product & system redesign / business plan mockup
pizza station redesign
During my dietetic internship, my team of 4 and I were challenged with a business plan project to revamp the current pizza station at the UCSF Medical Center cafeteria. Our project was overseen by the nutrition department managers, who helped us understand the history and current situation of the pizza station. The problem we were trying to solve was clear: how do we drive up pizza sales?
We knew two things for a fact: first, that the current pizza station model has not changed since its creation several years ago; and second, that pizza sales have been on a decline since year 2015. For this purpose, we wanted to explore the idea of making the pizza station more contemporary, and analyze whether this would increase sales.
To invigorate interest in and satisfaction with the pizza station via the addition of novel products and services.
Determine whether new products and services will drive up pizza sales.
This project was multi-faceted and needed the input of each and every member's area of expertise. I took role of the leader in this project by identifying and communicating the areas we needed to explore and the steps we needed to take to create a profitable new service.
Though all of my teammates cooperated together for several aspects of the project, some areas I focused on included:
Exploring current and potential future competitors and their qualities
Envisioning a marketing strategy for new products and services
Developing a visual mockup of the revamped pizza station including front and back views of the station
Measuring, recording, and calculating actual costs of ingredients
Calculating possible pizza combos and exploring number of options
Creating a dynamic sales and profit forecast that would respond to item costs, yearly inflation, and seasonal price fluctuations and trends.
This was a month-long process of research and experimentation. Here are the steps we took and the problems we faced along the way:
As mentioned above, besides brainstorming on the feasibility and effect of new products and services, part of my role included creating visual designs of the new business model. This process involved in-person research of the current model and visualization of alternate workflows utilizing the workspace available.
Pizza Station Redesign Mockup: Mission Bay Location
Pizza Station Redesign Mockup: Parnassus Location
Workflow for New Products and Services:
Diagrams for Pizza Placement in Parnassus and Mission Bay Locations
To recap our project, we pitched our business model to the nutrition services department food service managers. Take a look at our presentation below or click here to view the pdf version.
This project taught me the importance of persistence and trial and error. After the hard work we had put into the market analysis and building the sales forecast, we were disappointed when we first found that our business model might not be profitable. It took persistence, however, such as revising the forecast tool and our assumptions, trying different combinations of pricing, and re-evaluating our costs, for us to understand the problem and reach a profitable solution. Throughout this process of trial and error, I had to be in close contact with individuals from all areas of the system — from the customers to the pizza cooks to the food service managers. All this communication helped me thoroughly understand how the pizza station system worked from procurement to finalization.
This project was overall a great experience in which I expanded my understanding of designing a product for the real world, where costs and labor matter. Working with budget limitations and sales expectations gave me a very interesting view of practical design and I hope to explore this type of work more in the future.