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Social Responsibility Restaurant

In: Business and Management

Submitted By msstang66
Words 4668
Pages 19
Nana’s on the Corner
Making dining a whole new experience

5/15/2013

Introduction

Nana’s restaurant opened up in 1982 on a corner lot right outside of the city. This was a convenient location for not only the locals, but for those passing through town as well. The locals have stayed loyal customers and come in fairly regularly. The food is based on classic recipes passed down through generations. The restaurant has been open for 31 years and as time progresses so do the standards businesses are held accountable to meet. Nana’s on the Corner has always had the belief in serving quality food at affordable prices. The restaurant has the opportunity to really embarrass those beliefs all while helping to improve the business’s social responsibility. In order to move the company forward there will be specific steps and plans in place in regards to the environment, leadership, organizational, and legal recommendations.
Environment
First, there needs to be considerations made for how Nana’s can move forward with environmental responsibilities. Nana’s lot location actually has space to start a small garden which could produce herbs and some vegetables. This will have many benefits for the company as well as the environment. The company will see benefits such as cost savings from producing goods and being able to join the trend of going organic/local for food sources. In addition, the restaurant food scraps can be composted and used to enrich the soil which helps to eliminate waste. Another option would be for the restaurant to join a program where the used oils are taken to companies that recycle it for biofuel. This is another way to help eliminate waste. The repurposing of what is generally thought of as waste helps reduce what is typically thrown into the environment. By limiting the waste that is put into the environment, there is less impact on the natural makeup of the ecosystems. Nana’s could also look into water consumption by modifying the faucets to have alternating water flow. Also, updating the dishwasher to be energy efficient can help electricity and water consumption. Restaurants are one of the biggest offenders in water consumption amounts and taking a step to help limit the amounts used can help improve the environment. (“Saving Water in Restaurants” 2013) Finally, changing the carry out supplies which include boxes and plastic ware will help reduce the impact of waste coming from the restaurant. This is another example of prior waste that can be recycled into carry out supplies. This limits again the waste going into the environment and affecting the world’s ecological system.
Based on these considerations, the recommendations would be to pursue the garden, improving water efficiency, and changing the carry out supplies. All three options reduce costs to the restaurant on top of improving environmental impact from the restaurant. The garden will provide quality fresh seasonal herbs and produce. The garden will also allow the business to develop some sustainability, meaning the business will not have to rely on others to provide the ingredients the business needs. (First, 2010) The kitchen/dishwashing aspect accounts for 52% of the uses of water in restaurants so this is where there can be improvement made. (“Saving Water in Restaurants, 2013) While, Nana’s has been using paper products, it has been brought to light that the products are not truly biodegradable. Therefore, the products will sit in a landfill and take extensive years to break down. By upgrading the carry out supplies to all be biodegradable or made from recycled goods, the restaurant again helps reduce the impact on the waste build up. While there may be a slightly higher cost for purchasing these products, Nana’s may have an advantage that will pay for the difference. The advantages here would be that Nana’s can use the fact of biodegradable products to help shape their image. This will be favored amongst those who are environmentally concerned. This environmental mindset is a current trend which will help draw in business for Nana’s. Another advantage is that there could be state or federal regulations in place later on requiring restaurants to only use biodegradable. If that would occur, Nana’s would already be prepared and have a supplier they are working with. Nana’s can work to improve water efficiency by upgrading water operating items within the restaurant.
The restaurant is completely reliant on the environment to produce the goods that the business serves. Without a world producing fruits, vegetables, and meats the business could not produce the meals it has for years. Even if there were modified foods available, Nana’s has operated using recipes and traditions of food preparation that has always relied heavily on food coming from natural sources. Knowing that the restaurant is fully dependent on the environment, it is even more important for the business to move forward with these actions to help reduce its impact.
Ethical Leadership
To help Nana’s move forward with the business and truly develop there will need to be some ethical development. By establishing ethical leadership, the rest of the work force will be aware of what ethical practices are expected and are in place. For the past few years, the restaurant has been affected by the team focusing on personal gain. There needs to be a reintroduction to what the business is about and the direction it is heading going forward. By establishing an identify and ethical core, the employees can have a better understanding allowing them to let go of focusing on personal gain and seeing how team work is what will help the restaurant thrive. In order to accomplish this there will need to be meetings held focusing on how the management team can improve and instate ethical practices, a formal ethical policy developed, and creating ethics training. These three items focus on education which is the best way to keep the team up to date with ethical expectations.
