Kitchen production load balancing helps
Shari's cope with peak demand

Shari’s Management Corporation manage a chain of casual dining restaurants, Shari’s Cafe's and Pies, along the West coast of the USA and like many other operators of multiple venues, managing peak and off-peak demand presents huge challenges.

We worked alongside them to deploy Kitchen Production Load Balancing across their stores, allowing them to open up additional capacity during the times of day when they experience high demand.

Using load balancing during lunch and dinner for example, means other cook and preparation areas of the kitchen can be opened up to cope with a high volume of orders. These orders can be automatically routed to the newly opened areas and staff resources directed to assist, meaning that production and preparation time is optimised, and the customer receives their food within the expected time.

It also helps Shari’s to optimise the space within each building because if there is an area that a second production line can be considered for, then extending the capacity for the peak periods becomes a possibility.

What is Kitchen Production Load Balancing?

When production volumes exceed the capacity of a single production line in a kitchen, operators will need to duplicate some or all the production across multiple preparation areas. This is usually achieved by multiple production operators reading from the same kitchen screen and then raising their voices above all the noise of the kitchen to coordinate who is working which ticket.

Load balancing dramatically improves that communication. Operators can have multiple screens and tickets that are spread across these screens to balance the production between multiple production lines. They can now concentrate on their orders, completing them independently and enhancing the efficiency of the operation.

“The challenges that peaks and dips in demand poses for our business can be a real struggle to work around and accommodate. Load balancing has transformed the way our kitchens operate and allows us to open up areas of the kitchen to satisfy demand and ultimately meet and exceed customer expectations. It makes managing those spikes in demand easy and simple and takes away the stress that they caused our team members when dealing with an influx of orders. It’s been a win-win for Shari’s customers and our teams!”

Leslie Crook, President, Shari’s Management Corporation

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