Having had chance to review your bistro I’m able to provide a short report identifying problem areas and offering practical solutions for a way forward. Weaknesses identified in the business include the following:
•A lack of consistency and structure across the chain. Each branch is run a different way: different products, prices, and décor with no rules and regulations.
•No staff incentives. Staff aren’t rewarded for their achievements or contributions.
• Managers allowed too much autonomy. Inevitably this means they make each chain unique and therefore lose brand identity. For example, customers looking for a McDonalds expect to see the same menu and décor at each of its branches, it’s what defines it as a McDonalds.
•High staff turnover. Staff have no incentive and no clear structure so end up leaving after a short period.
•Lack of experienced staff. Older staff constantly have to train new staff who end up leaving and thus wasting time and resources.
The environment around us changes constantly, therefore it’s important that you’re able to adapt. Using SWOT analysis described by Capon (cited in The Open University, 2006, p. 93) we can see not only the weaknesses but also the strengths, threats, and opportunities. The threats to Lodge Bistro can be seen both internally and externally in the way of poorly managed staff, competition from other brands, and the recession causing people to tighten their spending.
The strengths of Lodge Bistro are the established chain of 25 branches, the experience of your long term staff employed for a number of years, as well as the enthusiasm of younger and newer employees thriving from responsibility placed upon them, and the monthly reports allowing you to measure the performance of each branch. In moving forward, there is the opportunity to develop products according to public demand, promote healthier choices, and in the long term expand to a wider area.