Management is the foundation for ethical leadership. Their actions are what employee’s witness and mimic. The management team already has meetings in place, but they should start to include ethical practices in every quarter. This will include reviewing the code of ethics to see if anything needs to be added or modified based on current practices. In addition, management will need to enforce how ethical behavior will be enforced. While managers serve as key demonstrators for what is expected on a daily basis in the restaurant, there are times when unethical behavior will take place. The employees need to feel comfortable talking to the management team. An aspect of the management meeting will be to ensure each manager has been touching base with all employees to help maintain good relationships with them. Managers can stay in touch with the employees by making an effort to say hello and ask how they are doing. They can also take a general interest in the employees’ lives. This helps build that relationship of trust. Employees will be advised that if any unethical behavior is witnessed that they can report it to their management team. This can be done anonymously by submitting a tips form into the management mailbox. The management team has a tips form which is used so that any employee can make suggestions anonymously if they so choose. Otherwise if employees come forward with information, it will be held confidentially so that the wrongful party can be confronted while leaving the person that reported the incident out of the scenario. Another point managers will need to decide within the initial couple of meetings is how unethical behavior will be reprimanded. A standard sequence may include the first violation results in a warning and repeat training and a second offense results in termination. Establishing the expectations of the company and what can result in not following those expectations will help give the employees the guidance they need to be successful within the business.
The core ethics that Nana’s has always stood by is being fair and respectful to the customers. There is an honest policy in place since all employees are typically handling money in some form. Part of the new development of ethical culture will be progressing more towards organic and sustainable living. The code will also include a section going over being a bystander to unethical behavior. Employees should be aware that even though they may not be completing the action they should report it. These are just a few examples of what would be included in the formal code of ethics document. Having a formalized document that is continually updated helps the new employees coming aboard and the current ones know what is expected of them. Also, as the employees and company grow, the employees can always refer back to the code when needed. The code will be kept within training material, but also posted in the kitchen, break room, hostess stand, and server’s area so the employees have a constant reminder of what they should be doing. The code will also be reviewed in the annual training that will occur. Each employee will have to sign a document stating that they have read and understood the code of ethical behavior that is expected of them as well as the consequences for not abiding the code. Ethics training will be developed and setup on a yearly basis for employees to take or when a new employee joins the workforce. This training will be centered on the restaurant business. This way the staff is tested to see if they are aware of how to interact with customers and co-workers ethically. Training helps to ensure the staff is educated on ethics; therefore, they are held accountable for using that knowledge and applying it. The training will include video and presentation formats. The ethical training will include food safety practices. This training will be helpful not only to the kitchen staff, but all employees since everyone has contact with the food. People can easily get very sick if food is not handled properly. It is the ethical responsibility of the staff and business to be mindful and careful when handling the customer’s food. Food safety will cover keeping food at correct temperatures, ensuring everything is labeled properly, not cross-contaminating, the importance of washing your hands and washing produce, and proper cleaning of the work spaces. Food safety will be reported based on the daily requirements of the staff to check temperatures, labels, and cleanliness. Employees will be advised that they should report any inconsistencies with following food safety preparation to management. From there management would have to investigate to determine the cause whether it was an overlook or a failure to follow food safety procedures.
Another aspect of ethical training will be sexual harassment. Because of the diversity within the restaurant business it is important to have sexual harassment training. The spectrum of employees can include those who may not be educated or those that are young and inexperienced. Having the information presented of what is considered sexual harassment will ensure employees know how to act accordingly. Employees again will be encouraged to report anything to management which they can do in confidentiality or anonymously, either way management will take a claim seriously and investigate to determine the outcome.
