Evaluating the Strategic Role of Operations Management at Nandos
Nandos can be described as a casual dining restaurant, which originated in South Africa with a Mozambique/ Portuguese theme. Nando's got its name from one of its founders; Fernando who had Nando's in the later part of his name. The Restaurant chain was founded in 1987 and has grown to operate in over thirty countries in over five continents. (www.nandos.co.uk) Most commonly, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Malaysia, Mauritius , Pakistan, Singapore, Zimbabwe, the united States of America and The united kingdom in which Nando's is trying to build a finger licking tradition. They received the highest accolade for excellence ( three stars) in the best companies annual accreditation awards. It is important to high light here that amongst all the large companies which entered for this award , Nando's was the only one who received the award. (www.nandos.co.uk)
Nando's is specialized in serving chicken and chips , rice or mashed potatoes. They specialize in selling flames peri peri chicken and from a personal point of view I think that they do no only specialize in the selling flamed chicken grills , I think that they have revolutionarised the way in which we eat chicken and chips in the united kingdom. Chicken and chips in the united kingdom can to an extent be considered staple food, but with the establishment of Nando's in the country , its presentation and serving has been given a total over hall. The name peri peri is a south African Swahili word for what is called in Africa the birds eye chilli.. This chilli is exclusively indigenous to Africa. The chicken in Nando's is served in either quarters, halves or a full chicken. (www.nandos.co.uk)There are also butterfly breast which are sold exclusively to the Nando's restaurants in the united Kingdom. Added to chicken, Nando's also serves pitas, burgers, salads, wings and raps in their restaurants. In other countries, Nando's sells, a large stand with a skewer of chicken breast and large peppers , chicken livers and a chicken and rice dish served in a traditional Portuguese copper dish. Nando's serves a wide range of drinks, but they are well known for their idea of serving bottomless drinks, which gives the customer the opportunity to drink and endless as much soft drink as they want, as long as they can handle it and nobody is allowed to take any away from the premises of the restaurant. (www.nandos.co.uk)
Nandos thrives on excellence, this is embedded in the our promise section of the menu. In the promise, Nando says that nothing is more important that keeping a promise, and the symbol of the escudo is a sign of integrity, passion, pride and courage. (www.nandos.com)This is a promise by Nando's to give you the customer the excellent flavor and quality that you would expect. It is important to add her that every service sector company should strive to attain excellence. The survival of this type of business depends on people opinions as such it is very very essential that these kind of companies try their utmost best to keep customer satisfaction levels high. This could either be in the way of producing the best quality plate of food that a customer has ordered in the shortest time possible. (www.nandos.co.uk)This will reduce the waiting times by the customers, but still leave the customer with the excellent feeling of satisfaction of consuming your good or service
According to accounts filed at companies house in 2009 , the financial crisis at Nando's worsened as they made a loss of about 23 million pounds. As a result of the financial crisis, consumer spending reduced and there was a rise in the cost of raw materials to the industry. This led to a rise in cost to the company and a fall in sale. It is important to not that the company made sales during the period of about one hundred and sixty seven million but due to other factors out of their control, they were still able to make a loss. Management also confirmed that they were happy with the performance of the company even though they did worse that the previous financial year. (www.nandos.co.uk)
Operations management is responsible for designing, redesigning and overseeing business operations. It focuses on the process of producing and distributing goods and services efficiently. Operations management makes sure that business operations use as little resources as possible to produce the post resources as possible, it also has to be as efficient in the sense that it has to make sure that the customers requirements are met. Other activities that are associated with this process include inventory control, quality control, managing processes, storage , logistics and evaluation of processes. Substantial measurement and management of internal processes is therefore embedded in the operations management concept. Important to note therefore is that fact that the ways by which operations management is carried out in an organization depends sole or wholly n the goods and services that this
The idea of the role operations plays in business is very important , as similarly as human beings, we have a role I our everyday existence. In the morning, we could be parents the our kids, later in the day colleagues at work, and later in the evening we could be friends to other people. The point which should be made here, is that we have a different function in every role we play. In the same way, operations in the business depending on what they are, perform a different function depending on what their overall objective is. The most basic role of strategic operations is implementing business strategy. Other important roles of operations are to act as support for the business strategy and to act as a driver for business strategy.
