Recently I heard a radio program where a chef was interviewed and was answering the question how do you get a Michelin star – and keep it? His answer gave me something to think about.

He told about how many things must be in place, must be in control and must be right every time. Over and over again. When a dish is decided to go on the menu, it’s a test-dish. That one experiment is approved, but then you have to repeat the result hundreds of times.

The suppliers must be able to provide exactly the same quality every day and enough of it.

A large number of cooks and trainees as well are involved in the preparation and so many things can go wrong if they do not understand they are part of getting the star.

Finally it goes over the counter (approved by someone) and then it is in the hands of the waiter to present the dish to the customer who should then get the full experience.

Do you think Your company could get a star?

Do You have complete trust in your suppliers, do they deliver?

Is everyone involved in Your processes fully aware about what the customers want?

Do You take customer feedback to improve services and products?

Give it a thought; think about how the work methods of a Michelin restaurant compares to Yours.

Planning ahead, communicating with the suppliers about quality, making sure everyone understands the importance of their own part in the process, remember what the customers want.

All of this is what quality management like ISO9001 is about but other tools from Lean and Six Sigma can also be noticed in the way a Michelin restaurant is run.

If the kitchen is not clean and the knives are not where they should be, then you cannot prepare a meal at Michelin standards. This is simply the 5S tool from the Lean tool box.

If the meal is to be served quickly everything must be ready when the order comes in. Preparing everything up the point where the dish is completed is called “Mise en Place”. In manufacturing this is called SMED. What can You do to have everything in place when the order is placed?

Top chefs experiment and fine tune their recipes before they go on the menu. I cannot say if they actually use DoE’s to do this, but in manufacturing processes it’s a great tool to use.

So once again I encourage You to take some time to reflect on how You can get a star.

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