Success story Georgia / Achieve a big impact with small changes

The catering company Delicato in Tbilisi, Georgia, has grown continuously since its foundation in 2005. In the meantime, 20-30 orders are received per day, from packed lunches and business meals to businesses to coffee break sets for meetings. For Davit Zaqaraia, Managing Director of Delicato, to reach his goal of 100-150 orders per day, the internal processes have to be adapted. In order to learn what adaptation possibilities exist and what software could help, he contacted the SEC. Together with a gastronomy expert from Kloten, he and his team analysed and optimised the production processes.

Last March, Felix Kaufmann was asked by the SEC if he would like to do a consultancy assignment with a catering company in Georgia. He had only just registered with the SEC and was happily surprised to be able to do an assignment so quickly.

The client, the catering company Delicato, currently processes 20-30 orders per day and would like to massively increase its order volume. However, these ambitions are slowed down by the internal processes: until now, all orders have been taken by phone and then brought to the various departments such as the kitchen or packaging either verbally or on foot with notes. The management is aware that this does not allow for growth. With his many years of experience, Felix Kaufmann brings the necessary knowledge to make the process more efficient.

Together with the team to more efficient work processes
After his arrival, Felix Kaufmann first observed the team at work. Then he invited the whole team to a workshop to find out together how the processes and cooperation between the different departments could be optimised. At first he met with resistance, but after only three days the team realised that Felix’s small changes in the work process made the daily tasks easier. As a result, the employees looked at their procedures with a critical eye, discovered opportunities to save time and made numerous suggestions on how their work, and thus the production process, could be made more efficient. To give just one example: The couriers used to park their cars with the bonnet facing the building and the delivery had to be carried around the car first. Now the cars are parked with the boot facing the building, which saves time when loading. In addition, the couriers tick off loaded products on a list, so the source of errors in orders could be massively reduced.

With many of these small changes, a lot of time could be saved that was previously missing in the structured planning of the daily business: While work on production and delivery was done from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. before the operation, the changes meant that the team had time from 3.00 p.m. onwards to plan the following day as well as to prepare for the deliveries that would arise. In addition to higher quality, this has also led to the company being able to accept more orders today.

The client:
Delicato is a catering company from Tbilisi, Georgia, founded in 2005. Managing Director Davit Zaqaraia leads a team of almost 40 employees.

The company specialises in family celebrations, canteen management, business events and café and lunch packages for companies.

Davit Zaqaraia’s wish was to achieve better results with less effort by consulting Felix Kaufmann. After the assignment, he is very pleased with the result. – The only downer from his point of view: the assignment was far too short. SEC expert Felix Kaufmann also believes that they could have achieved a lot more with a little more time.

Interview with SEC expert Felix Kaufmann

How do you rate the results achieved in general?
I focused on introducing the Kaizen philosophy of work to train the employees to always critically question their way of working and to want to improve. Thanks to this continuous improvement, this will be reflected in quality, staff motivation and success.

At the beginning, I was amazed at how open the employees were to this way of thinking. In small steps they tried to understand and implement the idea. In doing so, they showed me sincere appreciation, which made me very happy.

What impressed you the most during this consultancy assignment?
The team quickly realised that this philosophy helps them personally at work as well as the company. As mentioned above, what impressed me most was how all the employees were open to this way of thinking. Within a short time, they found ideas and approaches to improve the way they work. Over time, they have developed these approaches into solutions that substantially improve their work.

What surprised you or what did not work as expected?
I was surprised by the long working hours and the six-day week. Nevertheless, the staff seemed to be in a good mood. The language barrier was sometimes more difficult than expected. However, everyone involved tried to find ways to communicate otherwise.

Where did you come up against limits?
I didn’t come up against any limits. It was rather the opposite – the assignment was short and we could have contributed much more.