Operation management objectives are generally every broad. However, it is important to note that operation management affect five different groups or stakeholders in the organization. (Micheal and McCathie ,2005) The first obvious group of people that are going to be affected by operations are the customers. The second group of people going to be affected are the suppliers who have to change or adapt to the changes in any operations so that the end results can be achieved. The share holders are definitely another group that are going to be affected by changes in operations. The better the operation performs, the more business will be driven to the company which in turn increases sales and in turn increases returns on shares. (Micheal and McCathie ,2005) Generally, employees implement operations processes, therefore it is important that the employees understand the objectives of this operation and are will and able to do everything possible to achieve this goal. Also there is a chance like with many companies, that if the employees perform well and this generates positive returns for the company, then they will be in turn better off as the company may be in the position to offer bonuses to them or maybe increase their employee benefits or salaries.
Findings And Analysis
This report is going to analyze the strategic role of operations and operations objectives, layout , flow , process, and capacity management of Nando's high cross Leicester. It finds that Nando is a high volume mass service restaurant operating with a low process variety level
This report will examine and describe the main characteristics of Nandos service operations in the high cross in Leicester which was visited on the evening of Friday the first of April 2011.
After making the necessary analysis, this report will end with a recommendation on how Nandos can improve their process.
It is worth noting here that Nandos has become or is gradually becoming a household name in the United Kingdom. Demand for the products and services is so high in the Leicester area that they are operating two restaurants in the city center, one about four hundred yards from the other (Micheal and McCathie ,2005)
Nandos can be said to have a fairly predictable variation in the daily, weekly and seasonal demand for its goods and services. Because of the type of food they sell, it is very typical for a Nandos restaurant to be virtually empty in the morning hours of the day. Generally , the most busy periods for the restaurant are evenings, weekend, launch time, and various holiday periods. Periods such as Easter, Christmas and the New year.
As a result therefore, management of Nandos varies the number of staff in the shop at any one period of time so that they can be able to meet up with and adapt with changes in demand. Nandos also employs a good number of part time and temporal staff as such they can be called in at short notice so that unexpected variations in demand can be dealt with efficiently and time lags are avoided.
Visibility can be said to be the level of exposure to operations that the customer experiences. Using this definition, Nando's can be said to have very high levels of visibility as they are exposed to all the front end operations of the business. In a typical Nando's restaurant , the customer is able to take a look at how his chicken is grilled. Basically take a look at how his/her meal is being prepared.
However, if visibility is considered in terms of the extent to which customers can customize their meals, then visibility can be said to be between medium and low. Nandos, on most of the days and in the evenings can be considered to be a high volume restaurant. This means that you have a lot of people coming into the restaurant to eat. Customizing meals will not be very feasible as it will totally slow down operations. At some times of the day, say probably earlier on in the day, it is easier to probably try an customize meals. But id that is done then they will have to try to practice that through out the day and it will be virtually impossible to do during peak times. As such it can be said that due to its high volume nature, low to medium levels of visibility are necessary in order that the business can operate efficiently.
Since customer satisfactions is greatly linked to quality of service, overtime Nandos has tried to increase visibility by increasing the options available to customers. they have brought in vegetarian options to their meals, increases they side dishes that they offer with their meal as well. Nandos used to only offer chips and rice as a side dish to your ordered chicken, now they have other additional options such as mashed potatoes. They have also introduced salads, burgers , pittas , wings and wraps. Also, overtime, they introduce the serving of desserts and now have a great variety of things you can have as desserts after you eat your meal. Hornets are a great example of something revolutionary that they have got in their starter menu. And because a lot of the stuff in the menu is unique cant be gotten from any other restaurant in the same way that it is served in Nandos, people keep on coming back.
