Little Chef Restaurant’s Just-in-Time Implementation

Organizations and business operators worldwide have mechanisms and principles in place to reduce risk and losses in the course of doing business. As a result, companies have adopted just-in-time (JIT) production, among other strategies, to manufacture goods and provide services that are demanded at specific times. JIT is defined as producing the right product at the right time and quality to serve the right purpose (Dennis, 2017). To fully implement JIT, a company must not produce an item unless there is a ready market or an order from its customers or retailers. Furthermore, to improve plant operations, business managers and owners must level demands, maximize the flexibility of employees and machinery, and, most importantly, link all processes to consumer demand. As a result, this paper highlights the JIT principles that Little Chef, a roadside restaurant, is applying to enhance quality and maximize profits.

The waste elimination approach is the first JIT principle used at Little Chef. Dennis (2017) states that the JIT production strategy aims to reduce waste by producing only what is needed as the situation dictates. This is evident in the operations of Little Chef restaurant because foods are only prepared upon customer request. Thus, ordering first allows the Little Chef restaurant to cook food in the proper proportions, reducing food waste. Zeng et al. (2021) caution business owners to forecast demand to produce only what can be consumed at that time to eliminate waste in raw materials and labor. The Little Chef restaurant application of JIT waste elimination through cooking food on order limits food overcooking.

Little Chef restaurant also adheres to JIT principles in their operations by employing multi-skilled employees. In terms of labor, this is an interdisciplinary workforce capable of handling multiple tasks at once. Multi-skilled workers are essential for an organization because they increase efficiency by lowering production costs (Turan et al., 2020). The staff at Little Chef restaurant is cross-trained with the goal of greater flexibility, and approximately half of its staff can cook all types of foods. Another way to improve JIT principles is through continuous improvement. Turan et al. (2020) believe continuous improvement improves production. It entails assessing employees’ strengths and weaknesses and advising them accordingly. Cross-training employees at Little Chef restaurant demonstrates the restaurant’s commitment to employee development to perfect their capabilities.

Finally, it should be noted that Little Chef has adopted the JIT approach as a business operation strategy. As is clear, the restaurant has demonstrated its ability to expose the entire JIT procedures in almost all of its endeavors. It only allows cooking food that has been ordered, reducing food waste. Furthermore, Little Chef’s management has valued qualities such as forecasting customer demands, a multi-skilled workforce, and worker cross-training, among other considerations, to improve its operations. However, the Little Chef restaurant must embrace unity and cooperation from the top down because without it, and it will experience differences that will lead to conflicts, interfering with normal business operations.


Dennis, P. (2017). Lean production simplified: a plain-language guide to the world’s most powerful production system. CRC press.

Turan, H. H., Kosanoglu, F., & Atmis, M. (2020). A multi-skilled workforce optimization in maintenance logistics networks by multi-thread simulated annealing algorithms. International Journal of Production Research, 59(9), 2624–2646.

Zeng, Z., Zhang, Y., Zhang, H., & Zhang, L. (2021). Deep just-in-time defect prediction: how far are we? Proceedings of the 30th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis.