Insights & News

Lessons in business productivity

INSIGHT: View all Insights articles.

Who chops your lemons? Lessons in business productivity

Great story this week, and one that can tell you a lot about your business. It goes like this: Pizza Express has dramatically improved productivity across its 500 restaurants by making a very simple, but very effective change. And it’s all about who chops the lemons.

Sliced lemons, as used in soft drinks and cocktails, were always seen as the responsibility of Pizza Express waiting staff. To cut them, serving staff would take a break from their duties each morning, clear a food preparation space, wash their hands, store the lemons, and then clear up after themselves.  

That was until one of the pizza chefs made the point that chefs spend all morning preparing ingredients for the pizzas, work that involves an awful lot of chopping and dicing. Why not give them the lemon job? That way, the serving staff can get on with what they do best. The company made the change across its outlets, saving countless man hours, money, and resource.

It’s a great illustration of the vital contribution that a fresh pair of eyes can offer in making strategic changes to a business. One of the big value-adds BCMS brings to our clients is the ability to offer an external perspective to business owners. From the first meeting, we help our clients to examine their strengths and weaknesses. Together, we can analyse the small changes that make a big difference.

Our objective is simple. We are a partner to our clients – we help business owners take a step back, and look as dispassionately as possible at how their business might be perceived by a potential acquirer. Clients regularly tell us they find the intensive preparation process “rewarding”, “worthwhile” and “enlightening” – in some cases our advice and consultation has led clients to pause a potential sale and make adjustments to their business model, returning at a later date, with a more saleable business.

And if your key sales staff are chopping too many lemons, well, let’s start there!

Dave Rebbettes's picture
Posted Jul 2015
All BCMS Insights