Appraise How Restaurant Management Software Can Improve the Efficiency of Sales Processes of SMES Restaurants Dissertation

Pages: 45 (12333 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 75  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

¶ … restaurant industry is a highly competitive market today. Moreover, many entrepreneurs are facing significant constraints in the management of their restaurants with regards to loss of data, non-standardized products, uncontrollable employee behaviors, unverifiable accounting, complexity of each function in the restaurant and so forth. Despite these constraints, the restaurant industry continues to attract a constant stream of aspiring entrepreneurs based on the relative ease of entry in the industry and the small amount of investment compared with other business sectors. To be sure that they can operates their businesses successfully, these individuals need to have a thorough understanding of restaurant management and operations, and particularly the sales processes that are regarded as one the important issues that contribute to customer satisfaction. To improve the efficiency of restaurants, restaurant management systems have emerged as popular tools that can be used to support entrepreneurs. This study examines current operations in small- to medium-sized restaurants and how computerized systems can optimize their operations. This research also designed a structured custom questionnaire of employee perceptions regarding restaurant management software as well as a custom questionnaire of customer perceptions of service and quality to gain in-depth data concerning these issues. This study also interviewed restaurant owners or managers their experiences with their restaurant management systems. Based on the results of this primary data, the study conducted a cost-benefit analysis concerning the use of restaurant management systems. In addition, based on the primary data and secondary sources, the study developed the scope and design requirement specifications for an optimum restaurant management system that connects the cooperation between the front office related to the sales processes that directly contact customers such as meal ordering, table reservation, payments, etc. As well as back office operations that relate to food preparation. A summary of the research, important findings and recommendations are presented in the concluding chapter.

Table of Contents

Dissertation on Appraise How Restaurant Management Software Can Improve the Efficiency of Sales Processes of SMES Restaurants Assignment

Chapter 1: Introduction and Background

Statement of the Problem

Aims and Objectives of Study

Importance of Study

Scope of Study

Rationale of Study

Overview of Study

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter 3: Methodology

Description of Study Approach

Rationale in Support of Methodology

Analytical Context

Limitations

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary and Recommendations

How Restaurant Management Software Can Improve the Efficiency of Sales Processes of SME Restaurants

Chapter 1: Introduction and Background

The restaurant industry was originally created out of necessity to feed people who were forced to be away from home, and the industry still satisfies that need today (Chmelynski 2004; Brech 1998; Pentecost 2002). Unlike most other industries, the restaurant industry in the 21st century is distinguished in many countries by containing the largest number of people who have, at some point or another in their lives, been employees in some capacity or another (Boggs 2007). According to Boggs, there are a number of reasons for this trend. In this regard, Boggs asks, "Why are so many people drawn to this industry?" And by way of answer emphasizes that, "It is romantic, creative, active, and fun-filled. It is one of few industries where an employee can enter at the bottom with no skills and leave at the top highly successful. Knowing how to cook is not even a prerequisite for being successful in this industry!" (2007: 36). This point is also made by Thiers (1999) who emphasizes that although many of the jobs in the restaurant industry "do not require high skills or command high wages, many do, and some of the lower-skilled jobs like travel clerk or kitchen worker can be stepping stones to more responsible jobs and better income" (32). Minorities in particular have taken advantage of the high level of mobility in the food service industry to achieve executive positions in recent years (Scott 2002).

Notwithstanding the ease of entry and high level of mobility within the restaurant industry, it is not easy work by any measure, with daily schedules of 12 hours for restaurant managers not being uncommon (Royle & Towers 2002; Lucas 2003). In addition, there is also a fundamental need for so-called "people skills" to succeed in the restaurant industry over the long-term (Douglas & Zivnuska 2008). In this regard, Boggs also notes that success "requires leadership, tenacity, hard work, flexibility, and a true love for people and the foods that tantalize them" (2007: 37).

