Free Essay

Jose Restaurant

In: Business and Management

Submitted By minhhiep87
Words 4586
Pages 19
Problem Statement:

Jose’s Mexican restaurant is a small yet popular spot. Lately they have been losing customers and profits due to service issues. In order to improve the restaurant, Jose’s Mexican Restaurant must provide service that is top-notch, in other words fast, efficient, great testing, convenient and heartwarming.

What must the restaurant do in order to improve service?

Areas for Consideration:

[i]Quality at Jose's restaurant should be defined by service, value, reliability of the experience and overall customers' satisfaction. The quality of a product is defined as whether it fulfills its stated specifications. Customer satisfaction should be at the top priority for the restaurant. Customer satisfaction is the measurement of a product or service that meets or exceeds customer's expectations. Therefore, the restaurant should focus on its customers' needs and requirements, and strive to exceed their expectations. ` The factors that affect the quality of the service are conformance to specification, value, fitness for use, support and even psychological standard impression. Food should be delivered and served as to be what is promised on the menu. Also, the food should be cooked and prepared properly, to be fresh, clean, and to have exactly the ingredients and flavors that are ordered. Service staff should be neatly dressed and greet customers with a smile; personnel should be experienced and trained to accommodate the customer. Atmosphere is another important area of quality. At Jose’s, keeping with the Mexican themed decor creates the atmosphere for the Mexican prepared dishes. The overall establishment should maintain a level of cleanliness. Waiting areas for customers should be clean and comfortable during the peak times when a waiting to be seated is necessary. The service and meals should be dependable and consistent. Food should be prepared with the best available ingredients, and served quickly and correctly. Wait staff should provide prompt service, serving in the time promised, and make the customers feel unique and special.

What are the restaurant’s costs of process failures? – Because of the lack of a waiting area and reservations Jose’s is losing customers that could have been accommodated better. According to the survey conducted an average of 20% of the customers are unsatisfied. Also due to the wait time for the food to be prepared over 30% of the customers are not satisfied. Even a whopping 14% of customers are not happy with how the food tastes, this is maybe due to the ingredients the cook was complaining about. Even the servers have problems a large 12% complained about their servers.

When it all comes down to it a whopping 20% of these customers say that the dining experience was not worth the cost. What does this mean? It means that 20% of the customers are not coming back. So as we can see Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant really needs an overhaul.

When a process fails to satisfy a customer, the failure is considered a defect. Many companies spend a significance time, effort, and expenses on training. In order to properly identify and solve the problem we must consider the information listed on the next page.

Customer Survey Results:

[pic]

Figure 1: Customer Survey Results

Areas for consideration concerning Personnel are:

• Wait-staff

• Cook

• Part-time cook

• Management

• Host

Areas for consideration concerning food supplies are:

• Supplier

• Alternative supplier

• Market

• Grocery

• Farm

• Import retailers

• Wholesalers

Other factors to consider

• Jose’s Mexican restaurant is a small 58 seat place

• It offers traditional Mexican food assembled from eight basic stocks (chicken, beans, beef, rice, corn tortillas, flour tortillas, tomatoes and lettuce)

• It does not offer anything other than traditional Mexican food

• It typically takes 12 minutes to prepare (several meals may be prepared at the same time) during peak times it may take up to 20 minutes

• Poor quality of some of the ingredients delivered

• It is located in a central artery that offers limited free off street parking

• It has no separate waiting area

• It does not accept reservations

• Seating is usually immediate except on Fridays and Saturdays when seats of as long as 45 minutes

• Mode of payment is cash or major credit cards but no checks

Alternative Courses of Action

In a quote attributed to General Dwight Eisenhower, Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke wrote, "No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy." Eisenhower's addition to it was, "[...even so] I still cannot fail to plan." Therefore, as we move on to the next segment of this case study, let us not fail only to plan, but to plan more than once to get the best possible results.

In this segment the author will present “alternative courses of action” using the practical approach as directed. A practical approach is as define by www.thefreedictionary .com: “Of, relating to, governed by, or acquired through practice or action, rather than theory, speculation, or ideals: gained practical experience of sailing as a deck hand “. This interprets as we will discuss the case at hand by being practical without the needs for theories but through experience, common-sense and opinions.

