So I started about a month ago with Schlotzsky’s down in Austin for my internship. I only had Schlotzsky’s for the first time about 3 months ago so it has been a big learning process about the company as well as the tasks I am given. So far so good with it though. I was originally slated to do marketing but ended up becoming involved in more of the operations side of business which is very new for me. After only having 5 weeks of a operations class last semester I never thought I’d be working so closely with it but it has been great to reinforce what I picked up in class.
I am working primarily with Drive Thru Optimization. It has been really interesting to start learning about the inner workings of a business I kind of took for granted the past 9 years. It is always easy to show up to a restaurant with a drive thru, order a meal, a drink or snack and not think about what goes into the process. Now I am on my way to becoming an expert haha. From the order being placed to how that message is received inside is all things that can be optimized and constantly improved upon. Pretty interesting stuff.
For the first month I have done mainly shops and observations of locations from Waco to San Antonio and everywhere in between. I’ve been to about 50 drive thrus making observations and critiques on both our locations and competitors to prepare a SWOT analysis and guidebook for franchisees. The hope is that there will be a more standardized experience throughout the drive thrus and that new franchisees will be able to learn and plan based on best practices. The next time you go through a drive-thru I would definitely encourage you to take a few minutes and watch the process of the cars. How long you think you spend in line often is much less. Did you know some restaurants (mainly burger chains) are getting cars through in under 2 minutes on average from speaker to leaving the window? We’re not as fast but our sandwiches are made from scratch so there’s not exactly a level playing field. The perception of the customer and the worker inside are vastly different and it has been interesting to be on both sides. Our first week during orientation I got to work a drive thru for an afternoon. Have a whole new respect for how challenging it is inside – trying to hear a customer on an order box is harder than you would think.
Still waiting to see something this cool though…
I get to go back to Waco for the weekend to see some stores there but stay tuned for more updates.