In my opinion, Nandos does not provide a lot in terms of variety on their menus. It is true that looking at the menu superficially, you have the feeling that there is a lot on there and you probably have a wide range to chose from. But for flesh loving customers, their choices are limited to chicken. On the evening of my observation, I saw a family of five , two parents, mum and dad and their children who came into Nandos to have a meal. While kids and their dad seemed to be enjoying the meal, the mum who was a meat lover but didn't like chicken had to manage through the evening. Understandably, Nandos as a restaurant cant satisfy the wants of everybody who walk into or thinks about walking into their restaurant, but a little bit of diversification in menu variety will do a lot of good and will definitely go a long way to increase consumer satisfaction.
Layout, flow and process design.
Nandos, high cross is kind of set in a new building which was open about three years ago. Nandos has what I will term a semi oval shape and the way the restaurant is set up, it gives easy access for movement around the restaurant even when it is at full capacity. It is important to note that customers have to go to the tills to place their orders, since bottomless drinks are very common in Nandos restaurants, customers have to be moving around as well to re fill their glasses and after placing orders, customer have to pick up their cutlery and sauces by themselves. So with all of this in mind, the restaurant is set up in such a way that it can accommodate the flow of customers at any given point in time. Just as you enter the restaurant, there is a sitting area which either provide accommodation for people who have placed take away orders and are waiting for it to be prepared or given a situation when the restaurant is so busy and at full capacity waiting customers can make use of this area to wait.
It is important to note that besides being convenient to the customers, the existence of a functional layout in the restaurant improves and increases overall efficiency of the operation. For example drinks and refill facilities are all set up at one place, plates and sauces with cutlery are also all set up at one place. This makes it really easy for staff to restock in the event that the run out .
The big advantage of having a proper layout is that it allows customers for example to move directly to what they are looking for. It prevents people from wondering all around the restaurant in search of what they are looking for.
Strategic performance objectives.
There are five performance objectives which are common to all operations, these include dependability, speed, flexibility and cost.
Customer satisfaction is directly tied to the quality of the goods and the service which is offered in a Nandos restaurant. If customers became dissatisfied service or quality of the food served in the Nandos restaurant, they might decide to eat somewhere else or why not decide to start eat strictly home made food. This will inevitable lead to a fall in revenue for the restaurant and who knows, might have a knock on effect to other companies in the same line of business. If for example, customers caught a bug from eating in the Nandos restaurant, there is really no guarantee that this bug isn't present in other restaurants, as such risk adverse customers will refrain totally from eating in restaurants, which brings on this knock on effect is spoke about .
Due to the fact that this is a service sector industry and the food is prepared on the spot, it is hard to say that first piece of chick which leaves the grill will be exactly the same like another piece which leaves the grill and taking into consideration the fact that this food is prepared by human being, level of quality is susceptible to variations. Also the way the ay one staff treats a customer will not necessarily be the same way in which another staff will treat another customer. This will undoubtedly leave different customers at with different opinions about the quality of service at Nando's.
Also talking to the manager at Nandos high cross, I was given the impression that student part time staff are a lot less committed and devote to their jobs as such they tends to provide a lower quality of service when compared to may be full time adult staff.
Sometimes, the levels of quality can be reduced unintentionally or intentionally as a result of balancing quality with cost and flexibility.
Nandos has its regular opening and closing times so that customers are clearly aware of the times at which they can attend the restaurant to have a meal. At Nandos High Cross, Sunday to Thursday, Nandos opens between 11:30 to 23:00 o'clock and on Fridays and Saturdays, between 11:30 and 00:00 hours. Customers in the area are fully aware of these opening times and they are guaranteed that if they walk into the door of this restaurant between these hours , they are guaranteed to have what ever they order. To the best of my knowledge from personal experience and from talking to staff in the restaurant, I have not yet come across a scenario in which a customers order could not be met because certain things were out of stock. This therefore means that inventory in Nandos restaurants are properly taken care of and refilled where and when the need arises.
Speed is an issue generally in the Nandos restaurants. Sometimes you have a long queue at the till and you have only one of the tills being operated. This makes customers orders to be taken slowly and in turn makes the overall waiting experience really long. Also the waiting time for food sometimes ranged up to fifteen minutes. In the general perspective that is not a long time to wait for your food to be cooked and served, but say you dropped in for lunch in on your lunch break, you take a few ins to queue up to get your order started and wait fifteen minutes for your food to get ready, you end up discovering that when your food arrives you barely have enough time to eat properly before you get back t work. If Nando's can reduce the waiting times, I think customer experience is going to be a lot better. This is going to keep customer coming to the restaurant and in turn increase sales and income levels to the company.
