Applicationof Theory to a Live Operation
Applicationof Theory to a Live Operation
Recentyears have seen the trend of people dining in restaurants riseconsiderably. With the increasingly competitive environment, there isa need for restaurant managers to improve the quality of the servicesthey provide to their customers to have a competitive edge. Customersatisfaction is strongly anchored on service quality (Brady, 2001).Frequent visits to a restaurant by a customer are indicative of thelevel of satisfaction they derive from the services offered at therestaurant. To determine the impact of quality on customersatisfaction, this paper explores the management practices on menucomposition and pricing using Villa Rosa Restaurant as a case inpoint. The real focus of this paper is to determine the ramificationsof implementing the best industry practices in pricing and menucomposition on both service quality and customer satisfaction.
Inall restaurants, the menu is at the center of production andpurchasing decisions. A menu lists all available dishes and beveragestogether with their corresponding prices. This is important becauseit helps customers make decisions about what they should eat (Wood &Brotherton, 2008). The structure of the menu is influenced by theservice style of the restaurant as well as their culture. There arevarious menu categories, but only two basic types: table d`hôte andà la carte. A table d`hôte menu can be comprised of simple one dishfor each course or just a restriction of three or four in each class(Wood & Brotherton, 2008). Price costs may account for the wholemeal or just the selection of the customer. An à la carte menu, onthe other hand, provides a comprehensive list of all dishes under acourse title with similar prices of each meal. From this type ofmenu, a customer can choose any food item to their preferred tastesand preferences and the bill will be the sum of the individual costsof all the items selected.
Thetwo menu types of menus are used at Villa Rosa Restaurant but themanagement preferred the table d`hôte owing to its flexibility. Thiskind of menu can be changed daily to suit the changing needs ofcustomers. It was established from the Villa Rosa Restaurantmanagement team that a menu is a core factor in the operations of afood and beverage industry. As a result of this knowledge, themanagement of Villa Rosa Restaurant makes it a priority to ensurethat its composition and pricing reflect the different needs of theirvarious customers. The management also conducts surveys to determinethe level of satisfaction from their clients to understand furthertheir needs and the best way to satisfy them. The table below revealsthe understanding of Villa Rosa Restaurant management about variousquality dimensions from their customer surveys.
Menu variety, food tastiness, freshness, menu design, food serving at the appropriate temperature, desirable serving size, appropriate food presentations and available healthy options.
Value for money, prices are reasonably affordable.
Quality of service
The willingness of employees to provide the customer with any help they may require, the ability of employees to respond to customer queries, friendliness of dining managers, staff appearance.
Table1:Restaurant Quality Dimensions
Accordingto Kivela et al. (2000), food plays a pivotal role in the experiencescustomers receive at select restaurants, and it, therefore, followsthat the restaurant managers should identify the quality attributes.The characteristics mentioned in this study are the same as those bythe management of Villa Rosa Restaurant. This reinforces the factthat quality attributes across the hospitality industry areuniversal. The study by Kivela et al. (2000) further asserts thatmenu variety is a determinant in enhancing the experience ofcustomers. Villa Rosa Restaurant has implemented this finding, andthis can be reflected in their assorted variety of meals they provideto their clients.
Pricingfollows the reasonable price method. This pricing method ensures thatthe customer gets the value for their money and that the business isprofitable. In costing, factors that are considered includecompetition, culture, and organizational image, labor, overheads,ingredients as well as required profitability.
Bradyand Cronin (2001) explains that central to the image of the companywas the menu composition and price mechanisms in place. Their studyattaches great importance on pricing in determining whether acustomer will revisit the restaurant in future or not. They arguethat menu design and pricing could be used to enhance customersatisfaction and map out competition from an industry that is floodedand complicated in so far as desired service standards are concerned.It is explained that high quality of duty is difficult to achieve inthe service-providing industries such as hotels and restaurantsbecause of the intangible nature of the service.
VillaRosa Restaurant is aware of menu pricing and how it impacts on theprofitability of their business. They appreciate the complexity thatis associated with the costs of recipes, but admit that it is anecessary process in the operations of this line of business. Toreach their organizational goals, Villa Rosa Restaurant hasestablished standard portion size and standard recipe as standardprocedures for each menu item. A standard portion size is referred toas the quantity of any food or beverage item that ought to be servedeach time a client requests it. This ensures not only that thecustomer gets the value for their money, but also that the restaurantmakes a profit. Items are quantified by weight, volume or count.
Thenumber is utilized to quantify items such as sausages, eggs, andshrimps. Volume, on the other hand, is used to quantify liquid itemssuch as milk while weight quantifies items in grams or ounces.Standard portion size helps the management of the restauranteliminate dissatisfaction among customers, as they cannot compareparts offered to them unfavorably with those of the others. Standardrecipes specify the quantity of each ingredient in every item.Standard methods ensure consistency, and this is important,especially in achieving a consistent taste for, each meal or beverageitem (Wood & Brotherton, 2008). Again, standard recipes eliminateguesswork and minimize the possibility of producing too many or toofew items.
Themenu is also a major determinant of what will be produced, how itwill be provided, the type of equipment, and ingredients that will beneeded, as well the skills, and qualifications employees mustpossess. The management of Villa Rosa Restaurant understands the rolethe menu plays on its image and culture. Much is it is not theoverall product of a restaurant, customer perceptions of therestaurant depend on it. In the light of this, the restaurant sees toit that the clients have memorable experiences with each visit theymake. The menu is designed in such a way that it is as interactive aspossible. In creating menus, the restaurant ensures that they meetthe minimum requirements as outlined in various regulations,including the Nutrition Labelling and Education Act of 1990.
Atthe center of favorable performance of restaurants is customersatisfaction. There are several determinants of service quality andcustomer satisfaction, but key among them are menu composition andpricing. Customers require a value for their money and therestaurant’s manager desired profitability. To achieve both, therestaurant management has to streamline all their operations in amanner that will leave their clients satisfied and allow them toremain in business. Such approaches are taken to include, but notlimited to standard portion sizes, standard recipes, reasonablepricing, menu variety amongst others (Wood & Brotherton, 2008).Restaurant managers will benefit from such approaches in theirbusiness operations.
Brooks,R. (2000). Why loyal employees and customers improve the bottom line,Journal of Quality and Participation 23 (2), 40–44.
Brady,M., Cronin, J., (2001). Some new thoughts on conceptualizingperceived service quality: a hierarchical approach. Journal ofMarketing 65, 34–49.
Kelly,T., Kiefer, N., & Burdett, K. (2009). A Demand-Based Approach toMenu Pricing. CornellHospitality Quarterly,50(3),383-387. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1938965509339038
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