Beefeater Restaurant Review

The aim is to identify a marketing strategy for the Lydiard Travel Inn, Beefeater Restaurant, and Pub and Touch base, for the future success of the Beefeater restaurant.

Introduction:

Samuel Whitbread established Whitbread plc in 1742, originally as a beer producing company. Since then, Whitbread has moved from strength to strength incorporating wider varieties of businesses under its wing with each growth. Today, Whitbread owns and operates some of the most popular business in restaurants, hotels and leisure and health.

Beefeater Vision

‘To make Beefeater the first choice as a great place to eat and drink.

The Lydiard Travel Inn, Beefeater restaurant, Pub and Touchbase is situated just off junction 16 of the M4, beside the Hilton International. It has a 150 seater Beefeater restaurant, which is open all day from breakfast for overnight guests until evening dinner.

For Beefeater to function efficiently and effectively the marketing team must analyse past performance and present trends, and attempt to predict the future in the form of marketing plan.

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There are a number of planning techniques and processes which have been used successfully, they are:

* SWOT analysis

* Marketing mix

* Boston matrix

* Ansoff strategy

* PEST analysis

Objectives

* To comply with the task that has been set by the Beefeater manager. This is to identify the following objectives and present fresh new ideas for the business. This task will try to solve her problem of relatively low growth and boost sales to increase revenue.

* To identify the external forces influencing the competitive environment of the U.K. hospitality market.

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* Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Lydiard Beefeater through an internal audit.

* To identify the political, economic social and technological influences on the Lydiard, Swindon.

* To identify the current stage of the Beefeater lifecycle and the Lydiard in particular and the implications of this to the strategies that can be adopted in the UK marketplace.

* To asses the appropriateness of current strategies employed by the Lydiard, and to recommend strategies for the future.

Whitbread’s leading brands hold powerful positions in three of the fastest growing sectors of the �172 billion UK leisure market – hotels, eating out, and health and fitness.

In the restaurant there are meals served from several menus. In the bar there is a wide range of beers and real ales as well as having bar snacks available all day, every day. Within the complex there is the Touchbase Centre which includes 10 meeting rooms, coffee lounge, work stations and office support. The Lydiard is available for business meetings, training courses, accommodation and food for all the family.

The mission statement for Whitbread which owns Beefeater is as follows and clearly outlines the objectives for the business.

Whitbread’s vision is:

“To be the customer’s first choice for enjoyment as the UK’s leading Leisure Company”

The company is constantly examining its vision to ensure that it is both relevant and stretching.

They are always reviewing their mission statement to ensure that it is relevant to Whitbread in 2002. At its heart there is the corporate aim to double the value of the company within 5 years.

Source: Taylor Nelson Sources Whitbread.

The above graph shows a general trend in the amount of money being spent on eating out in the United Kingdom. This provides Beefeater a perfect opportunity to expand and develop the market to manipulate the consumer into spending their money on eating out.

The Whitbread Hotel Company launched a new brand, ‘Touchbase’, in April 2001. Touchbase is a purpose-built, affordable meetings and business lounge concept with sites located across the country. One of the first three sites to open was in Swindon (opened April 9 2001). This has already happened and when I went on the visit to beefeater in Swindon the conference, it was held there.

The Whitbread Hotel Company are investing �2.7 million in developing the new brand and anticipate that within three to four years there will be a nationwide Touchbase network of approximately 100 sites. Each Touchbase will be built alongside an existing Travel Inn, which provides customer and commercial synergies, both in terms of using the Travel Inn customer base and capitalizing upon the Travel Inn network landbank.

Figures from Whitbread website.

Each Touchbase will be a stand-alone site built across two floors. The ground floor will offer a business lounge with hot desks and leading edge communications technology provided by BT. from �5 per hour per person, customers will be able to use the business lounge with unlimited tea and Costa coffee included in the price. The first floor will comprise meeting rooms and a breakout area. These meeting rooms will be sold on a daily/half day basis at �80 half day and �160 full day. Double sized rooms are also available.

Research from technological partner BT shows that within the UK nearly 40 per cent of companies have mobile workers who regularly travel across the whole country. Other figures show 43.8 billion in-work miles are travelled by the UK workforce. Among Touchbase’s target market are field-based workers who often need somewhere to download emails or hold a face to face meeting, and local companies have a need for affordable, professional and nearby meeting space. Read an essay establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment

Dorothy Combes, Head of Marketing in BT’s Travel & Retail sector said: “All too often mobile workers have to stop in lay-by or service stations to make a phone call and conduct business. With five per cent of the British workforce mobile at any time and the number of flexible workers growing at a rate of 15 to 20 per cent a year, Touchbase supported by BT’s technology, provides a safe and more comfortable alternative to this.”

