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Any company needs a system of control and measurement. This is all the more true in the food industry, wherein the expected output is not only about taste or profitability, but also on several factors that could cause a multitude of praise or problems such as quality of service, effective controls, innovative product mix, brand image, etc (Profitable Tips For All Restaurant Owner, by Kevin Moll).
Although the restaurant operations group, central office, administrative support, and upper management are all expected to be calibrated and to work in harmony, this type of business requires a funnel point, or local management whose role to act remotely on behalf of, but in full calibration with, upper management in terms of policy implementation, achieving store targets, local marketing, and other operational tasks.
This funnel point is the Restaurant Manager (Ninemeier, Jack D. ; Hayes, David K. (2006). Restaurant Operations Management: Principles and Practices. Upper Saddle River, N. J: Pearson Prentice Hal). In recent years, it has been a recurring problem of the Shakey’s Philippines operations team that some of the Restaurants have not been meeting its target Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Hospitality (QSCH) Score and Profitability Goals (Based on the 2012 Audit Scores).
Although several initiatives have been rolled out to coach each employee’s performance, the consistency of the store’s QSCH scores and the achievement of target profitability have been directly linked with the performance of the respective Restaurant Manager (Store QSCH Score is included in Restaurant Manager’s total Performance Appraisal rate). Although coaching initiatives and continuous improvement programs have been launched and maintained, the problem resurfaces when attrition happens.
Whether the attrition is expected or unexpected, the fact is that new talent coming in, either from the outside or from within, will always face the same pitfalls and challenges, plus problems that have been newly developed or caused by the failure of the previous local management handling the store; this causes the aforementioned coaching and continuous improvement initiatives to be re-implemented and relearned, ending and beginning this loop again with attrition, even slowing down the effectiveness of improvement initiatives.
The process of learning and relearning, which is highly dependent on the Restaurant Managers’ cognitive ability, makes the difference when dealing with this loop(Schmidt, Hunter, and Outerbridge’s (l986) causal model of job performance); it defines how much the Restaurant and, consequentially, the store itself can progress from the loop and continuously improve on its operational performance.
This study aims to understand the significance and relation of the Restaurant Managers’ cognitive ability on the achievement of store objectives, and to address such problems. Background of the study Schmidt, Hunter, and Outerbridge’s causal model of job performance suggests that cognitive ability is the most important cause of job performance and that the relationship between ability and performance is stable over time (Development of a Causal Model of Processes Determining Job Performance, Frank L Schmidt and John E. Hunter). Though there is a lack of studies that specifically discusses the impact or effect of Restaurant Managers’ cognitive ability on the store performance, the scope of the universal model developed by Schmidt, Hunter, and Outerbridge could be used for restaurant industry. There are three factors to consider, before discussing the relationship between the Restaurant Managers’ cognitive ability and the performance of the stores the Managers respectively handle.
The Restaurant Manager’s Duties and Responsibilities needed to be accomplished, as well as targets to be achieved; The Restaurant Manager’s Personal and Technical Competencies needed prior to placing any candidate, external or internal, into this position; The current average and modal store performance in a given sample population versus the scores of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests taken by the Restaurant Managers who run the stores in the sample population.
The first two factors are found in the Restaurant Manager’s Job Description, which differs from company to company, while the third factor will be based on actual data from the sample population within a prescribed performance appraisal period alongside the last known IQ test scores of the respective Restaurant Managers. The first two factors are what will be used to describe, respectively, the current deliverables expected from all Restaurant Managers, and who the ideal Restaurant Manager should be as well as the capabilities in running store operations effectively.
From the analysis of this information we can further elaborate the significance of measuring cognitive ability for prospective Restaurant Managers for screening purposes, as well as current Restaurant Managers for continuous improvement and internal screening purposes. The third factor shall be used to analyze the current relationship between the Restaurant Managers’ cognitive ability and their respective store’s performance.
Scope and limitations For the purpose of this study, the Job Description, performance data, and IQ test scores to be studied will be those of the Restaurant Managers of company-owned Shakey’s branches, covering Manila areas only. It shall not include data from Franchisee-owned branches and the Restaurant Managers running these branches. This study shall also cover data from Restaurant Managers who have run their respective, company-owned stores for at least one year.
This is to ensure the integrity of the data, and factor out possible cultural and functional adjustment periods brought about by new-hire status, lack of experience of newly-promoted Managers, newly-built store locations, and other similar scenarios. As such, data from Restaurant Managers of company-owned stores within the sample population whose tenure is less than the period prescribed in this study shall not be included. The IQ test results to be considered shall be those taken using the proprietary internally-developed IQ test only, and will not include results from any previous IQ tests.
It must be noted that this test is used on all Restaurant Managers screened either for hiring or for promotion within all locations of Shakey’s Philippines, and its norms have been based on the current manpower of the company, across all levels and departments. Therefore, this IQ test is, for the purpose of this study, valid. Convenient Sampling Method shall be used for this study, both due to logistical limitations, as well as evening-out the sample population.
It should also be noted that this study shall also take into context several factors that could have an effect on the success or failure of any given establishment aside from the Restaurant Manager’s cognitive ability, such as personal competencies, values, and the working experience of the Restaurant Manager. Whichever outcome and results may arise, this study does not denote that the store’s performance is solely or definitively dependent on the Restaurant Manager’s cognitive ability.
