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Layout Considerations in Services

to be taken into consideration. First, the cost per square foot for retail locations is u ually very expensive (in comparison to that for a manufacturing facility). Service retail operations. therefore, must design their facilities to maximize the sales generated per square foot (or square meter). To accomplish this, operations such as restaurants have reduced the percentage
of area devoted to the back-of-the-house operations, like the kitchen, to allow more area for the customer in the form of additional seating. One way this is accomplished, as discussed in an earlier chapter, is through the use of a quasi manufacturing facility or central commissary where food can be economically prepared in a relatively low-cost area. Another approach is taken by Benihana's of Tokyo, a chain of Japanese steak houses. There the strategy is to move the kitchen to the front of the house so customers can actually participate in the food preparation process.

Another service unique factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the costumer's presence in the transformation process. As a result, the decor package of the service operation plays an important role in determining the customer's overall satisfaction with, the service encounter, Mary Jo Bitner has introduced the expression servicescape t? describe the physical surroundings in which the service takes place." The servicescape ofan operation comprises three major elements:

(a) the ambient conditions,                  (b) tile spatial layout and functionality,I and              (c) the signs, symbols, and artifacts.