Whitbread Hotel Company is the UK’s second largest hotel group operating over 320 hotels and over 24000 rooms with more under development. The company’s activities are focused primarily on a strong branded presence in two market sectors – four star Marriott Hotels and budget Travel Inns.

Whitbread’s leading brands hold powerful positions in three of the fastest growing sectors of the �172 billion UK leisure market – hotels, eating out, health and fitness.

“The last year has seen a transformation of the Whitbread group as we have sold slow growth businesses to concentrate our fire power on more dynamic markets.”

Source: Sir John Banham chairman 1st May 2001

“There is leisure market information which illustrates the growth potential within each of our chosen market sectors, sectors in which we are already market leader or one of the biggest players. And we’ve also included a wealth of facts and figures on each of the three core businesses that make up Whitbread – the leisure business.”

Source Whitbread website.

The relevance of the above research enables a good understanding of how the hospitality market works and how this information can be applied to real life situations such as the Beefeater restaurant and pub at Lydiard fields.

Whitbread Restaurants and Hotels

As one of the foremost pub-owners in the country, Whitbread had been associated with food and lodging. It wasn’t until the final decades of the 20th century that the company started to realise the commercial benefits of serious investment in these sectors. The catalyst for the company’s meteoric rise to the position of Britain’s leading restaurateur was the success of the Beefeater brand, launched in 1974. The creation of Brewers Fayre followed five years later, establishing Whitbread as a serious player in British restaurants. Over the next two decades, Whitbread continued to lead innovation in the restaurant market, introducing Pizza Hut and TGI Friday’s to Britain in the 1980s and adding continental-style high street brands like Costa, Cafe Rouge and Bella Pasta in the nineties.

The same period saw Whitbread Hotel Company evolve from a loose collection of three and four-star coaching inns and country houses into the second largest hotelier in the UK. A strategy based on the growth of the budget and four-star hotels was realised through the creation of Travel Inn in 1987 and the securing of the UK rights to the Marriott brand in 1995. The transformation of both brands into market leaders in their sectors fuelled dramatic expansion as the century drew to a close.

Marriott’s growth from 16 hotels in 1995 to over 60 in 2001 was achieved in large part by the biggest acquisition in Whitbread’s history, the �578 million take-over of the Swallow Group in 2000.

The principles of marketing

Marketing research provides the essential information for marketing decisions on product, price, promotion and place. Field research provides any necessary new information on the market, using an established format of setting objectives, choosing from a variety of data collection methods, surveying samples from the total population and then collecting, collating and analysing the data to enable accurate business decisions to be made. Markets can be segmented so that the behavioural patterns of the various segments can be examined and their needs identified by the product and service producers. Information from marketing research forms the basis of an organisations forecast of the future, not just in marketing, but in purchasing, production, human resources and finance departments as well.

This is important to customer needs as when research is carried out the customer will be able to have their say and project their feelings about the business. The results from questionnaire results will be displayed in graphs, tables and diagrams so that it is easy to read and analyse.

The Beefeater at Lydiard fields has re-launched the menu as part of a national re-launch of the company to attract new customers and widen their target market. The menus re-launched include the restaurant menu and the pub menu; these will appeal to different tastes as each sector of the Beefeater will attract the age groups outlined in the C1 C2 socio-economic classes, these are shown below.

Total Eating Out Market:-

By Class

ABC1 = 49%

C2DE = 51%

By Age

16-24 = 23.8%

25-44 = 43.8%

45+ = 32.5

By Region

Southern = 9.2%

London = 18.9%

South West = 3%

Wales = 7.6%

East Anglia = 5.9%

Midlands = 18.8%

Lancashire = 11.7%

Yorkshire = 10.5%

North England 5.8%

Central Scotland 5.5%

NE Scotland = 1.9%

Border = 1.1%

(Source: Beefeater student pack)

The potential customers can be broken down into categories, which make targeting advertising easier. They are as follows:

C1 – Junior non-manual worker ‘white collar’

C2 – Skilled manual/semi-skilled worker ‘blue collar’

Family Eaters – married, 24-45, with children.

Families are one of the most important target groups as they can make up a large proportion of the current guests.

Older Eaters – over 45

This group consists of all customers over the age of 45, up to, including and beyond retirement. They now have less family ties although their children, and probably grandchildren, are still a consideration when eating out with them. Older eaters are almost certainly also ’empty nesters’; they live alone now that their children have grown up and moved out. Older eaters can be a member of the Emerald club (i.e. over 55’s) that Beefeater offers for older eaters.