In addition to training on the code of ethics, food safety, and sexual harassment, the team will be trained on the fair trade and organic movement. Fair trade training will go over what fair trade is and how it ties into the restaurant business. Nana’s looks to incorporate as many fair trade products as possible since fair trade is based on obtaining products from producers in order to help their sustainability and economy. The producers generally are from still developing economies so providing them business truly aids in their development. Nana’s supports locally and globally fair traded items. The training will also go over the importance of organics, what it truly means to be organic, and how it affects the restaurant business. It is vital to the business that the employees understand what Nana’s is trying to achieve in not only supporting producers, but then as a restaurant they are the seller to the population. Having an understanding of these mechanics will allow the staff to better interact and present information to the customers. The servers are essentially the sales people to get customers to buy meals so it is imperative they have a full understanding of the products they are selling.
After the completion of training, employees will receive a short quiz to ensure they have studied and absorbed the information that was presented to them. They will receive three attempts to try to pass before having to retake the training. After completion of the training, they will receive a certificate for their records. Providing the staff with this training will help to ensure they are in fact well trained, educated, and ethical.
Organizational Viability
Between environmentally friendly changes which will help reduce costs and shape the restaurant’s image and the ethics development which will help shape the staff, the business is setting up to be quite profitable. Cost savings always give a business the opportunity to use the savings for another purpose. One way to utilize the savings would be to launch a marketing campaign. Currently, the business is well established with the immediate locals; however, there is room to grow in the surrounding communities and work can be done to draw in travelers passing by. The business is working on shaping its identity as being not only family friendly, but environmentally friendly as well. This is the information that needs to be spread to draw in customers. To advertise the movement and changes of the restaurant, Nana’s can utilize social marketing. Nana’s can run promotions over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to get the company name broadcasted and attract customers.
In correlation with marketing, Nana’s can look into immersing into the community more and registering for the state green registry. The Green Registry is free to obtain and helps promote all the important work Nana’s is trying to accomplish. It will be another way to save advertising funds while showing the movement the restaurant is trying to take to be more environmentally friendly. Being a green member allows Nana’s to use the official logo, be listed on the website, and obtain information on environmental practices and activities. (“Maryland Green Registry”, 2013) This registry will offer several tools to help Nana’s continually grow. The business will be able to connect with other businesses in the area that participating which will help establish the Nana’s in the surrounding communities. Being recognized in the community helps a business thrive because people tend to have respect and loyalty for that type of business practice. Obtaining and retaining customers is what will help Nana’s to be profitable. Participating in the community has other benefits as well. There is generally tax advantages which help reduce costs to the business. In addition, since there are is a natural turnover with the restaurant staff networking in the community makes it easy to look for future employees. While Nana’s has established itself in the primary community, there is potential to grow in the surrounding ones. Having an open market with limited competition in the specific niche means great profitable potential for a business. This is why expanding and joining communities is a great opportunity for the business.
Another way Nana’s can ensure profitability is by changing the menu based on the season and economy. Nana’s has made few modifications to the menu over the years. The best approach going forward with the theme of the restaurant is to keep the staple items that were passed down through the generations and are the big sellers. The other items on the menu that do not sell as successfully should be removed and replaced with seasonally and economically based dishes. If Nana’s starts a garden, the dishes can be based off of items that come from the garden as well as local produce. The menu can also be catered to help meet the demands of the customer’s economic state. With a current recession in place, it is important to keep prices in the range the customer s can afford. For example, by choosing meats that are on sale the restaurant can create a lower costing dish. Affordable meals can help influence customers to come to the restaurant. Nana’s can easily modify costs so that when the economy turns and people are more lucrative, Nana’s can offer more higher cost items.