On the next page we begin our practical approach on “alternative courses of action”

Alternative courses of action concerning personnel:

Alternative 1

The wait-staff should handle the service management and the food preparation.

Advantages:

The wait-staff are experienced with handling customers. They know what to do. They understand the power of smiles, politeness and taking orders correctly. According to Ehab Rashawn [ii]a good waiter is tactful, responsible, pays attention to details, is well dressed, is confident and greets with smiles and above all ensures guest satisfaction. The author is convinced that if Jose’s Wait-staff practices the said qualities with pride and excellence they will be able to perform at a very impressive level. Customers will be extremely happy, tips will go up and both the managers and owners will be very pleased by the service excellence.

This step will also empower the wait-staff and may raise morale. In an article by Kelsey Ruger she states that “We live in a world of constant change and thinking that your processes, your policies or even your business model don't ever need to be changed or thrown out is a recipe for disaster” and Empowerment actually has very little to do with you giving an employee anything other than freedom.” Through this the author can justify that if the management gives the wait-staff power morale will be raised and the need to supervise will be lessened. If management is closed minded then employees will not want to work for a strict and overbearing-overlord that does not care about what they think. When this happens the service will drop and waiters may decide on purpose not to work. Therefore it is good to empower the workers by giving them responsibility over food preparation since they also have experience. They know what the ingredients are and how it is to be cooked, since as the author is a former waiter, he can say that it is standard-operating procedure to know the some steps and the ingredients of cooking the food. Again in the same article listed above Ehab Rashawn says that a good waiter possesses round knowledge of an establishment's services and products. This means that they know how the food is prepared and what the ingredients are. If you go to good restaurants you will notice that if you ask the servers they know how the food is cooked and what the ingredients are. So if we trust our servers, their morale will be raised, their artistic sense will be encourages and a new decorative style may be achieved encouraging “Waiter-brand-loyalty of the customers.” Meaning waiters will then have regular customers and therefore tips will increase and customers will stay and also increase.

Disadvantages:

A disadvantage to this proposition is that there must be someone who manages and oversees. For people tend to slack off when left alone. Also working towards excellence is hard therefore there must be someone who encourages and corrects if something goes wrong. In an article by John Mckee he says that [iii]“Management is about coping with complexity….. Without good management, enterprises tend to become chaotic… Good management brings a degree of order and consistency….”. Though he expounds about the importance o managers more in his article Seven Reasons Why We Need Managers, not leaders, the author believes that this is the best quote in his article that describes the disadvatage of leaving everything to the wait-staff. Mckee makes it clear that tere must be someone who bring order and consistency into the picture. An example would be; a customer is furious about a service issue, no matter how hard the waiter tries to explain to him/her that he is sorry but nothing more can be done. it will simply keep going on and on without the customer feeling taken-care off, in other words given good service. This is where a manager is needed. The manager will give the customer a sense of relief that someone higher up the chain of command is willing to listen to their problems, which gives the customer a sense of family and being important. Without a manager the customer may never come back.

A disadvantage in the option of leaving the food preparation with the wait-staff are “the slowing down of service” and the lack of "proper training and experience in handling food. These simple things may result in extreme customer irritation with the food taste and texture and this may also produce accidents in the kitchen, burns or other injuries, maybe even equipment damage and the complete destruction of the place. People in business must know the importance of Training and education. There is a big difference in performance when one is a professional over a novice with not much experience and training. Here is an article supporting the importance of training: http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/contributors.asp?id=923

Alternative 2

The cook can take care of the food and the service management.

Advantages

Leaving the cook in charge of food is always best. He is the most knowledgeable about the ingredients and the quality needed to produce great tasting meals. As far as the service is concerned the cook may be able to manage the flow of orders and input a system he is familiar with to improve the quickness of the pace.

