Commercial kitchen innovation
Maytag had acquired some new cooking technology for quick-serve and casual-dining restaurants. The Commercial Kitchen division needed to obtain an end-customer perspective of the process of '"getting a bite to eat." What were the customer expectations for speed? We started with the growing segment of walk-by locations in malls and airports. We found that people proceed through three, distinct levels of decision-making as they physically move by and into these restaurants. At first sight of the restaurant, they ask themselves, "Am I hungry?" As they move closer, they ask, "Is this right kind of restaurant?" Only when they are actually inside do most of them finally ask, "Which items do I want to order?" These findings have a significant impact on basic store layout, signage, employee placement and training, and workflow. Maytag was thus able to offer real value to its restaurant franchise customers in the form of a whole solution that was more than just a faster oven.