Inexperienced Eaters

This group of customers may have just begun to experience ‘eating out’. Normally they will order exactly the same dish on every visit, even though cost or money may not necessarily be a consideration.

Single Eaters – young, unmarried, 18-24

This category of consumers can extend to anyone, even up to the age of 35 in some cases. They are likely to prefer ethnic foods and cost is probably a consideration. Beefeater expects people to experience visits at different times throughout their lives. As such, it is vital for Beefeater to keep everyone in mind as future customers as when single eaters have their own families; they may choose Beefeater more often.

Confident Eaters – early 30’s to late 40’s

This group of consumers probably eat out regularly. They are probably in their early thirties to late forties and cost is not much of a factor to them. Confident eaters are more likely to be upmarket and are also likely to be experienced diners seeking sophistication, new challenges and excitement.

Source: Whitbread website

SWOT analysis.

Strengths

* The Beefeater pub is able to respond very quickly to a changing market as it does not need to consult to higher management which would hinder progress an the speed at which the pub can respond.

* Beefeater has extremely good customer service and is able to respond to customer care and welfare for the consumer.

* It is situated next to the M4 motorway junction 16 so has extremely good access.

* A new menu has just been introduced, so the consumer will be able to have more choice range.

* The Whitbread group have recently launched Touchbase next to the beefeater pub.

* Good link with competitors, for benchmarking possibilities.

* New menu every six months.

* Beefeater has previously been voted ‘Best Family Food Outlet’ by the Mother & Baby Consumer Awards, and has also been awarded the Tommy Parent Family Award in recent years.

Weaknesses

* The pub is not considered as a family restaurant possibly because the Beefeater chain does not advertise effectively or enough.

* The pub is hidden from the main road and this means that it is difficult to find or even worse people do not even know that it is there, and only find it by chance.

* There are no signs to point to the pub so customers looking for a good meal out would not be able to locate the pub and have a good meal out.

* No opportunity to expand.

* Only 10% of business comes from the Swindon area.

Opportunities

* Most of the customers are businessmen so the pub could try to attract their families and friends.

* To try and attract more local customers and make advantage of the people on the pubs doorstep. Possibly by introducing a token scheme in the local paper.

* Possibly sponsoring certain events or businesses, such as a local supermarket so when you shop there you will be able to have discounts.

* A token scheme could be introduced in the local paper, or joint relationship programme.

* Having special deals if a customer uses the joint businesses such as Touch Base and Travel Inn.

* To expand on the large amount of people that does not eat out. As only 3% eat out in the south west.

* The total value of the eating out market stands at �25.5bn (up 6% year on year). As the average working hors decrease so consumers have more time to spend on leisure.

Threats

* The Harvester group is possibly a threat as the group frequently advertises on television, so when a family decides to go out for a meal the do not think of beefeater even though there are a few around in Swindon.

* The Holiday Inn is a competitor as it offers accommodation and food similar to the beefeater pub and Touchbase.

* As Beefeater is a small building the Hilton hotel and Holiday Inn are massive, so consumers are more likely to think of them than of Beefeater.

The above swot analysis can be linked in with the new marketing mix for recommendations. A SWOT analysis prevents Beefeater from becoming too complacent by making Beefeater aware of potential threats from the external environment. To con duct the SWOT analysis Beefeater has to look very critically at the way it operates. By Beefeater carrying out a SWOT analysis they can find that they are able to expand into a new venture e.g. take advantage of a new market at very little cost. The SWOT can be put to even more use if a group of people conduct one separately as they are unlikely to come up with the same results.

The SWOT is then a more accurate guide. More work has to be conducted once a SWOT is completed as the SWOT does not identify how the factors in marketing interact, or show a final conclusion. The SWOT is best used with other methods as strategies can be developed to overcome the weaknesses. The SWOT analysis will have produced a range of strategies. From these Beefeater will need to indicate through planning how Beefeater goes about them. From the plans drawn up decisions can be made about priorities for implementation taking into account the availability of resources.

A SWOT analysis may not be very reliable as it is carried out by Beefeater themselves. This could mean that there is bias for or against certain implications meaning that they are misplaced in the SWAT analysis, certain implications may be given different weightings. What one person may see as a threat another may see as a weakness.

Pestle analysis

The PESTLE analysis examines changes in the marketplace caused by Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legislation, and the environment. Political is political change weather it be through the European Union or the UK, from one party to another in control. Economic influences are the level of interest rates and the level of inflation. Social change involves changing attitudes and lifestyles. Technological change creates opportunities to invest in new products cutting costs. Legislation or legal is laws such as the trade description act, and finally environmental is the area that Beefeater is situated in.