Legal and Regulatory
A business must always be mindful of current laws and regulations because of the direct impact it can have on the state of the business. Nana’s can take steps to help meet current and possibly future regulations. The areas Nana’s can look into include food labeling in terms of nutrition, food safety, and water consumption. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made a proposal that would require restaurants to label menu items with nutritional information. The idea behind the proposal is to help consumers make healthier decisions. By adding the information directly to the menu, customers can easily view the options, their descriptions, and the nutritional value thus making it a much simpler process to choose something according to dietary needs. (“Food Labeling”, 2011) This proposal is very socially focused. It is looking at ensuring consumers are aware of healthier options when dining out. This awareness can aid in helping society develop a healthier lifestyle. While the menu labeling is not a law at the moment, the proposal from the FDA is being highly supported. Several restaurants have already begun adding labeling to their menus. This could be because they foresee the law going into place and are being proactive or possibly because they see that the consumer market is shifting towards health consensus items. Nana’s on the Corner can also act proactively on this potential federal law in order to help better the lives of the community. To accommodate the potential requirements, Nana’s can update the menu so that it reflects the nutritional information for each item. Nana’s can also mark those items that are considered the healthiest on the menu with an icon to help them stand out. This again makes it easier on the consumer when it comes to making decisions about what they are consuming. Taking healthy options into consideration, Nana’s can truly commit to its social responsibility by making a few other changes as well. In coordination with menu changes for viability, the restaurant can take a healthier approach to food preparation and options. With the focus on season, the restaurant can create dishes that use a large portion of seasonal vegetables, a reasonable meat portion, and then a small grain or carbohydrate. Portion control will also help the diner to not over eat which can occur easily when there is ample food that is served. There is a perfectly balanced and nutritional meal that is then created that diners can happily add to their daily consumption without feeling guilty or tempted to make poor decisions in regards to foods that are considered bad. The restaurant can limit the amount of dishes that contain a lot of fat or are deep fried. Utilizing alternate preparation methods can help create similar textures and tastes all while being healthier. For example, instead of a fried crab cake the restaurant can pan sear then broil the cake to create similar crispy texture. These easy modifications can truly help the customers of Nana’s to be aware of what they are consuming and work towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With society facing obesity and heart disease it is obvious why the FDA would be looking into helping people to improve their health. Nana’s can exceed expectations and make an impact on the community by focusing on nutrition.
Part of the restaurant industry is ensuring food safety and this is done through health codes and inspections. The state has very specific requirements in place for businesses serving food. The health code includes priorities such as protecting food from contamination, maintaining appropriate temperatures, proper food storage, discarding improperly kept food, preventing cross contamination of raw foods and cooked items, cooking foods to the appropriate temperature, labeling food containers, and employee’s washing hands and maintaining a clean work environment. (“Food Regulations”, 2008) These are just a few of the standards restaurants are held accountable for. Nana’s currently is mindful of the health codes so that they can pass health inspections. However, the restaurant can do more in order to ensure an extremely safe food preparation and serving environment. The business has a social responsibility to prepare food that is safe for consumption. If food is not prepared properly, customers can end up sick or even die if there is severe enough contamination. While cleaning is an essential part of the health code, Nana’s can take steps to ensure the restaurant is always clean not just at the time of health inspections. First, there should be a cleaning check added to the head chef’s responsibilities and the manager on the floor’s responsibilities. The head chef will now check every night at closing that the kitchen has been cleaned by the staff. The head chef is aware of the health codes and can ensure the kitchen is cleaned so that it is safe for preparation. In addition, the manager who oversees the dining area including wait staff and hostesses will check that the team has completed their cleaning at the end of their shift. This practice will be a way of continually keeping the restaurant clean and suitable for serving the guests with their best interest in mind. Deep cleaning will also have to occur throughout the restaurant, but because daily cleaning will already be in place the deep cleaning will not be as time consuming. Twice a month the staff will need to break down items, move large components, and essentially get into all the nooks and crannies. With both forms of cleaning, management should talk to the head chef to work on the related cleaning duties and how to determine who has what responsibilities. Management will also need to do the same for the dining area by breaking down what is included in daily and deep cleanings. By creating documentation, posting schedules, and establishing very clear responsibilities, the team can work together efficiently to ensure the restaurant is up to par for serving safe food. Another way Nana’s can ensure the staff is working to ensure food safety is by requiring the entire team to obtain a food safety certification through Servsafe. This certification works through the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation so it is easily recognized and a great way to ensure those certified understand the importance of food safety. (“Food Manager”, 2012)The more educated the staff is on the food safety the more they can be aware of what is occurring in the restaurant and if it will negatively impact the customer. Nana’s management can additionally join the state’s committee that reviews health codes. This way Nana’s will be on the front lines to see what is affecting consumers and what they can do prior to codes being enacted to help protect the customer. This will also help Nana’s management to provide feedback as well. If there is something they discover in terms of food safety, they can share that with the committee in order to help others with potentially similar problems. (“Nine Tips”,2013) Preparing and serving food safely should be a high priority for the business in order to serve and protect the customers.