The cook is there for a reason given the right ingredients and help he can maintain and excel with his cooking. As the author noticed in one of “The Reluctant Gourmet.com” featured articles written by Mark Vogel. The researcher noticed with that he stated “[iv]Maintaining consistent quality is every restaurant’s greatest challenge. Customers expect consistency and it is a daunting task to churn out the same high quality dishes, fabricated in the same manner on a regular basis. “ This means that the main person responsible for the food must be present as much as possible preparing the meals and guiding the people who help out with the taste. The benefit of this is the maintenance and betterment of the taste

Disadvantages

If you have ever worked in a restaurant , you would have been able to at least go back in the kitchen at one point and see how busy the cook is. A cook will not have the time to manage floor service, he/she may lack the experience and training to manage a restaurant.

Alternative 3

Hire a part-time cook

Advantages

. Extra help is also a must especially when your business is growing just like the case of Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant. Even “MoreBusiness.com” seems to agree they explained; “ [v]You can set the work hours of your part time employees in such a way that they are available to handle the load of extra customers during peak times” and “This will ensure that your customers get the attention that they deserve, even during peak business hours - and this can result in an increase in your business.” So when extra help is needed in the kitchen let us hire a part-time cook that can prepare the food under the head cook’s training and supervision. This will then crank out meals faster with the same quality the customers are looking for. If youre wondering how can it be possible? Look at the five star restaurants, the executive chef simply orders people around and helps with some of the cooking, yet everything still comes out just as good, maintaining a high-quality consistent taste the customers look for. Part timers may aslo save you money, since it is cheaper to hire part-timers than regulars. Due to the laws of having to give them benefits.

Disadvantages

. It will also take time to train and money to hire a new person to help the cook. Another problem with part time employees is fitting in. Part time employees may need time to adjust to the process style of Jose’s he/she may not like how things are done, this may result in conflict and time wasting.

Alternative 4

Let the managers handle the service system

Advantages

As management architect Jorrian Gelink wrote “[vi]Managers are not defined by their role in the organization, but more so, on the impact on people within that organization”, managers are not some terrorizing authority figure in the organization but rather is an individual with a purpose and a goal to improve the organization through influencing the people under him/her. In order to maintain and control the organization’s system a manager must be in place to influence, inspire and encourage the people under him. He may also reprimand and correct his subordinates if it is in the organizations best interests of course by his judgment. To have a manager handle the service system means that there is someone there who is knowledgeable, inspiring and well experienced with the system. There is a person who can take charge when things go wrong and a person to celebrate with when things are good. Therefore a manager is necessary to handle and maintain Jose’s Authentic Restaurant’s system process.

Disadvantage

It takes time to study and create a new service system.

Alternative 5

Let the host help with the service issues

Advantages

During peak times it is good to have an extra hand on deck even if it is only to dish-out plates and help carry stuff around. To let the host help in small ways may improve the service system

Disadvantages

The host is at the front for a reason. He makes sure that the customers feel at home and are welcome. If the host has to dish out and help with the service issues. It may make him look worn out and dirty. They say that first impressions last, so to maintain that the host must be relxed clean and friendly not stressed and sweaty.

Alternative courses of action concerning the food supply

Alternative 6

Jose’s Authentic Mexican restaurant should keep the supplier along with another stern complaint.

Advantages:

The advantage in keeping your supplier and giving them a stern complaint are there is already a relationship built. It is much easier and less time consuming if the supplier is kept and the supplier delivers what is required of them. In an article titled [vii]“Supply Chains and Partnerships”, management theorist Jordan Lewis, told The Economist that buyer-seller alliances unleash a capacity for innovation that far outweighs the short-term cost savings offered by arm's-length competitive bidding. He added that businesses should explain their overarching needs to several dedicated suppliers and open lines of communication with them rather than simply defining their requirements and waiting for a flurry of bids that are primarily—or exclusively—concerned with submitting the lowest bid. It is also stated in another article by Bob Reis that [viii]“It's OK to Be a Demanding Customer”. This means that if Jose’s build a good relationship and keep a relationship with a supplier. It is more likely that they support Jose’s and treat them well versus them having a business-only-profit-centered view of the said restaurant. It is also healthy to let the supplier understand what the restaurant needs for them to be able to keep up and understand the needs of Jose’s, this is also a step in building relations. Some people call it openness.

