Renewal of student restaurant – students' multidisciplinary approach valued by client
How is it possible for a student restaurant to cater to an additional 500 customers in an efficient and customer-friendly manner when no additional square meters of space are available? These questions were explored by Ville Miettinen, a student of industrial engineering and management from the School of Science, and Lauri Horelli, a student of logistics from the School of Business in a project implemented for Fazer Food Services. The company was represented by Concept Manager Erja Turunen and the project was guided by Professor Markku Kuula.
The project was needed as bachelor-level education provided by the School of Business will be transferred to Otaniemi in autumn 2015. Also, the nearby restaurant Dipoli will be closed for renovation. Organising services and the space required for hundreds of new students in addition to the current customers can be demanding task, at least to start with. Business and customer satisfaction may not suffer.
'This project contained the special motivation of a concrete problem that was close to the lives of my fellow students. Cooperation with the company was very straightforward, and the project provided genuinely fresh insights on queues and queue management that can be helpful to Fazed Food Services as it reviews its customer service processes throughout the Nordic countries,' Lauri Horelli explains..
In their proposal, the students suggested three methods by which the current facilities can be used to handle an increase in customer volume that is expected to reach several hundreds. The methods proposed were demand management, speeding up the progress of the queue and increasing seating capacity. In addition, the students developed and described a new customer service process.
'The cooperation with the students was very good. The schedules were kept and everything that we agreed upon got done,' says Concept Manager Erja Turunen from Fazer.
'Through results obtained from the project, we will review the processes of the restaurants and develop them. New models were also identified for the planning of cooperation with new customers. The fact that the project was split into minor segments revealed the true significance of small things. A further richness was that the students had their backgrounds in different disciplines, which meant that the project gained perspectives from different fields,' Erja Turunen continues.
'The most challenging aspect in the project was gaining a thorough and profound understanding of the assignment. Once we had fully grasped the problem in our minds, solving it was possible with relatively clear cut and simple measures. The excellent feedback we received from the project felt very good afterwards,' describes Ville Miettinen.
Project Specialist Corporate Relations
School of Business