Political

The government can have a major influence on the eating out industry, as all laws are passed through parliament. The types of laws that can affect the eating out industry are, tariffs on imports, a possible raise in value added tax and new health and safety laws, and also there is the possible introduction of laws from the European Union. All of the above can cause a rise in costs for Beefeater so prices may rise in order to pass the costs onto the consumer. If the costs of Beefeater rise and they are passed onto the consumer, this may then encourage the consumer to spend their money. However a reduction in any of the above can cause Beefeaters profits to rise, if this is the case then Beefeater can re invest. The following political events have influenced the Beefeater at Lydiard Swindon in the last five years.

* During the BSE crisis the Beefeater would not have been allowed to cook or serve any beef.

* Traditionally wages in the hospitality industry have been low but with the introduction of legislation guaranteeing a minimum wage for anyone over 21 at �4.20 per hour and another increase expected very soon, this will have increased Beefeater’s costs.

* Beefeater are not only affected by the British government but the European Union, who have enforced the rule that staff cannot be required to work more than 48 hours a week and are also entitled to 15 min break every 4 hours

* Much legislation has also been imposed by the government in relation to food hygiene and health and safety which has led to further increased costs.

Economic

Interest rates are the lowest they have been for forty years and this affects the rate of consumer spending on goods and services. The rate of interest affects the economy through its influence on aggregate demand, the higher the rate of interest, the lower the rate of aggregate demand. A fall in interest rates usually means that assets rise in value; this means that consumers become wealthier. Assets that will usually rise in price are houses and land, consumers then feel more inclined to part with their money by using their credit card. They will use their credit card as it will be cheaper to spend money this way as interest rates are low, and the cost of borrowing is cheap. Economic factors that have affected Beefeater in the last fiver years are as follows:

* The economic factors that affect Beefeater are interest rates which are at their lowest for over 40 years therefore people will be tempted to spend more money.

* Unemployment within the Swindon area is about 1%. This is both a benefit and a disadvantage for Beefeater. The low unemployment means that more people have money to spend, but it also means that Beefeater have to offer higher rates of pay in order to attract sufficient staff. Read about arriott employee satisfaction

Social

Social change involves changing attitudes and lifestyles. So for Beefeater the change in more and more women going out to work will mean that the service they provide will have to cater for their lifestyle. This could include a cr�che for small children or a play park/garden, although the manager Debbie Hoskins said the insurance would be far too high pushing up Beefeater’s costs.

Swindon is growing rapidly as more and more houses are being built. These new houses are being filled with young families and children, therefore Beefeater should cater for children as they are likely to bring in a major part of business. Especially in the late afternoon when the pub is very quiet children’s parties could be held.

General lifestyle influences:

* Growth in older age groups will have a positive impact on the pub sector.

* Time pressures mean people are becoming more demanding and want quality, convenience and good value.

* Children are independent at an earlier age, spending less time with parents around the dinner table at home – leads to eating out as a family social opportunity.

* Foreign holidays, TV chefs and cookery programmes have all encouraged more adventurous tastes.

* Freshness is more important to people when they eat out than whether food is organic or GM free.

Source: Whitbread group PLC

* Swindon currently has one of the lowest rates of unemployment and quite high rates of pay – higher than other places in the country.

* People’s lifestyles and needs have also changed and when they go out for a meal will want good quality food as well as good portions for a reasonable price.

* Beefeater is in a good location the population demographics around them would consist of people around the west Swindon area and the Wootton Basset area, the restaurant is located just off the M4 motorway.

Technological

This involves the technology that is available for use by Beefeater.

Beefeater could invest heavily in new technology which would drive down costs in the long run. At the moment Beefeater has bought new credit card machines so that the customer can pay at the table, this means the card does not leave the customers sight increasing card security. If Beefeater then bought more up to date computers then online booking and payment could be made, the customer could then order, pay, and book for a table without even being there. The customer would then turn up at the booked time with the meal ready and waiting. Beefeater is currently investing in the following:

* Technology can play a decisive role in allowing Beefeater to gain a competitive edge over is competitors.

* With the help of technology waiters can spend less time taking orders, which allows them to free up time for dealing with customers.

* Technology can improve the way in which waiters deal with customer by using touch screen computes to take orders. This also reduces the risk of inaccurate orders. Beefeater is also introducing a new method of paying for your meal with your credit card; the new process involves using remote swiping devices at the table so that a customer’s credit card never leaves their sight.

* Food technology has also meant portion control has become much easier. Suggestions are being made that ingredients will also need to be shown on menus as on all food packaging so that customers will be able to make the same informed choices of food as they do in supermarkets. Technology will also play a part in achieving this change.

