Cafe Yum - The Service Design Challenge

Cafe Yum - The Service Design Challenge


Business Simulations bring seemingly complex business strategy and management concepts to life.  Not only do they recreate real life business challenges in a simulated environment, they also allow participants to observe the consequences of their decisions and revise their strategies.

Thus, simulations offer a great way of building business acumen, honing critical and analytical thinking and increasing customer intelligence in today’s competitive environment.

Risk-free Learning Environments – Participants simulate a business situation and make decisions with no real-life cost implications and time lags.

Immersive & Interactive Gameplay – The automated real-time performance feedback of decisions makes the challenge more fun and engaging.

Realistic Storylines – Simulations based on real-life stories hone participants’  critical thinking and business decision-making skills, even before they experience the challenges in the real world.

Dynamic Data-Driven Framework – Participants are exposed to extensive data-driven business decision frameworks that equip them with an advanced toolkit required to identify the right kind of data and interpret it on the basis of their conceptual understanding.

Reflective Learning – Throughout the simulation, participants are assigned tasks that require reflection on the decisions made. This helps them deliberate over the best business practices and improve their decisions by analyzing their learning outcomes. 

Café Yum is an international fast-food chain, known for its WOW customer experience. The brand is now all set to expand its footprint into Pakistani fast food industry. Since Café Yum primarily operates in high-end universities globally, it must dive deep, understand and analyze how a student enrolled in a top Pakistani university spends his/her day on campus. This, in turn, will help them recreate equally good or even better customer experiences than their competitors in the local market, for their target group, the students. To that end, the restaurant management went to Lahore University of Management Sciences, a prestigious educational institute of the country, and collected data from its students.

In the light of the data collected, the brand now wants to know what kind of services they should offer at their café. Given a certain menu and price structure, they must live up to their global reputation of delivering AWESOME customer experiences. They are looking for a customer-centric service design, which is more focused on the customer experience, rather than the menu and price structure. 

The participants will assume the role of a service design expert, immerse into the data, and create a workable prototype of the service that Café Yum should deliver.

Usually it takes a 3-to-4-hour session to complete the first iteration of the recommended prototype.

For MBA, EMBA and/or Executive Education programs.

In this case, learners will learn how to:

► Understand user needs, create user personas and map user journeys

► Gather insights from user research and (re)define the design problem

► Actively participate in brainstorming sessions on an online collaborative platform in cross-functional teams

► Communicate their idea/solution through audio and/or visual storytelling and quick prototyping

► Cultivate a design thinking mindset suited to creative problem-solving

This is a team simulation where participants recreate data to come up with a prototype for Café Yum's service design.

The recommended group size is 4 participants per group.

The size of the class depends on the number of trainers/instructors on board. The recommended class size per trainer is 60 participants.

Grading is based on the quality of the key decisions taken during the simulation experience. It is recommended that trainers/instructors grade the following instruments used in the simulation:

► Persona Development

► Customer Journey Mapping

► Big Idea - A theoretical prototype of service design

► Prototype

The trainer/instructor can create the grading rubric as per his/her discretion.

Instructors and trainers can use the simulation to assess the student's ability to apply their knowledge of design thinking processes such as Persona Development, Customer Journey Mapping, Big Idea and Prototype.

►  If you're an educator/trainer, go to our Contact Us page and leave us a message.

► Our team will contact you to verify and schedule an appointment with you in order to discuss your course/training requirements. Access to the case study will be given only upon full receipt of the payment.

► You will be provided with free, on-site training by EdTech Worx's subject matter experts. Relevant Teaching Support materials (videos, notes etc) will also be given on the training day.

The simulation is online, easy to navigate and only requires access to a high-speed Internet connection.


Publishing Date: April 2, 2019

Discipline: Service Management

Subjects: Innovation, Creative Problem-Solving, Service Design Thinking

Industry: Fast Food

Region: South East Asia

Length: 3 hour read

► Teaching note and other Teacher Support materials such as videos, data files etc.

Design Thinking Simulation: The Service Design Challenge is frequently used with the following products:

Design Thinking (Digital Interactive Book)

Design Thinking (Blended Learning Course)

Design Thinking (3 - Day Boot Camp)

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About the Author

Dr. Farrah Arif

With a PhD from University of Cambridge and a distinguished career as educationist, corporate trainer, strategic thinker and marketing consultant, Dr. Farrah Arif, Founder & CEO EDTechWorx and LUMS Executive in Residence, has helped many organizations optimize their business strategy to drive sustainable revenue growth and profits. Her areas of specialty are Business Digital Transformation Strategy, Marketing in the Digital Age, Consumer Data Analytics and Simulation, and Design Thinking.

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