Sharp’s Sandwich Shop—Quality Control*
Dawn Sharp is the owner of Sharp’s Sandwich Shop. Her shop is open 24/7 and serves many different types of sandwiches, from
classic breakfast sandwiches to more exotic burgers and other sandwiches usually consumed at lunch and dinner.
Recently, Dawn addressed inventory management as one of her major production issues. Dawn’s goal is to give her customers quick
service and a quality product. To accomplish this goal, Dawn divided her menu into four timeframes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and
after hours. Breakfast runs from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.; lunch begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.; dinner begins early, at 3 p.m., and
continues until 9 p.m. Between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. you can select your sandwich from the after-hour’s section of the menu.
Sharp’s Sandwich Shop is in the heart of downtown New York and New Yorkers are fast moving and always in a rush. Consequently,
customers do not want to wait very long for the sandwich, no matter how unique or complicated it may be. To remedy this, Dawn set
up a system where the kitchen produces specific sandwiches in bulk. For example, a basic ham and cheese on rye bread can be made
in advance, wrapped, and placed in the ready bin. This way, when a customer orders a ham and cheese on rye, they get it quickly.
One of the challenges to this system is that Sharp’s sandwiches are very popular because of the qual- ity of the sandwiches. Part of
the quality is their freshness. Therefore, whether it is a cold
sandwich or a warm sandwich, neither can stay in the premade bins too long. After a set period of time, if a sandwich is still in the
bin it is removed and placed in the charity bin. The charity bin contains food that is still edible; however, won’t be sold to Sharp’s
custom- ers. The food in the charity bin is donated to a local homeless shelter twice per day.
As Dawn evaluated her inventory problem that was related to the premade sandwich system, she discovered a parallel issue—
quality. As part of her revised inventory system, all sandwiches placed in the charity bin are recorded in a waste log. This process
enables Dawn to reconcile the “waste” sent to the charity bin to actual waste, that is, items that are thrown in the trash. Previously,
Dawn had assumed that a significant quantity of her over- all waste (95 percent) were items placed in the charity bin. However, as
she compared her numbers, Dawn discovered that more was going into the trash than she thought.