Legislation

Beefeater has to observe and follow strict laws both European and British. These vary from consumer rights to staff safety in the kitchen. All of these laws add to the level of Beefeater’s costs. To over come this Beefeater train all of their staff exactly the same and treat all of their customers equally. However problems still arise and if they are not dealt with effectively then Beefeater could be sued by the customer or the staff they employ. This would then damage their image and in turn customer loyalty as they would be seen as a “bad” company.

Environmental

The environment that the Beefeater is situated in is a relatively new development of west Swindon. The company therefore has the great opportunity of drawing in new custom from the new houses that are still being built. The area of Swindon that is being expanded is also seen as very attractive so the prospect of having a meal there does not seem so daunting. Beefeater could also try attracting new custom from new environments by sponsoring sporting events, and/or offering prizes that consist of a meal. However the other Beefeater restraints would also benefit from this marketing so Beefeater may consider doing it using a joint method.

The PEST is a checklist that Beefeater can use for identifying the main factors that can affect the business environment. It is therefore important that businesses do not oversimplify the PEST analysis. Beefeater has to remember that the factors identified are external and outside their control. The factors have to be manipulated to the firms advantage.

It is essential for Beefeater to keep firmly in touch with changing trends in the environment. Monitoring these trends using a PESTLE analysis enable Beefeater to forecast changes that are likely to affect sales. Plans can then be drawn up so that any problem can be approached wisely. If Beefeater does not adapt to change then it is likely to miss potentially valuable marketing opportunities, Beefeater could then run the risk of being forced out of the market.

Market research

To find out what changes can be made to improve Beefeaters customer service and satisfaction marketing research can be conducted. This will be done in the form of a questionnaire as this is likely to produce the best results; this is because the validity is high as there is an interviewee present. This is how our market research was conducted to create a new marketing mix for Beefeater.

A face to face structured interview is likely to carry the best results as validity is high as well as the reliability. This is because a person is present so the interviewee can verify that who filled out the questionnaire is who they say they are.

To find any faults within the questionnaire a pilot survey will be carried out. This checks the questionnaire to test the questions, identify the ambiguities, and ensure that all areas of information needed are being produced.

The type of sample being used will be random; this will ensure that every customer will have an equal chance of being selected within the time frame that the questions are being asked. 200 customers will be asked which is a reasonable sample. The 200 respondents that are being asked will be a good representation of the Swindon population. By doing 200 questionnaires the cost will be kept to a minimum.

The questionnaire will be carried outside the Beefeater restaurant by the exit. This will ensure that the reliability is high as the respondents thoughts will be fresh in their minds.

The results will then be analysed and put into graphs. This will make the data easier to read which will highlight any improvements needed.

The marketing mix

This is a traditional approach to marketing planning which is based on the four p’s.

Product is the range of products that Beefeater has to offer to the market place. Decisions have to be made about quantities, timing, product variations, associated services such as waiter service, quality and style and even the packaging.

Whatever quality is decided upon for whichever type of customer, the quality should remain constant. The manager focused on total quality management which is an excellent way of ensuring that a high standard is always met as every member of the Beefeater staff play a crucial role in spotting poor quality meals or green potatoes, etc.

Price is set by head office for the Beefeater pub nationally, although it is able to negotiate special offers locally. If prices are lowered for promotional purposes, the cash flow within the company, and its long term profitability, could be seriously affected.

Promotion consists of a number of techniques which create awareness of the products and persuade the potential customer to make the buying decision. The techniques include advertising, branding, packaging, and sales, promotions, and merchandising.

Place policy is relatively irrelevant as the location of the Beefeater outlet is fixed and cannot be moved.

Beefeaters current marketing mix

Beefeater marketing activity

Restaurant menu

* 2 regional variations

* continuous programme of innovation and testing

* changes annually

* Express menu – for those who need a quick lunch at low prices

* Kids menu – an education as well as a meal

* Emerald Club – for the over 55’s – circa 1.5m members

* Fixed price menu – 2 prices 2 menus

* Sunday Roast – choose from two menus, kids have a similar meal

Pub menu

* Two regional variations

* Regional variations by blackboard specials

Loyalty Clubs

* Emerald club for over 55’s

* Family card for parties up to six people 500k members

National Promotions

* Direct mail / door drop leaflets / Bouncebacks

* Radio sponsorship

* Key date set menus – valentines day; Easter day; mothers day etc

3rd Parties

* Links with well known organisations to improve guest offering

PR

* Communicate through positive editorial, the same tonal messages as advertising

* National, regional and local PR programmes

* Provide overview on impact of marketing and business development initiatives in terms of PR communications

* Help protect Beefeater from negative media coverage

Source: Whitbread PLC

Beefeaters current marketing mix can be changed to coincide with the market research that I conducted, which shows the customers attitudes and opinions. This will show what needs changing.

