One of the most substantial and rapidly expanding industries is hospitality. Despite the logistical difficulties brought on by various factors, such as the pandemic, it became difficult for a variety of hospitality businesses to function correctly, resulting in customers having to wait in line and shelves needing to be emptied. However, some plays in this industry still managed to operate. Because of its capacity to navigate the choppy financial seas brought on by the epidemic and maintain operations with persistent flexibility, Symposium café has been selected as the business or establishment to be analysed. The Symposium Café is a restaurant in London that provides patrons with an elegant and sophisticated eating experience. The restaurant provides a selection of meals, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives, for customers to choose from. The restaurant caters to individuals having dinner out, families, and corporate groups looking for an upscale eating experience. According to the information provided on the website, it caters to the needs of each individual. “From first dates to anniversaries, graduations to promotions, and all of the great occasions that happened in between” (Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge, 2023). In a nutshell, it strives to provide a dining experience that is suitable for families while yet allowing for that wicked, fun-filled excursion with the gals that is the thing that makes life worth living. The eatery promotes itself as a place to enjoy an excellent time with co-workers, couples, and members of one’s family, in addition to serving delicious meals. Essentially, Symposium wants to improve its operations and, more specifically, brand visibility to improving client flow and effective supply chain management.
The Performance Objectives of The Company
The pandemic considerably affected London and the economy as a whole (Rodrigues, 2021). Because of the limitations on travel, foreign visitors were not permitted to enter the nation. In addition, curfews and decrees requiring self-isolation were issued in several places, preventing inhabitants from leaving their homes. The hotel business was particularly hard-struck by these limitations, which had the overarching goal of halting the epidemic’s further spread (Rodrigues, 2021). In the case of the Symposium, the circumstance has been quite comparable to that of a significant number of other hospitality enterprises navigating the dark waters of financial turmoil. However, to adapt to the rapidly shifting economic climate, Symposium undertook a comprehensive strategic review of its commercial operations.
First and foremost, the restaurant understood that if customers could not enter their location, they would have no choice but to bring their goods directly to the customers. They improved the quality of their online ordering services and launched a curbside pick-up programme, through which customers can pick up their meals and consume them in the comfort of their homes (Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge, 2023). In addition, the restaurant reduced its menu in order to concentrate on serving its most popular dishes. In addition, to maintain a reasonable price point, it refrained from following the trend of other restaurants and providing home delivery services. They were aware that this would increase the food price in the long run because payment had to be made for the delivery services as well. Even though the pricing of meals at competing restaurants rose, those at Symposium did not change significantly.
Comparison of Performance Objectives
Jimmy the Greek Restaurant, on the other hand, is a rival business located in London and serves Greek food. In addition to delivery, the restaurant also provides catering services (Jimmy The Greek, 2023). In order to accomplish this, it has formed strategic alliances with several different food delivery services, including Uber Eats, as well as other businesses (Jimmy The Greek, 2023). One operational advantage to Jimmy the Greek restaurant is that it has a restricted menu, which means that the hotel only needs to purchase a small quantity of the necessary materials to create the restaurant’s meals. This results in cost savings for the restaurant. In addition, Jimmy the Greek is a well-known brand on a global scale, which enables the company to maintain a sizable consumer base despite competing with famous brands in markets such as the United States. These people feel at ease eating at this restaurant whenever they travel to London. The fact that the restaurant serves primarily Greek cuisine, however, restricts the kind of customers it may serve (Jimmy The Greek, 2023). In addition, the restaurant has made significant investments in several in-home delivery options, including forming partnerships with several different delivery businesses. Because of this, ultimately, they were forced to raise their pricing to cover the increased cost of delivery, which caused a decline in the number of customers they serve.
The Four Vs of Operations Management
All operational processes have in common that they change their “inputs,” which might include things like raw materials, expertise, money, equipment, and time, into outputs, which can include things like products and services (Philip, 2019). They accomplish this goal in various methods, the most important of which is referred to as the “Four V’s,” which stand for volume, variety, variation, and visibility.
The Volume Dimension
The Symposium café is an excellent example of a restaurant with a large volume but low prices. The volume of activity largely determines the organisation of the company it experiences. The generation of variety, which, by lowering costs in other areas, helps to enhance overall operations while at the same time lowering the total costs of operations, is essential to its functioning as a business. In comparison, its rival, Jimmy the Greek, has a far lesser volume of customers. It is because it has a restricted workforce, in addition to the decreased number of items it produces for its consumers due to its limited menu and variety. Both of these factors have contributed to this situation. In practice, each staff member is responsible for a greater variety of responsibilities, ultimately resulting in higher unit costs.
