1. Executive Summary
This report is a discussion about a bad review posted by John Trevallin on The Morning Post after his disastrous dinner at the Abbey Restaurant. John had some serious expectation from The Abbey as is considered a premier restaurant with great location and world renowned chef Marcus Vesty who owns the restaurant. This report consists of firstly the immediate stakeholders, who are answerable for the bad review, secondly analyzing the issues that led to the bad review, thirdly suggestions and recommendations on how to tackle the issue so as to live up to the expectations of the owners and saving the Radicor Hotel Darling Harbour as the owners are planning to divert its interest from one of the hotels in this chain. Later in the report discussions on how to live up to the expectations of the loyal guests
as well as how to attract new customers after this bad review is considered and finding possible solution to maintain the glory of Radicor as well as The Abbey.
The Radicor Hotel Darling Harbour Sydney is a premier hotel in the heart of the city. Darling Harbor is one the most visited place in Sydney and is the key area of which has a convention center, an exhibition center and many other tourist attractions such as shops cafes. The major attractions for tourists are the Sydney Aquarium and the Chinese Garden. According to the video the total number of visitors in darling harbor last year was 27.9 million out of which 3.8 million visitors is on transit and the remaining 24.6 million are from interstate or overseas. The location of the Radicor hotel attracts both business travelers as well as tourists. Considering the number of visitors it is comprehensible that competition between hotels, cafes and restaurant would be very high. Hotels have to go beyond excellence to attract customers as in such a location with so varied visitors it is a challenge to meet the expectations of everyone and maintaining the customer service level. The Radicor Hotel takes pride in providing quality and excellence to its guests and stakeholders. Marcus Vesty the world renowned chef runs the Abbey restaurant located on the ground floor of the Radicor Hotel and is considered the leading restaurant in Sydney providing a fusion of flavors from east and west. Marcus leases the restaurant from the Radicor Hotel on a profit share basis. There are a number of issues that the Radicor Hotel is facing and to top that up John’s shocking feedback about The Abbey is now really a knock on the door for them. To make things worse the parent company Simcom Group is certain about selling off one of the Radicor chain Hotels as a result of global financial crisis and Radicor Darling Harbour is on the list.
3. List of Stakeholders
The stakeholders that are concerned with this case are Marcus Vesty – the executive chef and owner of Abbey restaurant, Mr Loyd Chan – major shareholder of the Simcom , John Trevallin – The morning post reviewer, Tom Mc Laren – General Manager Radicor Hotel Darling Harbour, the devoted
customer’s of Radicor and Abbey restaurant as well as the restaurant team members both front of house and kitchen.
4. Analysis and Recommendation
The key issues that need some highlight in this case can be categorized in terms of front of house and kitchen that are not living up to the expectation of customers and shareholders. Firstly we will discuss about the problems in the kitchen which lead to such a bad review. 4.1 Absence of Marcus: One of the major reasons to this is the absence of Marcus in his own restaurant. He being involved too much in doing TV shows, promoting his cookbook and other media appearances is undoubtedly affecting the quality of food served in the restaurant. Marcus coming to the restaurant once or twice fortnightly is not acceptable. Marcus needs to be more involved in the restaurant.
He is required to sit with the General Manager, Maitre-d hotel, and sommelier to discuss about the issue and find effective ways to get the reputation of the hotel and the restaurant to its glory. He needs to have a through training session where he is required to clearly convey the target they desire to achieve. Being the executive chef he needs to motivate his employees by providing training, recognition, and bonus(Carroll, 2012). 4.2 Menu planning: Menu planning is a process of creating a menu that suits both management as well as customers taking into account all the characteristic of food service system. Menu in a restaurant for a guest is not just the list of available food but it’s an representation of the procedure and contributes to the overall dining experience by creating a mood and excitement about the experience(Gordon-Davis and Van Rensburg, 2004). The balance between all the food items on the menu is very important so that each course or dish suits the palate(McVety et al., 2008). In the case study as highlighted by John that the some of the dishes were too fragrant and some have an odd after taste. This shows that the menu was not properly balanced and the composition of menu was not up to the mark. 4.3 Standards Recipe not followed: Though Marcus is a very renowned chef and is known for its amazing cooking there could be various other reasons why the food was not up to the mark such as it could be the chefs employed by Marcus that are not doing their job properly. Standard recipe for each dish not being followed by the chefs. So the chefs need to follow the standardrecipe and every time a particular dish comes should be the same.
