IKEA’s Swedish Restaurant and its Queuing system

Since I have learned about Queuing Theory and its advantages, I was able to fully understand what was going on during rush hour at the IKEA’s Swedish restaurant with many people waiting to be served. As explained by our professor – Queues grow due to variability and they cannot be eliminated due to high utilization.

Last Friday I went to purchase furniture, after a while, me and my family, had also to stop by the restaurant; while I was waiting on the long queue, which has two different enters to separate customers and made them follow the unique line until the servers, I was realizing that the variability of many people arising at the same time has provoked a rush hour and a long queue, nevertheless, and even though IKEA’S restaurant manager called another server, for each enter, the queue was getting bigger and bigger.

They have optimized the way of self-serving for a quicker and smooth experience. As a costumer you can filled your tray with many types of foods, until you reach the main station for the main dish, where you definitely need to be served.  I have used Allen-Mceen approximation theory to calculate the time I will spend on the queue before served – even though I did not as fact, how it will take to serve each person – by using utilization levels, the number of servers and the variability at the entry and at the service, having as a result a close guess of the time that I did spend there.

After spending 15 minutes (Aprox) in a queue of 25 + I have realized that not necessarily a queue is a bad situation, and if managed properly, like Ikea does, by making their clients being occupied while they are waiting, it could also be a good experience.

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