After reading your summary about The Lodge Bistro Chain, I would like to outline the problems and possible causes and try to show you a learning skill that you could implement to help solve these issues. The best way to do this is by using SWOT Analysis which will help to determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the company. The graph below will help you to identify the areas and where they happen. (wikipedia.org)
There are many problem areas or weaknesses within the company that need to be addressed in order to move the business forward. The high standards have dropped; there seems to be no consistency across the company since the new cafe managers have been given more autonomy. This has then lead to disagreements between the newer and older staff. Staff have no incentive to stay with the company which has lead to a high staff turnover, which again causes problems for the older staff as they constantly have to train up new staff. Times have changed over the past 20 years and the threats of rival companies are increasing. The outside environment is ever changing and your target market needs to grow alongside it in order for you to survive. Some of your competitors have over 100 outlets and are nationwide whereas ‘The Lodge Bistro’ has 25 outlets that are all based in the south.
All of the issues raised above can be turned around by looking at the strengths and opportunities within the company. Offer staff a set training programme and have quartly appraisals so any issues can be addressed. Introduce a scheme to promote within giving staff something to work towards, and include a monthly bonus based on the monthly audits. Take on board the opinions of both the new and old staff, combing a bit of the old strict approach with a modern relaxed approach will maintain high standards and keep staff happy. Happy staff are helpful staff, which in turn means happy customers. The company has been established for 20 years which is a huge strength, but use the opportunities from the changing environment to expand, and to keep up to date with your customer expectations.
Your main customer base is older people so try to reach out to the younger generation by offering new products. Also offer a loyalty scheme this will entice customers to keep coming back for more if they are going to be rewarded for it. By using SWOT analysis it will enable you to determine the areas of the business that need improvement, to forward think, and to see what your main attributes as a company are. You can identify the weaknesses and learn how to change them. It is a simple term that will help ‘The Lodge Bistro’ to move forward and grow. Remember the Strengths and Weakness are Internal and the Opportunities and Threats are external.
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
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