IntroductionThe Lodge Bistro Chain has grown from a single café in 1989 to a chain of 25 identical restaurants across the south of England. These restaurants have been tightly controlled to ensure Managers conform to the single vision of the CEO Joyce Lodge. In 2010, Patricia Lodge took over as CEO, and responded to external pressures that were threatening the business by giving each manager more autonomy. This has not given the desired result.Problems HighlightedOriginal 1980’s décor, fixtures and fittings feel dated in current market. Large number of competitors including multiple fast food chains, coffee shops, supermarket cafés, book shops and independent and chain restaurants.
Less frequent audits and checks have allowed more independent actions from managers. Original French Bistro concept has been improved on by a now major competitor. Clashes between old and new staff are affecting the culture of the business. Standards of quality have dropped significantly. East Cheam is a problem site with a manager blaming everyone but himself. Poor staff retention with inconsistent training and poor service delivery.
No definite company culture across all 25 sites.Economy in recession making older customers “cut back”.Managers are changing the core concept of restaurants with no direction fromCEO. Customer experience has been deemed less important than hitting targets.AnalysisUsing a SWOT analysis gives the business an overview of its strengths and weaknesses from an internal environment, and opportunities and threats from an external environment.
StrengthsWeaknessesEstablished locationsClash of Culture between existing and new staffFamily BusinessStaffing issues/trainingExisting ClienteleNo clear direction from Head OfficeComputerised System in placePoor decorSome good managers showing initiativeDeteriorating standardsRecognised BrandLoss of leadershipOpportunitiesThreatsPossible re-brandFailing economyMenu updatePossible take over by BoardUtilise what is working and cut out what isn’tCompetitionUpdate the core brand to outsmart competitorCost of re-brandMarketing campaign to put Brand back in the public eyeStaff disengaged and lack the ability to move onStaff training and development. bonus/reward schemeCustomers already disenchanted with brand fail to returnRecommendationsCreate a working group of the best of existing and new managers to combine best practice, controls and innovation and recommend a culture to be implemented in every site to the CEO.The CEO to secure a budget for:-staff training – high consistent standardsupdating décor – refit sites and bring up to daterefreshing menus – address health, economic and dietary concerns marketing campaign – bring new customers to experience the changesStaff need re-trained and customer service made the key factor. Develop staff and promote from within.
Implement a service reward to encourage staff to stay. Training initiatives are good for staff retention.Allow localisation at sites to allow managers limited scope to adapt to local markets. (Specials board, early morning deals, etc).Address environmental concerns through less packaging, energy consumption and waste reduction.ConclusionThe business is still salvageable but needs a single vision to respond to market needs. Part 2 – word count 196 inc.
titlesActivity 1.2: “What makes a good business?”IntroductionThe purpose of this activity was to start us thinking about what makes a good business and share these ideas with fellow students on an on line forum.OverviewThe on-line forum is a tool used by the OU (Open University) to enhance andcement learning. It can be used by all students and tutors.
Tutors use it to post helpful information regarding courses and to check students understanding. Students use it to support one another and for help with assignments and activities. It can be accessed from the internet at any time.AnalysisThe on-line activity “What makes a good business?” is a very interesting read, and the topic with the most posts, 37 in total. Customer Service/Satisfaction was a point that resonated through many of the posts.
Communication and adaptation also seem to be a common theme closely followed by goals, planning and a happy and engaged workforce.ConclusionThe forum is a safe and supportive environment to post your thoughts and ideas, with some very constructive feedback by both tutor and student. I believe it will prove to be a valuable resource throughout the course.