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There are lots of applications in producing food. Yum! Brand foods (Owner of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silvers) has been incorporating Lean Six Sigma into their processes for a long time. They even hosted a class for their vendors to learn and apply Lean Six Sigma to their own processes and products. A few questions to think about to get you going:

  1. Where is there Waste occurring in your processes? Is there any scrap or food product that is being wasted in the process of producing the noodles that can be eliminated?
  2. Is your customer happy? What issues might you tackle that customers want? For example, in the Yum Brand foods course, Yum Brands wasn’t happy with the amount of toast marks on the tortillas! (Seriously! The tortillas were too white). So, they worked on creating a better of understanding of what the customer requirement was in a measurable way.

Or maybe there’s an opportunity in the transactional side of the business instead of the product side? For example, are deliveries too slow, or order management too complicated?

I hope this helps you see how LSS can apply to food production processes.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.