The Variety Dimension
The restaurant has a substantial menu with many different selections for customers, making it an excellent choice for those who value variety. The restaurant provides a variety of meals, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives, for customers to choose from. In addition to that, the restaurant features a cuisine that is both distinct and fascinating. In this instance, the eatery provides a breakfast choice available all day long (Tripadvisor, 2021). It enables customers to buy breakfast from the menu at any time of the day. On the other side, its rival solely serves dishes with a Greek influence on its menu. Jimmy, the Greek restaurant has a restricted menu, which means that the restaurant can keep its prices low since it uses only a few different products to produce its dishes. On the other hand, this reduces the amount of variation the firm can provide for its customers.
The variation Dimension
The degree to which the amount of demand varies over time due to influences from the outside world is called variation (Philip, 2019). However, it is impossible to forecast variation because of several different elements. For instance, a natural calamity like the Covid-19 epidemic attacked the planet, which caused everything in the whole world, including all aspects of existence, to be turned upside down. Regarding menu variation, the Symposium Café can adapt and adjust its offerings according to the changing seasons and other environmental factors. Therefore, the company has a high variation compared to its competitor. On the other hand, Jimmy the Greek has a restricted and restrictive menu, which limits the variation even though they provide various services such as event catering. The company has targeted Greek cuisine’s complicated and unique nature and therefore offers personalised services.
The Visibility Dimension
This criterion relates to a customer’s capacity to monitor and follow the progress of their order or their experience as it moves through the operations process (Philip, 2019). On the other hand, Jimmy the Greek, its competitor, has a high visibility dimension because customers can track their food online and know when to pick it up when it arrives at their homes or other places indicated for delivery. It is because Jimmy the Greek offers home delivery, which allows customers to track their food. On the other hand, Symposium Café has a low visibility dimension because although they offer an online purchasing platform, clients still need to go to the company’s premises to pick up their purchases. It requires the customers to make additional travel arrangements.
Symposium café is committed towards a sustainable and clean business. First of all, the company serves plant-based or vegetarian meals to individuals who may be interested in these types of foods. In addition, the company also sources a variety of its raw material within the local community promoting economic growth and development. Most of the ingredients used in the production of its meals are specifically sourced from the local community hence promoting sustainability and development of the local economy.
Strategic Level and Operations Level
In terms of the performance of its operations, the firm has been able to minimise expenses while simultaneously managing a significant output and sustainable operations. It has allowed the company to improve its overall performance. By systematising the labour and ensuring that some jobs can be performed repetitively, the organisation has successfully cut costs while simultaneously increasing the volume of its operations. As a result, the standards and procedures that are followed dictate how each step of the task is completed, and by integrating them in this manner, the organisation can maintain a low-cost base.
Operations Strategy of the Company
The company utilises a market requirement perspective as part of its operational strategy. The terms “market requirements” and “business goals and operational strategies” are used interchangeably in this context. The market’s needs are a vital component of any operations strategy since they define the price, quality, and delivery time of a product or service to fulfil the client’s requirements. The company operates purely on a requirements basis, dealing with demand as it crops up. Based on the challenging economic times, the company has found ways to reduce operational costs and make their final products lower overall costs to the final consumer or the client. It involves limiting operational costs of aspects such as delivery and specialisation in addition to a high degree of repeatability among its labour force.
Process Strategies, Design, and Technologies
The company uses a repetitive focused process strategy. Because of this method, Symposium can rapidly produce meals in a manner analogous to that of an assembly line for its operations. Because of the repetitious nature of the work done in the kitchen, the employees need help becoming proficient in the ergonomically sound layout. For instance, when it comes to making a specific meal in the restaurant, the process goes through a chain-like event where each aspect of the food process is nearly done by a different individual who adds a specific component to the meals in order to make it whole. This process is efficient and more economical as it is requires a limited amount of workers and produces a variety of goods and services for the restaurant as a whole. The food is made especially quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, the repetitious focus plan calls for employees with lower levels of expertise. However, at the same time, these workers are allowed to shine in many parts of the business. Through their first and crucial over-the-shoulder training, successful workers are indoctrinated into the organisation’s business model. It lends credence to the explanation put out by the corporation for why it was able to keep all of its workers on during the epidemic without letting anybody go. Regarding contracts, most of its rivals have a far smaller production volume, less labour, and less systemisation. Each member of their staff is responsible for completing a more extensive variety of duties, all of which contribute to higher unit costs.
