Many of us go to all you can eat sushi restaurants. Ordering food could become a headache when the table is too big. There are over hundreds of items in the menu, everyone has different preference, but we only got one ordering sheet. So what is the most efficient way to order food?
One obviously approach is going through the list one item at a time, ask people to raise their hand and vote on how many dishes of each item should order. This approach is very inefficient, it takes forever to go through the list while we are starving. When the food comes, people forgot what they have ordered, so they just grab whatever they feel like eating regardless whether they have ordered it or not. This approach forget that we can submit order more than once. Regardless what we order in the first round, we’ll have to order the second or the third round. Why being so picky on the first order?
A better way to order all you can eat sushi is using pipeline and narrow it down approach. The goal of the first round is minimize the turn around time instead of getting an accurate order. Someone just order something everyone loves, like the most expensive item on the menu, sashima or popular sushi rolls, the lowest common denominator. Get the order into the kitchen to get the ball rolling, so that the food can show in the shortest amount of time. While we are waiting for the first order to show up, we have more than enough time to vote on the remaining items in the menu. Using this approach, everyone gets to eat what they like within the shortest amount of time waiting with an empty stomach.