Boston Matrix for the Beefeater pub

The Boston matrix will help the Beefeater pub establish where it is possibly going wrong and loosing customers through too traditional ways of promoting and selling their products.

The Boston matrix enables Beefeater to look at each individual product, the products of rival companies such as the Spotted Cow can have their products can be plotted to show market share. The Boston matrix is easy for Beefeater to use. It helps Beefeater to gauge the profiles of strong/week products on their portfolio mix. However they may cause Beefeater to put too much stress on market share and entry into high growth business. Also because many products will end up in the middle of the matrix it is difficult to suggest an appropriate strategy. The Boston matrix does not always take into account the synergy between two or more products and this may suggest that making decisions for one product in isolation from others may be short sighted.

The Boston Matrix can also be used to forecast the future market position of products within a portfolio.

The Boston matrix is an extremely good tool for highlighting troubled products are being offered. As the model is used using current data to show the products being offered the reliability is very strong. It is also reliable because a product can be placed into one of the four categories straight away, this means that instant analysis can take place.

The above graph for Beefeater clearly shows a well established business with steady growth, following with slight decline. The questionnaire that will be asked later will address this problem to see if it can be resolved.

The theory of the product life cycle is that all products for Beefeater including itself will go through. The life cycle is a valuable tool in product planning but it must be used with other methods. The sales curve for Beefeater may wobble or zigzag with the risk of misleading managers in their interpretation of the product life cycle. The life cycle could lead to a self full filling prophecy where for example Beefeater shows signs of decline which leads to cuts in the budget causing failure. However the life cycle can only be plotted once an event has occurred. For example the company will not be able to predict whether or not a particular meal will mature or decline. The company will only know when the product is in decline when sales are beginning to fall. Therefore the life cycle must be treated with care.

Ansoff Matrix

Markets

Products

Existing

New

Existing

* Modify the menu.

* Travel inn

* The Emerald club

* Lunch menu for conference delegates

* Touchbase business

New

* Customers staying at The Travel Inn.

* Restaurant

* Many new houses being built at west Swindon

*

* Customers staying at the new Touchbase.

* Rival trade from the Hilton hotel

Ansoffs four box matrix is not an infallible classification as the strategies adopted by Beefeater do not always fall neatly into these four classifications. However Ansoffs matrix is a well known tool for marketers who have objectives for growth.

The questionnaire and questionnaire results

To propose a new marketing strategy for Debbie at Beefeater to solve the problem she has given us, which is to find out why fewer customers are returning to the Beefeater and what can be done to prevent it. To find out the customers opinions a questionnaire was asked of 200 people that had eaten at the Beefeater. The questionnaire was face to face increasing validity, and reliability as the interviewer can verify the respondent, rooting out silly answers as misunderstandings can be cleared instantly.

To gain a fair representation of the respondents half were male and half were female. This was because most are married couples.

This response is very useful as Beefeater can identify which age groups are weak at attending and which are strong. The advertising campaigns can then be targeted at specific age groups. However these are simply the ages of the people that responded to the survey. Further research would need to be carried out to identify the week age groups.

This graph shows that there are a few customers that eat out regularly and the remaining customers occasionally. This then shows that Beefeater can concentrate promotions and advertising campaigns on the many that eat out very little.

4% eat out more than once a week,

33% eat out once a week,

27.5% eat out once a month,

35.5% eat out on special occasions,

This graph is crucial to Beefeater as it highlights that 40% of the customers regard the business as staff. Beefeater will need to concentrate hard on the customer service as the 40% of respondents are likely to tell other potential customers and not recommend the business, which can destroy a business if the problem is not resolved. The more welcome the customer is made to feel the more likely they are to recommend the business. An internal audit could be carried out monthly by a mystery shopper to evaluate all aspects of customer service.

This is again another negative response that shows not all customers will be able to access the pub possible because it cannot be seen from the major roads.

Most of the people asked think the order was accurate, but a few respondents did not. This needs to be addressed as it can be a serious complaint, especially if the customer orders an expensive meal and finds that it is small they are likely to demand a refund which can be very damaging.

This graph shows a positive response as the majority of customers think there are getting good value for money. The problem remains however that there are still about 25 customers are not happy.

This response rate was excellent as 100% of the respondents were pleased with the quality of their meal.

