Restaurant Service Blueprint- Design Service That Deliver


service blue print

service blue print

This blog Restaurant Service Blueprint see the application in the restaurant industry. Restaurant Service Blueprint can help you to reduce service gaps, design new service, overview to visualise new service.If you are starting out design new services using service blue print can help develop the operational plan. Service blueprinting was first introduced by Lynn Shostack. The service blueprint is a technique for service innovation, planning new services and increasing efficiency.


Mango Kurry is a kitchen & restaurant consultant in Mumbai India. The restaurant consultancy helps small mid-sized restaurant companies, independently owned restaurants, multi-unit operations achieve their operational goals.

Restaurant Service Blueprint

Restaurant service blueprint is a tool, a magical tool which can give your restaurant an edge. It can be used both by restaurant start-up and someone trying to improve the restaurant operations. Research has shown that in-service organisation the cost of poor quality may range from 25 to 40% of expenses. And as such, there is a need to improve quality. Research has also been done on the RATER model. This model identifies five damages of quality-Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness. Out of all these dimensions Reliability has been deemed the most important. In a sense reliability of service has the greatest impact on customer satisfaction.

Reliability: ability to perform dependably and accurately.

Assurance: trust and confidence in employees.

Tangibles: appearance of facilities, equipment, personnel, materials.

Empathy: individualised attention to customers.

Responsiveness: provide timely service.

Service blueprinting was introduced in 1984 as a process control tool for services that offered several advantages:

1) it was more precise than verbal definitions,

2) it could help solve problems pre-emptively, and

3) it was able to identify fail points in a service operation.

Restaurant Service Blueprint can help you to reduce the gap of what is expected from the restaurant and your specification of service.


Restaurant Service Blueprint is great for restaurant start-ups. It will help you weather the storm. Bring clarity and sense of purpose to your restaurant operation. But why have this tool to build quality? In the restaurant business, you will always hear talk of service failure. The soup is cold, food is delayed, the hostess forgot reservation, customers say staff doesn’t know the menu. Sometimes it’s a lot worse the customer will simply say the staff is rude or service is bad.


And if that wasn’t bad enough you as a management would find yourself firefighting. The staff blaming each other. Your chef may say the customer taste buds are wrong. You or manager seething at the perceived incompetence of staff. And before you know it your dream restaurant will tire you to the bone.


Manage your restaurant without tears, create a restaurant service blueprint. Get ready for battle of daily operations by better planning operations. Run your restaurant in coalition-make a service blueprint. Restaurant Service Blueprint is about design. Service blueprint is a first step to view and bring together different interrelated parts-people, process, procedures, technology, environment to work together for the common purpose.

A guest meal experience consists of the food and beverage, the promise of your service, interaction with your staff and the environment in which it was done. The creation of this experience is a result a lot of process coming together both visible and invisible. Restaurant Service Blueprint A visual representation helps everyone to zero in why they exist!!

Service Concept

Before you jump in to make a service blueprint, make sure there’s clarity in the service concept.

Service concept is a response to customer needs. It links different customer segments, positioning, value offering to fulfil the customer needs. In a sense, the service blueprint results in the design of service. The design of service is the HOW of service concept. It brings to light that the service design must keep in mind the customer needs, the customer segment, positioning.

Example-An airline designer service a premium class and economy class will be different even though there is a similarity in service steps. In the restaurant space, the service design for fine dining restaurant and a fast food restaurant will be different. They target different customers who want different things from the meal experience and the service design will have different performance parameters. Two fast food restaurants we again have different service design as a performance parameter may be different. Even though the sequence of steps may be same perhaps the product offering similar.

So how do we define service blueprint – it is a tool for simultaneously depicting the service process, the points of customer contact, and the evidence of service from the customer’s point of view. It is a flowchart of all the transactions constituting the service delivery process.

How to make a service blueprint?

A restaurant service blueprint of meal experience is created by

mapping the customer activities,

the physical evidence that he encounters

the interaction with the staff

the backroom activities

the support process which happens in the background.


Customer interaction-the service blueprint maps customer journey as is created from the point of view of the customer. The first is to identify the phases in the customer journey through the restaurant. Under this identified interaction or the actions taken by the customer in each phase.

Physical evidence-identify various tangibles of physical infrastructure the customer passes through each phase. This can be the parking area, porch, garden or hostess desk of billing counter. Identify the tangibles. Tangibles are the appearance of facilities, equipment, personnel, materials. You are a great restaurant what is the physical evidence of that. The ambience, the quality of your menu cards. Are your staff groomed in the right way and live up to your image?

Draw the line of interaction– a line of interaction is drawn across chart which separates the customer space or area and the employee on machines with the customer interacts to stop

Onstage employer interaction-these are the actors who interact with the customer. Here the activities of interaction are recorded.

The greatest dissatisfaction can occur at this stage. How does the employee speak to the guest, his uniform? Research has shown that a simple name tag helps to reduce the guest anxiety when interacting with an employee because he knows the employee name. You can control the interaction by scripts. This can reduce the variability of the interaction. When a customer complains that a soup is cold, what does the employee say step1, step 2 step 3? How do you describe the dish? The idea is not to take away from the creativity of an individual but tries to control the interaction to get the desired outcome.

