This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the current and prospective layout and features of the Grab’n Go Café. A sample of customer flow data was collected to determine which areas of the café were in high demand and which weren’t. The data showed that the café layout was inefficient and was causing issues for customers when they select items. The report concludes that the layout can be improved to make it more efficient and satisfactory for customers to navigate. It is recommended that Grab’n Go Café management adopt the improved layout and other adjustments which would improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
Evaluation of Current Layout
The Grab’n Go Café uses different layouts to organise different types of food. The current layout is free-flowing, for the fact that customers can get from the entrance to what food they want to the checkout and out of the store again without having to guide their way through the entire store.
With the layout as it currently stands and the Grab’n Go Café, customers spend on average 4.9 minutes shopping for their food. The 25 customers visited each section as follows:
Bakery Items: 14 people
Fountain Drinks: 12 people
Soups: 10 people
Sandwiches and Wraps: 8 people
Bottled Drinks: 5 people
Coffee or Cookies: 4 people
Salads: 3 people
Fresh Fruits: 2 people
It shows us that Bakery Items and Fountain Drinks are the most popular items in the café, and salads are the least popular. The products with a higher flow need to be positioned in a prominent space with plenty of space around them to allow for high traffic. Bakery items are positioned well at present as they have a lot of space around them and customers can gather and select what they want without getting in the way of other customers wanting to get to other sections of the café. The soup is positioned in a very prominent position, which is plausible considering the relatively high flow of people it receives, and it is close to the checkout so customers can get their soup and pay then leave the café before it gets cold. However it does block in the Fountain drink section which is more popular, and the Sandwiches corner, which tends to be where people spend the most time gathered around – both selecting what type of sandwich to order, and then waiting for it to be made. Bottled drinks, fruit, salads and fresh food are clustered together in one section with plenty of space around, given that when grouped together that section will have much higher traffic than when separated (10 people out of 25 when combined). Coffee and Cookies are placed close to the checkout which will be good for customers to buy their coffees and leave the café while they are still hot. It is placed out from the wall which means that it may catch the attention of customers, but may also get in the way of the flow of customers in and out of the store via the checkout. The store appears to have no separately defined entry and exit. It is safe to presume that the majority of customers would be making a purchase in the café, so the checkouts are placed in the way of the entry/exit, but the open layout may cause some thefts as the two way flow of customers past the checkout may confuse staff as to who is coming and who is going.
The fact that the product options and prices are not prominently displayed causes a real issue for customers. If they are unsure what they are able to order, they will take longer making a decision which can cause congestion in the café, particularly at peak times. It can also lead to a decrease in efficiency for staff if they are advising on options instead of customers guiding themselves using signage. Given that this is a university dining facility and its patrons “possess a modest income”, it is especially important that they know exactly what items are to cost, so they know they have enough money to purchase the items they want and not waste time at the checkout if they already know their transaction will