This question clearly highlights the fact that there is a problem with the current atmosphere. This may be because the pub can be empty with staff possibly pouncing on the customers at any opportunity because they have little to do. The possibility of the restarunt being too big, may also be off putting to customers when eating their meal as they can feel intimidated.

The response for this question shows that there is a hole in the market for online booking. Online booking through the internet could prove to be very successful if enough investment is put in.

The majority of people asked say that they were pleased with the booking system however 45 people were not. This is not the majority but it is a large proportion of the respondents.

This graph shows that the advertising campaign for Beefeater is not very successful in building a brand name as only a few customers have seen or heard of the advertisements.

Out of all the people that saw the advertisements only 50 people asked saw the advertisements in the local newspaper. This shows that the advertising is not successful as it is not reaching the right target audience.

The response rate for this graph clearly shows that a large amount of customers would return if the prices were lower. This would be very good for Beefeater because the word of mouth would travel to many customers telling them about the low prices. This is then the best form of advertising. However if more Emerald club members had been asked perhaps on a separate questionnaire, they may have replied with more choice not lower prices as the Emerald club customers receive a discount, but their menu is very limited. The graph therefore is unreliable as it is not a fair representation of Beefeaters customers.

This graph clearly shows that if a promotion was introduced it would not be warranted as 75% of the respondents would not take advantage of the offer. However before deciding so hastily further research would need to be carried out.

Clearly a large majority of the customers would return to the pub, but there is still a minority that will not return this could be because of visitors on holiday or special occasions.

This graph shows the key reasons why customers are likely to not return. The results show that Beefeater needs to concentrate on higher quality food and better service. The better the service the more likely the customers will feel that they are getting more value for money. However only 2.5% said they were unlikely to return, which is probably because they are visiting the area or on holiday. This therefore does not really suggest a problem.

New marketing mix

Using all the data collected from the questionnaire and some secondary sources a new marketing mix can be proposed. This will then tie in with the customers needs and Beefeaters needs to fit in with their tight budget.

Product

Many of the respondents said that the food served was good quality and of a high standard. There was however a small number of respondents that thought negatively. This needs to be addressed as the customer who thought otherwise will not recommend the business. The problem could be addressed by introducing a display of the meals so that customers can see exactly what they will get with their money. The range of vegetarian meals can also be extended to attract new or more of the existing customers. This can be linked to the social aspect because a wider variety of meals can be offered such as oriental, this will attract more customers as there will be different cultures eating in the restaurant.

However introducing a display of meals will prove costly as they will have to be replaced throughout the day to maintain freshness. The meals will also not be able to be served and will end up being wasted out. The display is also likely to take up a large proportion of the restaurant as there is a large range of meals offered; also if the range was going to be increased then even more space will be needed for a display.

Price

The price policy that Beefeater currently operates can be changed as many of the people asked said they would return more often if the price of the food was lowered.

Beefeater could also offer a discount the more times a customer eats at the pub. This would then attract the majority of customers that eat out only once a month or less. The manager of Beefeater could set targets for promotion targets to be met. This would then ensure that every employee is involved with selling as many meals as possible.

As Beefeater attract type C1 and C2 customers their style of prices needs to be looked at as again a large percentage of the respondents said that their prices were too high and they would eat there more often if they were lower. Therefore Beefeater could either change their customer target range to fit the prices or lower the prices, or increase the size of the portions so the customer feels they are getting value for money. However portion sizes are set by head office so this may not be possible. Price can also be linked with several other factors such as political if the government was to rise VAT then the cost of the meals would rise for the customers the tax will be passed on so Beefeater can continue to make a profit. Price can also be linked with the economic factor. At the moment interest rates are still low despite the 0.25% rise last month this means that the customers will still be able to borrow at a relatively low rate, meaning that the cost of borrowing is still fairly low. This means that a large proportion of the customers will be willing to pay by credit card, because of this Beefeater could introduce a small sur charge on all transactions. This would increase radically and as the charge will be so small the customer is unlikely to worry.

However if the promotion targets mentioned above were not met this may decrease staff morale and lower enthusiasm. This is then likely to reflect on the customer service provided. Also the rise in interest rates is likely that customer spending habits are likely to change as customers will have to spend more money on paying the mortgage. This will then mean that less money is likely to be spent.

Place

There is not much that Beefeater can do about the location of the business although it could invest in a large sign to go at the end of the access road to attract new custom and passing trade. Then if the sign is attractive enough and displays the latest promotion activities, enough new trade should be attracted.

They could also use the location of the business to their advantage as promotion deals could be done with small local hotels that only offer B&B, custom can then be drawn in for the evening or daytime meals. This can be linked in with promotion and a joint strategy can be financed. Place can be linked to social because although the location of Beefeater cannot be changed it may not appeal to many social groups. Beefeater could try themed nights to attract a wider range of customers this would not only increase awareness of Beefeater but make it more appealing to a wider target market.