This leads us to the next problem which is lack of staff training. 4.4 Lack of training: It’s clear from the review that there is a lack of training in the kitchen. It’s surveyed that the most important issue the hospitality industry is facing is the training of staffs. Employee training is a vital necessity to generate quality experience for both staffs as well as guests as well trained employees are more likely to deliver high quality service(Kusluvan, 2003). As per the review the food provided was not up to the standards that should be in such a premier restaurant. Clearly the chefs at the Abbey need more training on how to follow the standard recipe and maintaining the consistency. This will eradicate the problem of food being not up to the mark and as a result avoid the negative reviews from guests about food. This will rather help for both the restaurant as well as Marcus to get back the reputation and glory back. Also catering to the guest requirement as much as possible can be taken into consideration to go that extra mile and meet the guest expectation. 4.5 Uniformity of staff: According to the video the front of house staff is employed by the Radicor Hotel except the chefs, sous chef, maitre-d hotel and sommelier which are employed by Marcus himself. This leads to deficiency of control of operational aspects such as training, staff selection, and lack of dedication among staff(Mull et al., 2009). Since Marcus does not have much authority to choose the front of house staff for his restaurant he cannot do much about training and selecting his employees. Since the front of house staff are a part of Radicor Hotel they lack dedication towards the restaurant and don’t take much effort in doing things right. 4.6 Lack of Menu Knowledge: The front of house staff according to the review has very less knowledge about the food. This again is a serious issue of lack of training and dedication of the staff. The knowledge about the menu is a very important aspect of a food and beverage staff as they are the ones who are actually dealing with guests and are in direct contact with them. It is expected from every food and beverage staff to know the menu and also about the food (Swanson and Toledo, 2008). The above issues may not be that big when we talk about restaurant failing as a whole but in terms of a fine dining restaurant with such a goodwill these things do matter a lot.
As said earlier as well the expectations of guest become so high that it isdifficult to meet them unless each and every detail is looked after. This issue can be easily solved by training the staff; the best way to train the front of house staff about the menu is to have session with chefs. Conducting tasting sessions for staffs and asking them to comment is a very effective way of gaining knowledge about the food (Andrews, 1980). 4.7 Poor ambience of the restaurant: Though the restaurant is located in the famous hotel Radicor Darling Harbour which is in the heart of the city, the ambience inside the restaurant according to John is not like a fine dining restaurant should be. The reasons of this could be overbooking(Gagnon and Gagnon, 2011), location in terms of where the restaurant is in the hotel as well as its in the busiest area of Sydney. In a fine dining restaurant overbooking the location could lead to some very unhappy customers as they expect a quite place so that they can enjoy the experience of high quality service and food and can relax while dining. In fine dining restaurants only that number of booking should be taken which suits the ambience and may be the restaurant could be made partially soundproof so that outside noise does not bother the guests(Baraban and Durocher, 2010).
The Radicor Hotel Darling Harbour being a reputed hotel with a world class restaurant needs to focus on maintaining their reputation. It’s not only the restaurant that has received a bad review but the hotel as a whole has a lot of loopholes that needs some serious and immediate action so as to stay in the hunt in such a location. The review by John Trevallin is just a mere wake up call for the hotel and the restaurant as the customer satisfaction track record clearly states the failure to meet the targets and shows the downfall of the hotel. The General Manager of Radicor Tom Mc Laren and executive chef Marcus Vesty with the other managers of the hotel needs to start from the scratch and analyse each and every issue and take necessary steps in getting the lost glory back in track and ensuring Mr Lyod Chan that Radicor still has the potential to be the best in the market which as a result will save the hotel from getting sold off.
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