Symposium has two main bottlenecks preventing the smooth flow of the supply chain and hence it operations as a company in addition to its ability to make profits. The first bottleneck is in the form of supply chain disunity in terms of operations. For instance, when it comes to the procurement of raw materials, the person in charge of this procedure does not communicate hand-in-hand with the individuals from other departments. Each of the company’s departments function individually and independently. This has led to a significant amount of challenges and more specifically a disunity of the company’s inventory leading to losses. Moreover, another bottleneck is that the company also does not offer delivery services, limiting the completion of the supply chain. The fact that the company has an online purchase system yet no delivery system first of all means that the supply chain is not completed. In addition another problem with lack of a delivery system is that it reduces the quality of customer experience and therefore their general satisfaction with the services offered by the company, hence reducing customer loyalty. For service-based companies like Symposium, loyalty is a significant aspect of their businesss.
Solutions to Specified Bottlenecks
The solutions to the company’s challenges can be tackled through inventory management and capacity utilisation. The company can adopt a more unified inventory system in its operations. Because there are so many diverse aspects of the supply chains, it takes time to fully manage all of the elements and variables that go into creating these networks (Krajewski & Malhotra, 2022). This fact directly affects managers stationed at various places along the supply chain from being aware of one another’s expenditures. All information, including financial transactions inside the supply chain, is delivered to all chain participants via a uniform data-sharing system. The chain is kept as productive as feasible. It includes all information relating to the supply chain.
Rathee (2022) asserts that digital data transport is a crucial component of a reliable supply chain. The consumer experience can be enhanced overall, information can be more straightforward for all carriers, and the supply chain firm can be shielded from potential disruptions. Following these processes, the corporation may study this data and research the numerous alternate tactics and elements that, when combined, may lower costs and advance the organisation’s development. This component has directly contributed to the company’s significant revenue growth, giving it a competitive advantage over many other industry competitors. It is because integrating data across the supply chain also requires integrating the finances, making it possible to determine how and when money is spent precisely. It is the cause of the situation as it is. As a result, there will be increased discussion around costs and suggestions for streamlining costs and improving procedures. By doing this, Symposium may be protected from any supply chain interruptions brought by problems like the pandemic or other natural disruptions.
In addition, one of the essential things the restaurant can do to enhance its brand and make it more visible is to strengthen its online presence. It is one of the essential actions that the restaurant can do. It might be accomplished through the creation of software for home ordering or through the use of positive internet evaluations. In this context, the internet and other forms of technology play an essential and fundamental part in the functioning and operation of society (Francis, 2019). In addition, this action may garner support from members of the younger generation. In addition, the corporation can invest additional money in take-out and in-home delivery services, albeit on a limited scale. As a result of the epidemic, more customers can stay in their homes. If a restaurant offers delivery or takeaway services, it stands to make significant financial gains from this shift in consumer behaviour. Deliveries delivered to customers’ homes are becoming increasingly important, particularly in the current climate; nonetheless, rules need to be established around what exactly qualifies as home delivery. In order to cut costs and make their meals more affordable, the restaurant may choose to establish a delivery area limited to a certain distance from the establishment. The customer’s convenience is essential; nevertheless, when times are tough economically, a product or service’s cost and price appeal are even more crucial.
Francis, K.A. (2019) How has the internet impacted businesses?, Small Business – Chron.com. Chron.com. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/internet-impacted-businesses-321.html (Accessed: January 11, 2023).
Jimmy The Greek (2023) Just like home, Jimmy The Greek. Available at: https://www.jimmythegreek.com/ (Accessed: January 11, 2023).
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Philip, E. (2019) The 4 vs of operation management, LinkedIn. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-vs-operation-management-philip-eshelby (Accessed: January 11, 2023).
Rathee, R. (2022) Digital Data Sharing is key to a resilient supply chain, www.cai.io. Available at: https://www.cai.io/resources/thought-leadership/digital-data-sharing-is-the-key-to-a-resilient-supply-chain (Accessed: January 11, 2023).
Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge (2023) Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge – Cambridge – Cambridge, on OpenTable, OpenTable. Available at: https://www.opentable.co.uk/r/symposium-cafe-restaurant-and-lounge-cambridge (Accessed: January 11, 2023).
Tripadvisor (2021) Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge, Toronto – 5221 Yonge St, North York – Menu & Prices, Tripadvisor. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g155019-d6674345-Reviews-Symposium_Cafe_Restaurant_Lounge-Toronto_Ontario.html (Accessed: January 11, 2023).