Disadvantages:

The disadvantage of keeping the old supplier is obvious. We already know that the cook has been complaining a lot about the quality of the goods delivered and if you think about it for a second, who do you think the cook would complain to and be the most irritated with in the first place? That would be the supplier. It would then mean that the cook has already sent his concerns and feeling to the supplier regarding the matter. Therefore it may mean that the supplier has not been listening to the needs of Jose’s Authentic Mexican restaurant and therefore is not a good and trustworthy business acquaintance.

Alternative 7

Jose’s Authentic Mexican restaurant will Farm their food ingredients.

Advantages

The advantages of farming are that Jose’s will be able to properly take care of their ingredients to the fullest. Meaning Jose’s will be able to protect it from dangers like insects and other factors. They will be able to grow them with care, using the proper fertilizer and being able to give the plants the best environment suited for the taste of Jose’s authentic Mexican restaurant. Another advantage would be that Jose’s could venture in a different market of selling supplies to the grocery stores and the markets.

Disadvantages

In an article by Jim Grover an expert in plant nursery stated “[ix]Plants are living things and like all living things they use elements in their natural surroundings to create food and energy. From the time a seed sprouts, the surrounding environment must meet certain requirements or the plant will die. Several factors affect plant growth and seed germination.” This means that in order to produce health plant a farmer must consider a plant’s needs and unfortunately different species of plants have different needs which means you have to provide the specific need of each plant. Different species of plants have a unique set of needs. In knowing so you would need to provide each of them their basic needs such as the right temperature, light-levels, moisture, soil fertility and soil ph. Also you would need to protect them from various disease pathogens such as mildew and fungal spores. This will cost money and time. It can be an impractical method for Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant.

Alternative 8

Jose’s Authentic Mexican restaurant should acquire their supplies from the market.

Advantages

The advantage of purchasing supplies from the market is that, it will be cheaper to purchase them there over buying form the grocery or from an import retailer. Aside from the fore-mentioned it is also an advantage to be able to bargain for the price of goods.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages would bet that in order to be able to purchase a considerable amount of supplied it would take a number of people to go bargain, buy and carry the supplies back to a transport then unload it at the restaurant. Another is that a market will most of time be considerably more expensive than acquiring goods from a supplier or even a wholesaler.

Alternative 9

The restaurant should acquire their supplies from the Grocery.

Advantages

The advantage of purchasing supplies from the grocery is the ability to inspect the goods and purchase them with ease. Here, everything is pre-priced all you would have to do is throw everything onto a cart and off you go to the cashier take it to the transport vehicle and you’re done.

Disadvantages

Disadvantages are the inability to bargain and acquire a cheap price. Also it is time consuming and will need a number of people to assist in the purchase of supplies.

Alternative 10

Jose’s can obtain their supplies from an import-retailer.

Advantages

The main importance of an import-retailer is convenience and the availability of imported products that may not be produced locally.

Disadvantages

The cost will be much higher than any regular grocery, market, wholesaler and supplier.

The reason for this is if you’ve ever been to a import retail store is that they pride themselves in bringing to the general-public ingredients that are not available to them. A supplier and a wholesaler sells in bulk so the price is much lower but if a business is targeting individuals then the price will be much higher especially if the demand is high and the supply is low. Such is the case with import-retailers.

Alternative 11

Obtain an alternative/new supplier that delivers what is necessary and build a relationship with them.

Advantages

As for a new supplier, we notice that the first supplier did not provide what was needed even under possible complaints. Therefore it would be in the best interest of Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant to find another supplier who is capable of delivery and excellent supply quality. As for the positives of building a relationship it is explained in the advantages portion of alternative 1.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages are, it will take time to build relationships with the suppliers. It will also take a lot of searching and inquiring to find a supplier that can supply the restaurant with what it needs.

Alternative 12

Jose’s Authentic Mexican restaurant can obtain their supplies from a wholesaler

Advantages

The advantages of buying from a wholesaler is obvious; they are a cheaper price at more volume. Also it is possible to bargain with a wholesaler and most of the time they offer a delivery service.

Disadvantages

Using this method may not be as low-cost as acquiring the supplies from a main manufacturing supplier. A wholesaler is not as fresh as a manufacturer where they suplly comes directly from the source.