Place can also be linked to economic, because Beefeater is located in Swindon where unemployment is extremely low, high wage rates have to attract staff. This pushes up Beefeaters costs.

It is unlikely that any deals will be made with other B&B hotels as they will see Beefeater as a major threat to their custom because of the new Touchbase. Also the advertising via a sign is likely to prove costly as mentioned later.

Promotion

Beefeater could try to do a joint advertising campaign with the Evening Advertiser where Beefeater put coupons in the paper for customers to collect, this way the Adver will sell more papers and Beefeater will sell more meals. As many of the respondents have not seen or heard the Beefeater advertisements the issue needs to be addressed so that money is not wasted.

The advertising campaign also can be used to establish higher brand loyalty. The location of the adverts should perhaps be placed on bus stops and billboards. This would then mean that the population in the Swindon area would have access to the advertisements. Legal can also be linked with promotion as Beefeater are unable to advertise on the land located outside the restaurant on the main road. During the visit to Beefeater it was found that it would be illegal to promote the business via this way. There is another option, and this would be to advertise on the opposite side of the motorway. This however would cost far too much.

The strategy that involves using the local paper is likely to work only if the extra money brought in from the extra papers sold is likely to be more that the lost advertising revenue from the free space where the coupons are located. This is a major issue as the coupons will have to be located where most readers will look, meaning that the local paper may loose a lot of money.

Physical environment

A large majority of the people asked during the questionnaire said that the atmosphere inside was empty and un-inviting. Beefeater could therefore consider putting up a large partition in place to screen of the area of the restraint that is not needed at quiet times. Physical environment can be linked into social as mentioned before Beefeater could introduce themed nights to attract a wider target market.

Beefeater would have to investigate the legal implications of the health and safety in erecting a partition in Beefeater. This may prove to be costly. Also there is the possibility of lost trade when the partition is being built, which again may prove to be costly. A recommendation would be that more market research is carried out to focus on the atmosphere regarding a partition.

People

The employees could undergo a 15 minute training programme a week, concentrating on the week areas of Beefeaters customer service. So for example the first week would be taking orders and the next serving meals and so on. By addressing the customers needs that Beefeater are week at they can make it their strengths by persistent training.

40% of the respondents in the questionnaire said that the staff were not friendly, Beefeater could introduce an additional prize to the employee that receives the most tips or good customer comments. This would then entice staff to be more encouraged. However if some staff only ever receive few tips, they are likely to become demoralised and become disinterested. So in some areas it could have a positive effect and in others a negative effect. Legal can also be linked with people because working hours effect staff attitudes, it is the law that staff must have a break every four hours, Beefeater could try introducing a system where staff have a break every three hours. This would then boost staff morale and is likely to increase productivity if the staff is more motivated.

Although a 15 minute training programme is good in theory it is likely to prove costly as a higher member of staff will be needed to train the staff.

Government statistics

A survey of 2,071 adults aged 16 and over.

3% never ever eat dairy products.

4% rarely eat dairy products.

31% were positively attempting to reduce their consumption of dairy products.

2% of those reducing dairy intake were doing so for ethical/moral reasons, 12% for medical reasons and 73% for health reasons.

The new marketing mix can be used with these government statistics to implement new changes and appeal to the target market more accurately. However this data was collected three years ago and therefore must be used with other data of a more up to date survey to check validity. This will then also highlight any trends that Beefeater may be able to pick up on. The people asked is a small survey so further analysis may be needed.

A survey of 1004 adults aged 15 and over.

7% agreed with the statement “I am a vegetarian and eat no meat at all” (female 10%, male 4%).

12% of 15-24 yr olds, 9% of 25-34 yr olds, 7% of 35-44 yr olds, and 4% of 45+ yr olds agreed.

6% were “currently a meat eater but would like to become a vegetarian”.

25% thought that is not “safe and healthy”, rising to 34% in 15-24 yr olds.

36% of non-vegetarians would consider becoming a vegetarian if they felt animal farming was cruel.

82% felt that in the future there will be more vegetarians.

75% felt that in the future people will eat less meat.

80% claimed to prefer to buy food that is cruelty free and good for the environment

These statistics clearly show that there needs to be a provision for vegetarian customers. The data however would need to be compared to more recent data to check validity and to identify any trends in the data such as cruelty to animals.

Cite this page

Beefeater Restaurant Review. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/beefeater-restaurant-review-essay

Beefeater Restaurant Review

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