Analysis of the pret a manger firm


Prêt A Manger is a unique food chain because of its traditional wisdom on food. "Prêt A Manger differentiates its sandwiches and other ready-to-eat foods using the positioning of 'made fresh daily' (Wood, 2004).

Total quality management is a process in the organisation to ensure that the firm consistently meets or exceeds customer requirements. The TQM is a strong method as a means of continuous improvement. Proper management system will help the company run smoothly and can be able to attain its long term goals. By having a good cash management and proper management of the budget the company will be able to operate for a long period of time. Also, the use of the quality assurance which is the process of verifying or determining whether products or services meet or exceed customer expectations has helped the company to grow and retain its customers. This process considers design, development, production, and service and has been used by Dr.Deming who came up with the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act). Indeed, Pret A Manger is always planning and implementing new strategies. They monitor and evaluate the implemented process by checking and comparing the sales amount of products. Customer satisfaction is primordial, therefore, every comments cards left by our customers is a chance for us to change and improve sandwiches.


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To: Customers

From: CEO


Re: Management System of Prêt a Manger

The memo is about the management system of the company. The firm had appointed a new CEO and has been implementing new changes to increase the efficiency in the different departments.

Prêt a manger serves fresh food with careful choice regarding ingredients and additives. In addition to this, the company makes efforts to use local and organic products. Prêt A Manger believes that it is important to focus continually on the quality of food they serve. Concentration on both small and large aspects of operation is their secret to success. They ensure that all the products they sell are fresh, safe and free from additives. The firm relies on their workers and its people because the quality of customer service depends on them.

The company transforms input resources into output products and services. To evidence this, the company applies different dimensions to maintain organisation efficiency. Included in these dimensions are volume, variety, and variation in demand.

The volume dimension of the company involves the systematization of work. To systematize and organize work, standard processes are set out in the operation manual. This allows for consistency and association of the company processes in every branch. Standard processes include the provision of the company of lower unit costs because fixed overheads are spread over the large number of products.

The variety dimension of the organisation is the flexibility aspect of the company to allow needs of the customers match up with the trends in the business. The variation dimension is dependent on the demand pattern and seasonality of sales volume. During the peak seasons, the staff is overstretched. During the low seasons, the opportunity cost is high. To counter the disadvantages of these events, the firm plans for capacity planning.

The visibility dimension recognizes the visibility of the company's operation to the customer. The policy of the firm is to make smaller volume of sandwiches that reflect the preferences of the customers. If a product of the firm gets sold out, management will post a notice on the shelf that makes the customers aware of the situation. Actions like these will allow for portion control on productions and will help prevent any losses on perishable stocks. The firm had created a Sustainable Development Manager position to work with the Natural Step. This action is aimed to build a team that will implement Prêt a Manger's sustainability practices. Sustainable Prêt is a service that provides quality nourishment to the customers. Having services as such will make Prêt a Manger more innovative, inspirational and fresh. After the establishment of the Sustainable Prêt service, the company resulted in financial success.

To add to the innovative management systems of the company, Pret A Manger has been participating in community services and social works. To name some are food deliveries to the homeless in London, and participation in environmental activities. These activities include reducing the amount of energy using carbon emissions to reduce carbon footprint.

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With these pioneering organisational and administration systems, Prêt a Manger had become one of the most successful food chains in United Kingdom. Providing quality service and fresh food to all the customers, and doing community services, the company continues to gain affection from customers. This may be the reason for its growing success since it was established.

The success of the company is attributed to proper management and supervision and to the efficient use of different management systems. Through the TQM, strong continuous improvement is seen in the company's progress. Thus, TQM is a strongly suggested management method to promote continuous growth and development.

Sales Budget:

The graph shows the historical stock chart of Prêt A Manger for the year 2010. From the chart, it can be seen that during the start of the year the sales of the company was low. The highest peak can be seen during the month of March. In the year 2009 the company had earnings of £279.2 million compared to approximately £185 million for 2010. The earning is low as compared with the former year.

During the year 2009, the company opened new stores around the world. This may have contributed to its higher sales than 2010. Also, global economy and competition in the food industry like McDonald's and Starbucks have provided reason for the decreased company sales for 2010. In addition to this, many problems like increasing commodities affected the company that the sales were also affected..