The definition of Cognitive Ability is taken from Dr. Pascale Michelon, (Author of Max Your Memory and the Founder of Memory Practice). Cognition is how a person understands the world; it is a set of abilities, skills, or processes that are part of nearly human action. Cognitive abilities are the brain-based skills we need to carry out any task, from the simplest to the most complex. Dr.
Michelon states that cognitive ability has more to do with the mechanisms of how we learn, remember, solve problems, and pay attention rather than with any actual knowledge. It refers to the individual’s capacity to comprehend, think, reason and solve problems (What is a Cognitive Ability/What are Cognitive Abilities and Skill, 2006). The hospitality sector is known to have the highest employee turnover rate among all other industries (The Economic Times, Highest Attrition in Hospitality and Aviation Sectors Survey, April 2012).
The Human Resources (HR) departments of companies in this sector are required to hire talents who can adjust immediately to their new working environment and possess the ability to learn, continue, and finish the tasks left by the person previously holding the vacated post in the soonest possible time, with minimal training and supervision provided (Copyright 2003-2006 www. iBizResources. com). This also holds true in Shakey’s Philippines where Restaurant Managers leave the company either for opportunities outside the country or because of better offers from competitors.
Shakey’s Philippines has an estimated 8% turnover rate for the Restaurant Manager employees in 2012 (Data Collected from Shakey’s HROD). Given this situation, it is important for Shakey’s Philippines, as with any other company facing similar dilemmas, to implement programs and initiatives that will counter the negative effects of this attrition. To better understand the impact of a Restaurant Manager on an organization in the Food industry, analysis of the Restaurant Manager’s job scope is needed.
The main duties and responsibilities of a Restaurant Manager of Shakey’s Philippines are as follows: 1. Oversee overall operations of the restaurant including personnel management, stocks and inventory management, maintenance management and other administrative function 2. Develop and implement Local Store Marketing strategies, and ensure proper implementation of company wide marketing promotions 3. Ensure proper implementation and compliance to company controls and standards.
Solve problems and decide on critical issues concerning but not limited to customer complaints, employee related conflicts, administrative cases, store accidents, decreasing sales due to strong competition, equipment breakage, delayed delivery of raw materials, etc. 5. People Development For Restaurant Managers to effectively carry out these responsibilities, certain abilities are required to be identified in prospective internal and external candidates. The Qualifications and Skills of a Restaurant Manager of Shakey’s Philippines are as follows.
Ability to set goals and implement sales building initiatives to ensure achievement of the target sales 2. Ability to use benchmarking and trade area awareness as analysis tools. Can analyze sales trends and performance. a. Has the ability to identify business opportunities within his trade areas b. Has the ability to study competitors within his areas and implement improvements to ensure his store is at par with his competitors, Is constantly calibrated with the best practices of the industry, which are to be implemented and practiced in the respective store.
Ability to plan, direct, monitor, organize, control the restaurant financial resources. Has the ability to conduct profit and loss analysis and easily spot discrepancies in financial reports. Can determine factors affecting contributing to high cost efficiently. Can implement action plans and preventive measures to ensure a sound operational cost d. Can manage restaurant cost to acceptable level, and can create ways and means in managing cost. Can implement and monitor quality standards in the store.
Has the ability to consistently achieve an excellent QSCH Audit Result. Ability to develop team capabilities. Has the ability to energize and inspire his team, and work towards the common goals. Has the ability to train his management team on various restaurant system (inventory, cash control, workforce planning, etc) Ability to develop and implement effective local store marketing that boost sales and build brand. Has the ability to develop and implement effective merchandising techniques
All these qualifications and skills are most likely to be present in people with higher cognitive abilities, based on Dr. Michelon’s abovementioned definition of cognitive ability. Cognitive ability plays a major role in learning new systems and operations, as well as making correct actions in each problematic situation that people encounter at their respective workplace. This particular ability helps newly hired employees perform well in their recently acquired roles, enabling them to hit the ground running (Development of Causal Model of Processed Determining Job Performance, Frank L Schmidt, John E. Hunter). Schmidt, Hunter, and Outerbridge’s Causal Model of job performance suggests that cognitive ability is the most important cause of job performance; that it is the primary determinant of job performance, and that the influence of this ability either remains stable or increases over time. Further analysis has suggested that cognitive ability retains its influence on the employee well-past the initial stage of employment, when incumbents are learning how o do their jobs, and is still a major contributing factor for job performance measurement among more senior job incumbents. Cognitive ability enables incumbents to acquire and apply job knowledge, and is also related to the employee’s ability to solve novel problems and to make appropriate judgement in situations where routine procedures do not apply; this will be most important in situations where the employee must learn new procedures or techniques, or where novel problems or job demands require sound judgement calls from the employee.
It is necessary, then, to hire Restaurant Manager replacements with high levels of intelligence; without the ability to adapt quickly towards their new working environment, new-hires’ and employers alike will be facing problems such as losing profitability to lost opportunity cost. This is especially true in Shakey’s Philippines, as it is so for all restaurant companies, whose profitability is dependent on their Restaurant Managers’ performance.
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