I personally do not think that Nandos is a very flexible restaurant , ninety percent of their meals are chicken dependent and demand and supply in the particular chain can be determined by factors totally out of the control of the restaurant. For example if we took the case of a bird flu pandemic in the country, this is going to lead serious fall in the supply of chickens to be prepared in the Nandos stores. This pandemic will not only affect the supply of chickens to the restaurant but it will affect customer's perception. Customers will be wary about eating chicken at all and a sustained existence of this kind of pandemic will greatly affect sales at the restaurant. This will wholly be to the fact that Nandos sells only chicken do very little in the form of varying to other products. It might be nice for a change for Nandos to try and marinate beef or steak with their peri peri spices and serve with chips. This will and might increase their customer base and increase revenue.
In todays economic climate, cost has become an increasingly become important. To the extend that it almost acts as a winner for restaurants. Other companies in the country such as Tesco, highlight the importance of cost in the economy by using slogans such as "every little helps "Personally I think that the cost of food in Nandos is fairly affordable and anybody who want to have a proper meal of chicken and chips can actually just walk into Nandos , buy a quarter of chicken and chips and have an unlimited amount of drink for themselves for a little under ten pounds.
Generally speaking, quality management is a very recent concept which gives customers the opportunity to be able to choose goods which meet a higher quality in standard that other regular goods. (Greasley, 2009) Customers have come to the realization that the quality of the good or service is a very important attribute. And companies have also come to the realization that the quality in the good or service that they provide can make the difference as to whether a customer chooses them or chooses their competitor. (Greasley, 2009) Quality management generally adopts a number of principle that cam be used by top management to organize the institution towards better or improved performance. Some of these principles include being customer focused; at the heart of a business like Nandos the customer is everything about the business. As such the present and future needs of the customer should always be looked at. Management should plan to tackle any needs that might be arising in the near future. (Greasley, 2009)
Another aspect of quality management is leadership, the leaders in the organization are supposed to be able to adopt unity and direction of purpose and endeavor to stir the company in the direction of their target goals.
Management has to try to involves the employees at all levels in the organization, this makes people to feel valued and it goes a long way to improve performance. A mutually beneficial relationship between supplier and business has to be built and an effective and efficient systematic approach to business has to be developed. As a company they has to be the need to constantly want to improve processes and work on customer beneficial approaches.
Talking to the manager of Nando's, he told me that they keep quality at the top of their to do list. I can remember the first time I ate at Nandos I suffered from a bad after reaction, as the peri peri sauce that I used with my meal was stale. And I noticed this in a couple of other shops on different occasions. At the moment management has realized that they can no longer put sauces into a bottle and expect to refill it only when it is finished. Now the peri peri sauces are constantly renewed and refreshed to make sure that the customer enjoys the sauce when it is in its best state.
Also over time, customer service in the restaurants has been greatly improved, customer focused training is given to all staff at the restaurant and they the staff are constantly being monitored by their supervisors to ensure that they carry out their work well and they have the best interest of the consumer at heart.
On a negative not from a customers point of view, the sizes of the portions have constantly been reducing over time. They seem to be buying a lot smaller birds and they have even changed the bowls used to serve side dishes to smaller ones. This in effect has reduced the amount of food that is being served for exactly the same amount of money. This to the company is good, as they seem to make a lot more money for a comparatively smaller amount of good or service they are providing.
In conclusion therefore, looking at the way operations are managed in Nando's, high cross Leicester, from talking to some customer and talking to staff and the manager in the shop, I think that they as a restaurant they have worked hard in the last three years to improve customer experience. They have tried to everything within their powers to reduce customer waiting times, they have worked tirelessly with staff to improves customer service and tried to build a good relationship with supplier to ensure that all goods are supplied on time and they have a rota which permits them to have adequate staff to be able to deal with all customer queries and enquiries at peak periods.
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