Prêt A Manger is one of the Britain's most environmentally concerned food suppliers due to the fact that it always serves the best fresh food like sandwiches and drinks that contains no chemicals. In London, Prêt a Manger is also considered as an exceptionally environmental friendly food chain. This gives the company more benefit than their other competitors because many customers today are growing to be health conscious. The company has a strong brand name and image in the food industry. Provided this fact is the opportunity to operate in other countries like Asia. Prêt A Manger invests more on the quality of the food that they serve and on the training of the staff that prepares the food. This means that more customers can trust the company and can make them loyal to the firm.

The company's strategic location in the different branches around the world can help them acquire more customers and noticeable because they choose the locations that have high dense populations. Thus, familiarization of the company is facilitated. Unlike the company's competitors, the Prêt A Manger is not franchised as it help the company centralize organisation to promote strong quality of their products and services. The company is a non capitalist this is the reason why they have lower cost compared to other food chains.

Disadvantages of the company involve their ineffective use of communications and media. Prêt a manger does not involve too much in the world of media and direct marketing. Due to this choice, the company is underprivileged against the competitors who well use television advertisements and commercials to promote their service.

The company is implementing tighter cash management procedures to maintain efficient management of finances.

Store managers are responsible for the counting of cash revenues at every closing shift. Every Prêt manager relies on the TY R300 to confirm the banking deposits and change releases. TYR 300 is the world's fastest cash counter allowing the firm to count till drawers and balance deposits for banking accurately and efficiently. In this manner the cash budget is monitored more easily. TY R300 also credits checking of non-cash items such as checks, coupons and luncheon vouchers. The choice of using this solution is associated to the Prêt a manger agency STARkis system; allowing cash count statistics to be transmitted instantly. TY R300 had helped the managers in counting cash revenues and able to use their time in ensuring the stock is replenished and that customer service is maximized.

There are systems in place to ensure that the money is being handles according to government and ethical standards. There are security cameras located discretely behind the cash registers to ensure that employees are not short-changing the registers. Managers do a security runs throughout shifts to collect a certain amount of cash in the draws (based on sales) and do a spot check which will help to see if there is any money missing from the till. This further discourages theft from employees and managers must sign out each transaction.

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The accountant will look at the receipts each day and make a report detailing the day's estimated sales projection, the actual amount brought in and the difference. This will help to see if the targeted sale has been reached The results are then transmitted to the main accounting office so that there is a competent back-up plan in case of an inquiry.

The money is deposited in a safe located in the office until the manager and one of the employee walk to the nearby branch to make the deposit every day. Security is of the upmost importance as usually a huge amount of cash, credit card details and other information are being transferred every day. Therefore, at the beginning of each shift, the manager in charge will have to count the money deposited on the safe the night before to make sure there is no discrepancies. The key of the safe will be kept by him until he hand them over to the next manager replacing him. This is so that we do not have an issue regarding the money.

For especially large amounts to be deposited into the bank one employee or two may drive to the local bank to make the deposit. The bank will ask for two signatures for their protection. This means the money will be counted and confirmed so that both parties are in agreement. It is to unsure the security and safety of the employees. Those precautions will help prevent any mistakes being made.

Creditors are paid as routinely as possible. A payment plan is set up that enables the company to pay a bigger share of the profits during the off-peak period and reduced amount during the months where there are fewer sales being made. The organisation tries to pay more than the minimum amount to reduce the amount of accrued interest debts which include property, rent, utilities, wages etc…

Petty cash is used for minimal expenditures that require immediate reimbursement such as stationary, transport, food equipments…etc. The cash fund is kept under locked and key and usually managed by one designated employee. The maximum withdrawal is set at £200/week and all transactions should be accompanied by a receipt and cannot be used to cover employee payroll.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Prêt a manger is a well-known food chain due to its health conscious food servings. However, to further promote the business to the public, the company should utilize well the most effective method of advertisement which is through mass media. Competitors of the company have the edge in marketing their products through the media. These make the people, who are the sources of potential customer, well aware about the products and services the company offers. For the company to become more globally competitive, they should concentrate more on how to develop their marketing strategy. The company has quality products unlike other food chains because they are environmental friendly and the foods that they served are healthier than the other competitors. The company focuses on the global environmental issues. In addition, the company uses benchmarking and blue ocean strategy in managing the company. The blue ocean strategy means that they avoid head-to-head competition; they concentrate more on product innovation and balance between the needs and cost of the firm. The company is a unique food chain because of its different lifestyle in preparing and delivering food to the customers. Thus, the company should improve more on the different products that they served to appeal to the people and to the preferences of the different culture in different countries. Strong points should be maximized by the company. When this is accomplished, surely, success and progress of Prêt A Manger is inevitable.