Conclusion and recommendation:

Alternative 1 – Making the wait-staff handle the service management and the food preparation and keeping the supplier along with another stern complaint. May indeed empower your employees and boost morale, however, it may not be the best course of action. Leaving work to people who are not experts with the sort of work they are assigned to may cause more problems than solutions and keeping your unreliable supplier will only breed the same problems and waste the business’ time.

Alternative 2 – To farm the ingredients of Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant themselves may open up new business opportunities and solve the supplier ingredient issues the restaurant is having however, to do so may be too much, will take too much time and capital to accomplish. Not only that but opening another business while the main one is still struggling may further increase the problems experienced in the main business due to the split focus of the decision makers. Therefore, it may not be in the best interest of the said establishment to divert its focus and start a farm.

Alternative 3 – Obtaining supplies from the Grocery, the market or import retailers may be convenient and may also solve the supply issues at hand through being able to handpick the ingredients needed however, this approach will take too much time and resources to accomplish. Wholesale buying from a direct-supplier is one of the most economical ways to go about buying quality supplies and therefore must be considered. Since Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant is in the business to generate profit they must take into consideration the cost of production. Meaning they must get the most quality for the least price with the least amount of time spent. Therefore this may not be the best choice for the restaurant.

After much researching, analyzing and receiving information from sources the author therefore concludes that alternative 4 which is to let the managers handle the service system, the wait-staff do their job, have the cook do his work and on peak days acquire an extra part-time cook to help with the food preparations and obtain an alternative supplier that delivers what is necessary and build a relationship with them, the best alternative to consider concerning the service issues of Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant because of its attainable nature, cost-efficiency, practicality and wisdom.

It is attainable because this not a complete overhaul of the system, it is simply placing a more efficient system with maintenance and control intact. All that is needed is to hire more help and to acquire a trust-worthy and reliable supplier. This process is easy enough to accomplish in a short period of time.

It is practical since we use solutions that have been proven by time, like a management system and placing the right people in the right jobs. We also hire extra help on peak days only to reduce stress from the main cook who is responsible for the taste and the main attraction of the restaurant. We know this is practical simply by looking at what other successful businesses have been doing when the time comes that they need extra help.

We are also able to conclude that this option is wise due to the fact that there are supporting articles and many examples of businesses that had the same problems and have done the same or similar steps the author has recommended. The sources cited are proof enough.

Action Plan

|To achieve an in-depth search of the problem |
|To find a clear and effective solution |

Statement of Objectives/Goals:

|Actions needed to be taken |Time-Frame |Persons involved |Possible results |
|Define, Measure and Analyze the |Complete |Management, Staff Customers |Survey results have been posted |
|Problem | | | |
|Improve the System |1 month |Management |New system processes |
|Implement the Improved System |1 day to 2 weeks after the improved|Management and Staff |Smoother and a more efficient |
|(includes orientation) |system is complete and approved | |system process |
|Hire part-time cook |1 week to 1 month after the system |Management |A faster and more efficient service|
| |is approved | |on peak days |

|Control the Improved System |Hold monthly checks and balances |Management |A well run and continuously |
| | | |improving system |

-----------------------
[i] http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/75370.html
[ii] http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Waiter&id=2568795
[iii] http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-manager/seven-reasons-we-need-managers-not-leaders/4733
[iv] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpyZEzrDf4c
[v] http://www.morebusiness.com/hire-part-time
[vi] http://www.scribd.com/doc/53962704/Why-We-Have-Management-and-is-Management-Necessary
[vii]http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Sm-Z/Supplier-Relations.html
[viii] http://www.entrepreneur.com/management/growingyourbusiness/article205868.html
[ix] http://www.ehow.com/list_7391662_list-plant-growth-seed-germination.html

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“Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant” – Case Study

Far Eastern University - Diliman

Sampaguita Avenue, Mapayapa Village
Diliman, Quezon City 1101
Philippines

+63(2) 931 6064

info@feufern.edu.ph

6/25/2011

Joseph M. Conte

This document is a study about a struggling Mexican restaurant. The author solves the issue by inculcating these five key points. They are “Problem Statement, Areas of Consideration, Alternative Courses of Action, Conclusion & Recommendations and an Action Plan”.

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