Case study:

After working as an assistant manager for two years, Rebecca Learner was promoted to the manager position. She did not have a degree from a university, but she had over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry. On her first day as manager, she met with the three assistant managers and all of the frontline employees to discuss ways they could take the restaurant forward. Some of her frontline employees expressed that customers often complained about several things such as hygiene, portion sizes, the appearance of the restaurant, employee uniforms, high labor turnover, and outdated menu items. Rebecca also asked customers what they liked and did not like about the restaurant. Taking all of the comments and suggestions into consideration, she started working with her frontline employees and managers on specific initiatives. They introduced new menu items, some of which were well received and others not so successful. They changed the tablecloths and plates, but the customers did not particularly like them, so they had to change them again. The employees were very happy with the new uniforms. Rebecca managed to get raises for several employees, and when business was slow, they spent time training new employees. They ran TV, newspaper, and radio ads and distributed $10 discount coupons. They later realized that their promotion efforts did not work well on TV and radio, so they decided to concentrate on only one TV channel and two radio stations that seemed to generate more business for the restaurant. She further realized that giving a $10 discount coupon was not beneficial for the restaurant, since this initiative attracted a different customer profile that was not profitable for the restaurant. Surprisingly, she also realized that one particular assistant manager’s comments and suggestions were not always helpful. It was apparent that this assistant manager had a personal agenda and clear intentions. In other words, he was not happy that Rebecca had become the manager. After working as the manager for a year, Rebecca was very pleased with the improvements in the restaurant since she took over. Profits were up by 20 percent compared to the previous year, their customer satisfaction ratio was higher than everbefore, and they had many more repeat customers. In addition, they managed to reduce their labor turnover substantially. Rebecca and her team were successful in delivering very good business results. Her regional manager was particularly impressed with the results and asked Rebecca to prepare a presentation on her strategic plans since she started working as the restaurant manager.

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