The Nimble Mind : Burgers and Brainstorms
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The author presents an ethnographic study of fast food businesses in the tourist town of Traverse City, Michigan and concludes that the service industry is the result of our growing dependence on others for sustenance. From prepwork to paperwork to greeting customers at the door, a good manager knows that he would not be in his current position if there were no one to serve. The greatest challenge facing the manager of the fast food establishment is the maintenance of the balance among a host of competing values. These values, which include quality, speed of service, and the ability to reduce waste in time, money and product, must be in constant tension with one another if the business is to run effectively. In the finer dining establishments, the emphasis on speed of service is minimized, leaving the rest of these values to be taken into account.