Case Study: Maximizing Throughput
Like so many Duke customers of the past, a Food Service Director for a public school district in Texas found that in cafeterias throughout the district, they simply didn’t have adequate horizontal space. (Or as one Duke customer once put it, “we’re running out of room to the left AND the right!”) As with any district or independent institution, a lack of space affects throughput. However, in the case of the Texas district, more than mere student counts were affected. That’s because within this particular school district, the kids – some 12,000 of them – eat for free, with the school’s government reimbursement being based on the number of kids served each year. In addition to engineering a system that would route kids through cafeteria lines more efficiently, this new system had to fit in the space occupied by the current system; there could be no expansion.
The Solution To meet this unique need, the Duke team installed a system comprised of Duke Hot Frost Merchandisers – vertical, multi-tiered, multifunctional components which drop into each respective service counter. The Duke Hot Frost Merchandisers can be easily and quickly changed from hot to cold at the flip of a switch. The direct benefits to the school district were many:
- Twice the merchandising space
- Greater flexibility of merchandising per menu
- Improved visibility of merchandise
- The ability to produce food in the back of the kitchen, then served in pre-portions in heated cabinets, thus saving money on food
- The addition of a refrigerated shelf
All of this has led to a dramatic increase in participation (including an accommodation improvement from 400 students to 1,000 at one school), helping the district approach maximum government reimbursement.