Finally, there is not currently any water regulations for restaurants, but since restaurants have noticeably high usage it could be foreseeable. One regulation in place for state facilities is the water audit where consumption is documented and levels are set to keep reducing the amount of consumption. (“Water Auditing”, 2013) Nana’s can work on becoming more efficient with water usage to not only help the environment, but also to be prepared for future regulations. The Department of the Environment has several tips for restaurants to save water. Examples of these tips include educating employees on water consumption, monitoring water consumption, repairing equipment that is broken, dripping, or continually running water, and updating appliances and equipment to be water efficient. (“Water Saving Tips”, 2013) Training can be developed to go over how to limit water consumption in the restaurant industry, why it is important, and the impact it has on society. The training can help the employees to mindful of water consumption and they can actually apply the information in everyday situations having even more of a social impact. Nana’s can begin to include in the internal restaurant inspections a thorough review of equipment that uses water. This inspection will include checking if the equipment is dripping or continually running water. Keeping the equipment up to date and working properly helps to ensure the efficiency of the restaurant. As flaws are discovered, management needs to be notified and then take action to make the corrections. For example, if the dishwasher appears to be leaking, but it is then determined it needs replaced management should invest in a new, more efficient dishwasher. The efficient models have the technology to limit consumption not just for water but electricity as well. Another simple step Nana’s can implement to help reduce water consumption is instead of instantly serving the guests water they can be asked if they would like a glass. This eliminates filling glasses that will not be touched and then end up being thrown out. Additionally, Nana’s can create an irrigation system outside of the restaurant. This system will benefit both the landscaping and the potential garden Nana’s would start. This works by applying water directly to the plants roots to avoid evaporation or run off which leaves the plants with less water and most likely dead. There can also be a rain barrel setup at the back of the restaurant where the drip spout is located. This barrel will collect all the rain water that runs of the building and then used to water the landscape and garden. (“Conserving Water”, 2012) Limiting water consumption has a direct impact on the environment and thus society.
By considering social responsibilities, Nana's on the Corner can embrace change and opportunity to be more successful. The business will be able to embrace the roots from which it grew to help better not only the community but to contribute back to society as a whole. With these recommendations, Nana's can make informed decisions about the future and the course of action to take.

Resources
Conserving Water. Retrieved June 16, 2013 from http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ConserveWater.htm
First, Devra. They Can Dig It. July 7, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2013 from http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2010/07/07/roof_gardens_are_a_growing_component_of_restaurants_usage_of_local_sources/
Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments. Retrieved June 15, 2013 from https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/0910-AG57/food-labeling-nutrition-labeling-of-standard-menu-items-in-restaurants-and-similar-retail-food-estab
Food Manager Certification and Licensing. Retrieved June 16, 2013 from https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/bits/foodsafetycertification.html
Food Regulations. Retrieved on June 16, 2013 from http://www.howardcountymd.gov/DisplayPrimary.aspx?id=4294969400
Maryland Green Registry. Retrieved May 19, 2013 from http://www.mde.state.md.us/marylandgreen/Pages/Home.aspx
Nine Tips to Prepare for a Health Inspection. Retrieved June 16, 2013 from http://www.restaurant.org/Manage-My-Restaurant/Food-Nutrition/Food-Safety/Nine-tips-to-prepare-for-a-health-inspection
Saving Water in Restaurants. Retrieved May 16, 2013 from http://www.epa.gov/watersense/commercial/docs/factsheets/restaurants_fact_sheet_508.pdf
Water Auditing. Retrieved May 17, 2013 from http://www.mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WaterConservation/WaterAuditing/Pages/Programs/WaterPrograms/Water_Conservation/Water_Auditing/index.aspx
Water Saving Tips for Restaurants. Retrieved May 18, 2013 from http://www.mde.maryland.gov/programs/Water/WaterConservation/BusinessandIndustryTips/Pages/Programs/WaterPrograms/Water_Conservation/business_tips/restaurants.aspx

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