Work Flow Activity Diagram Small Group Exercise: Little Bob’s Restaurants

 Quality Management & Six Sigma

Work Flow Activity Diagram Small Group Exercise: Little Bob’s Restaurants

Little Bob’s Restaurants, Inc. is a national chain of coffee shop restaurants with their headquarters located in Richmond, VA. When their first restaurant opened for business in 1994, all in-store operations were manual with the majority of store transactions being conducted using standard preprinted forms. By the end of 2018, Little Bob’s had grown to well over 200 stores nationwide and senior management had decided it was time to update their restaurant operations.

When customers come to Little Bob’s the hostess greets them at the door and then seats them at their table. The hostess provides menus and informs them that their server will be with them in a few minutes after they have had a chance to look at the menu. The hostess also gets each member in the customer group a glass of ice water.

After customers are seated the server again greets the customers and asks them if they have any questions about the menu. If yes, then he/she provides the appropriate answer. If no, the server takes the customers’ orders. All food orders are written down on a customer check which is a standard form on which a six digit order number has been preprinted in sequence. The server first writes down the section, table number, and his/her server number. Then the server takes each customer’s order at the table, making sure to write down the person’s seat number which is one through six (note all tables are the same six person size) and their food and drinks.

After the server takes each customer’s order they then enter it into a computer terminal located at the server station located in the back of the restaurant. They key in the order number, section, table, server number, seat number, and each seat’s food and drinks. One problem is that each server may write down the food and drinks slightly differently on the check. This sometimes results in confusion in the kitchen and wrong food orders for the customers. The input food order goes directly from the terminal to the computer system. After the food order is input the customer check is placed into the “daily order box” of which the content is discarded the next business day.

The chefs’ copy of the food order then prints in the kitchen for the cooks in the sequence they were first entered into the computer system (i.e., first-come, first-serve). At this same time a copy of the customer bill is printed by the thermal printer located next to the server station computer terminal. The customer copy of the bill is then delivered by the server to customers along with their food and drinks when they are ready.

If the customer states there is an error in the food and drinks that were delivered, the server apologizes for the error, informs the customer they will correct the problem immediately, and goes back to the server station. There they retrieve the customer check from the “daily order box” and then write a replacement food order for the customer in the same manner as a new food order and key it into the computer system with an “urgent, replacement order” message included. In addition, they note the replacement food order check number on the original food order check and staples the two together with the new customer copy of the bill that prints out and places them in the “manager’s box.” No customer is ever given a bill for a replacement order.

When they are done eating, customers then take this bill to the cashier who then keys in the order number from the bill into the cash register (also hooked up to the computer system). If the customer pays the total amount of the bill as expected, the cashier thanks them and wishes them a good day.

If the customer indicates they believe there is a problem with the bill, the cashier calls the manager who resolves the disputed charges with the customer. The manager then informs the cashier what to charge the customer. If there is a change in the amount due, the cashier will write the correction on the bill along with the words “per manager” and overrides the payment amount in the computer system with the changed payment. The cashier then accepts the customer’s payment and the corrected bill is then be placed in a separate pile to be dealt with by the manager at a later time.


Assume that you are a business consultant hired to study Little Bob’s restaurant operations. Based on the information in this case, you are to do the following:

  1. Construct a workflow activity diagram (WAD) for Little Bob’s current customer service process. You must follow the process as we taught.
  1. You are to construct a list of issues & concerns and also state any assumptions made when constructing your workflow activity diagram.
  1. Issues and/or Concerns List
    1. Does the sever ask for customers drinks first before asking for their order?
    2. Is there a certain order the customers need to order in to align with the 6-digit tabs on the ticket?
    3. If there is some confusion with the orders, is there a standard way the servers should be writing down the orders?
    4. Does the bill print right after the cooks get their copy of the order?
    5. Do they have a credit card system or is it just cash?
    6. How does the manager know if the bill is correct or not?
  2. Assumptions Made List
    1. Servers ask if they want anything other than water first before they ask for their order
    2. A random order can be used, but the server needs to write down or remember which customer ordered what.
    3. There is a standard way the server must right down the order, if they don’t then they need to go back to the table to get the order again and make sure its right.
    4. The bill will print when the cooks finish the orders and completes said ticket
    5. They have a credit card system, that will tell the cashier if the amount went through
    6. The manager has access to the original ticket the server wrote down, to see if the order is correct.