter guy too accepts money at random and takes the order. This obviously leads to inefficiencies and unruly behavior. I’ve seen this happen at even upscale places. If the cashier just enforces the queue then its a win-win for both the customers and the cashier. He doesnt have to choose whose money to take, and people are happy as they get served in a predictable order.
The coffee would be served in paper cups. So there would be no need to collect the cups and wash them. The customers would be requested to dispose off their paper cups in the trashbin.
The team uses slack hours to clean up the place, restock the inventory and do other work.
The money that the management saved from firing those extra employees should be distributed (or a part of it distributed) to those three employees.
The place runs smoothly. Customers happy, Employees happy and Management happy.