As a restaurant chain seeking growth, Porcini’s, formerly a family-owned chain operating in Northeastern United States, considers the option of expanding its business into a new concept – Porcini’s Pronto. Located at interstate highway exits within the operating region of traditional Porcini’s restaurants, in order to leverage its brand awareness, Pronto is focused in serving quality table-served meals with a fast, quality service.
Positioned at a lower price point when compared to traditional Porcini’s restaurants, Pronto offers a limited menu, courtesy of Chef Molise and her introduction of flashcooking techniques which improve service time. Smaller-sized, convenient locations for customers were chosen, with a strong emphasis in keeping high product and service quality, attributes relevant and valuable for the target consumers. Additionally, the use of wireless technology as a way of improving waiting times is considered. A customer-based questionnaire system is introduced in order to measure service levels, and the results are linked to specific business areas of responsibility, which allows for the introduction of performance-variable salaries and incentive systems.
Being comprehensive according to the dimensions of structure, process and outcome, the questionnaire system lacks depth in terms of measures and is relatively ambiguous; moreover, it allows for little controllability and identification of potential problems. A comparison with customer expectations or competitor benchmarking is also not available in the current system. Therefore, supplementary measurement approaches are suggested – employee surveys and suggestion systems, mystery shopping, expert observations, SERVQUAL, FRAP, blueprinting – and analyzed taking into account the setting of Pronto, in order to overcome the weaknesses posed by the current questionnaire system.
Constant service levels, only possible due to specialized HR systems (which consequently lead to low turnover rates and an extensive hiring process), and the masterful combination of high product quality with a fast-paced service at a competitive price are the two sources of sustainable competitive advantages for Porcini’s Pronto.