Like almost every other industry, though, the food service industry in general and restaurants in particular have benefited enormously from the innovations in information technology that have been introduced in recent years. Although the goal of every good restaurant to deliver high-quality cuisine and beverages to their customers prepared in the manner in which they want it and when they want it has remained essentially the same, the management of these establishments has become increasingly complex as a result of increased competition as well as local, regional and national regulations that require compliance with a vast array of health codes (Abernathy & Hart 2004; Phillips, Elledge, Bazara, Lynch & Boatright 2006; Recurrent violations of the Food Code in retail food service establishments 2006), personnel issues (Gubman & Russell 2006), constantly changing governmental regulations concerning smoking in restaurants and bars (Dunham & Marlow 2004) and, of course, taxes (Boggs 2007). Moreover, from a public relations' perspective, the extent of restaurants' compliance with food health regulations is becoming increasingly available to consumers through the publication of potentially damaging inspection results and remediation efforts in online governmental venues (Almanza, Nelson & Lee 2003), making the need for effective and responsive restaurant management and leadership practices in the restaurant industry that can address food safety issues in a timely fashion more important than ever before (Jenkins-Mclean, Skilton & Sellers 2004; Nicola, Ray & Hatcher 2000). Indeed, restaurant managers represent the front-line in the delivery of food service that takes place in a hygienic environment wherein consumers can enjoy the ambience and service without worrying about the safety of the food and beverages that are being served (Jenkins-Mclean et al. 2004). This may seem to be a "no-brainer" for most restaurant managers, but the importance of providing consistently safe food and beverages -- and avoiding the concomitant public backlash when they fail -- cannot be overstated. For example, according to Bezich, "Governments [are] under pressure from taxpayers to cut taxes. However, taxpayers do not want to see any reduction in enforcement, particularly when it comes to health and restaurants" (1999: 23). Changing restaurant employees' routine and habits in substantive ways is an especially challenging enterprise that requires ongoing emphasis and oversight by top management to ensure that all restaurant employees adhere to proper practices in the food service workplace (Kassa 2001).

Moreover, like many other businesses, restaurants are faced with constant changes in consumer preferences and tastes that require timely responses in order to remain competitive (Seidman & McCauley 2009; Farello, Mitchell & Alldredge 1999). In addition, the delivery of the end product of food and beverages to the customer's table is just part of the overall complicated supply chain that brings everything together, making effective enterprise systems a necessity rather than a luxury (Neely 2002). In this dynamic environment, restaurant managers around the world have sought information technology solutions to their management needs and the market has responded with a number of offerings that provide them with enterprise systems that can help them administer their operations more efficiently. Compared to other types of industries, though, there have been relatively fewer off-the-shelf software solutions developed by vendors that specifically address the types of needs that many restaurants routinely encounter, a problem that was the focus of this study which is discussed further below.

Statement of the Problem

Satisfied customers are essential to the survival of restaurants. Because restaurants are staffed by mere humans, though, the opportunity for failure is high and the costs that are associated with even a few mistakes can be devastating. Indeed, according to Gibbs, "Customer service is key to the food service industry" (2006: 43). As many restaurant patrons can readily testify, though, their dining experiences have been less than satisfactory in many cases with incorrect orders being provided, inordinately long waiting times to be served and surly wait staff who do not provide the level of customer service that is required to ensure repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising that can be the lifeblood of many small- to- medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In this regard, Reeves and Hoy emphasize that, "Given the tremendous dissatisfaction with service and the brutally competitive environment in which restaurants operate, restaurants that are able to differentiate their service from that of their competitors will gain a significant competitive advantage" (1999: 53). This is an especially salient point for full-service restaurants that are being edged out by their lower-cost fast food competitors (Rashad, Grossman & Chou 2006). For example, the results of a study by Brech (1998) concerning the percentage of meals consumed outside the home determined fully 93% of the respondents indicated that fast food was selected for their evening meal at least once or more times every week;… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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