Line of visibility-this is a line which separates customer contact area and back areas. This is the area of the customer cannot see and does not interact with.

Backstage employer interaction-these are the activities which are triggered by the customer what happened in areas where the customer cannot see. Like a chef preparing a meal.

The moment the guest has asked for an order , what are behind the stage activities? A clarity in what needs to be done. What’s is the simplest thing that you can do. The next how can you do it better, faster or cheaper? How can a room service tray set up be done faster? What does the kitchen do to reduce the cycle time of processing the order? It has to be noted that behind the scenes activities are not value added. In a sense, a chef has added five ingredients to make a sauce. These can be five steps or one step.

Support process-here different processes which are working in the background at different phases are identified.

The support departments like purchase, maintenance , training, the telephone system all exist to maintain or enhance service.

A telephone not working is poor service. Dirty toilets are bad service, a frustrated chef because of short supplies is bad service. A slow point of sale system is bad service. Even a more sophisticated MMS or material management system which do not allow you to manage your food costs or the accuracy of your purchase will add to the poor experience. If your costs are high, chances are that you will charge more and your perceived service quality will be lower on account of unfair prices.

Which process to map?

To design service at first and take a macro perspective and the and identify every touch point of customer experience. Thereafter, you take a slice of service design and expand it. For example, for restaurant dining experience the speakers begin searching information on the Internet and on a website, then goes on with interaction with the valet, service interaction with hostess and service staff. The typical page may not have the mysterious place to capture all the information. It may be necessary to only focus on the service counter at the restaurant and detailed study.

So you have this restaurant service blueprint, then what?

A service blueprint may have the following output-

Make a prioritisation matrix between customer needs and customer actions. This will help to identify which are critical to quality interactions.

Lead time and cycle time a restaurant owner you will be able to identify what is a total lead time of service. This means the total time service the point of entry to exit. The cycle time of each activity can be identified. The implications of this are to understand how much time each activity will take and hence prepare the operation to deliver on the promise. There may be a need to make the service faster. This can be changed by changing the sequence, eliminating the activity, making the customer a producer of the service i.e. self-help.

Identify waste– if you look at a wispy front and reflect and Thailand in five ways that may occur in terms of excessive movement or time et cetera.

Points of failure-a restaurant owner or operator the service blueprint and identify the points of failure in each activity. A simple way to this is to ask what can go wrong. And then try to make a service recovery plan or redesign the activity to error proof it.

Examine the flow of work of both service and kitchen simultaneously. It can give insights blocks, chokepoints. Where do these processes interact? What can I do to make it seamless? How does restaurant communicate to maintenance that something is broken? How do you measure non-availability of food?

Guest empowerment Sample this, service is co-creation but can your service be redesigned so that guest is empowered to act on his own. Eg reservation on the phone versus reservation online.


Key outcomes

Restaurant owner shall be able to set up a standard for each service.

Identify the sequence of service.

Determine service scripts for each encounter.

Plan a service recovery program.

Create a walk-through for the manager to inspect any evaluate servicescape every day.

Create a maintenance schedule to maintain physical assets .

Identify performance parameter for all support assets.

Have another perspective as to the number of staff required to perform the service.

Take measures to improve the point of interaction between different areas. A simple area can be the communication from the service area the kitchen. Thousands of things can go wrong and measures have to be taken at this part is simple clear and uncomplicated.

Develop a training program. This is critical for service delivery as you need to translate service policy into a training program.

Customer comment card -The outcome is perceived experience. The customer comment card can tell you what is the quality of food in the form of taste, portion size. The quality of interaction with service staff , their ability to resolve the  grievance and advise on the menu.

The PDCA cycle: Restaurant service blueprint allow you to design your service and in a sense allow you to “plan your work”. When you implement you ”work your plan”. Then evaluate or check or measure and finally rework to improve.

Outputs look at how do you control the product characteristics. You then need to define the portion size of the food or ticket time for the order.


The paradigms of service blueprint allow you the restaurant operator to have the foresight to see what can go wrong. Understand which part of the service sequence are critical for customer satisfaction and delight. Pre-empt failures and take corrective measures. Get all support departments from finance to marketing to maintenance to housekeeping on the same page. Prepare checklists for support departments so that they do the job to ensure a great meal experience. Create checklists for the service team to inspect any evaluate all customer touch points. Finally, empower your team with effective training is that they can offer a quality experience. The perception of service quality or identity is built all these unrelated parts coming together. 

Mango Kurry is a Kitchen & Restaurant Consultant in Mumbai can help to develop a restaurant service blueprint for your restaurant and identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

Please do give your feedback.

Mango Kurry is a kitchen & restaurant consultant in Mumbai India. The restaurant consultancy helps small-mid-sized restaurant companies, independently owned restaurants, multi-unit operations achieve their operational goals. The restaurant management consultancy provides strategic planning, operational analysis of revenues, generating marketing and sales strategy, reducing and controlling expenses with effective cost control systems, conducting and assessing feasibility studies, design and opening of restaurants

About the author 

Sartaj S Bedi

With 20-year restaurant industry expertise, offering insights and expertise in strategy, operations, and quality. He employs a holistic approach to guide clients towards strategic success.

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