Business Communication Hell Pizza Business Essay

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1. Introduction

Gourmet fast food chain Hell Pizza is a leading business in the New Zealand food industry. Hells Pizza, a New Zealand based company was founded in 1996 by Callum Davies thereafter joined by Stu McMullin and Warren Powell -they called themselves 'Unholy Trinity' (Hellpizza, n.d.), opening their first restaurant outlet in Wellington. Hells Pizza quickly became a thriving success and expanding throughout the country. A tool that was critical to the success of this business enterprise was the utilization of Internet by offering an online pizza ordering service as a means of marketing their products and services. Hell is mostly a franchise business. Currently there are 64 franchises in New Zealand, 11 in Australia, 3 in United Kingdom and recently there have been talks of launching its stores in Ireland, Canada and India - as part of their much popular slogan 'Global Domination'. Hell Pizza well known for its quality toppings, original sauces and meats and more recently due to a TV3 'Target' exposé, healthiest pizzas in New Zealand. The company is also known for its humorous and eccentric advertising style and have in the past come under constant scrutiny for those reasons.

2. Discussion

2.1 Business Demographics

Hell was first Kiwi Company to introduce online pizza ordering which is accessible through this link: This website is a very important as it is a way in which to communicate with its customers; and aside from food orders, it also provides information about Hell Company and introduces new products and changes to their menu. Another popular communication tool is the toll free number which allows customers to call free from any landline or mobile phone. Some of the features this toll free number can offer includes: selecting and placing their order in a store or outlet of their choice. All Hell stores are connected to an intranet server which ensures accountability and effective service responsiveness. 'Pizza wars' is a really interesting application also offered in the intranet service which helps stores to check how many pizzas are sold in others stores. This application creates healthy competition and challenges stores to continuously improve their services. Emailing is another tool of communication used and is managed under a special department by Mr. Lullu. The role of this department is to keep all the stores in New Zealand informed of new policies and promotions as well as handling customer care and feedback. The backbone of the Hell intranet service is a software called Spikefin Hell Man. Recently, due to a substantial increase customers utilizing this service, Spikefin Hell Man has come under fire causing havoc due to system malfunctions. Some of these problems include complete system shut down resulting in late orders and inevitably losses in profit. These problems are untenable and improvements need to be made in developing the intranet services accordingly. As they say in the movie "if it 'ain't broke don't fix it… and if you can't beat em', join em''.

2.2 Organizational Goals

The Hells Pizza mantra is to provide "the best damned pizzas you are likely to eat in your life time" (Hellpizza, n.d.). In their words "We are not just a pizza business - we create a retail dinning experience! When you buy a service ,you buy an activity carried out for you - but when you buy an experience -you pay to be entertained, immersed, and engaged in a personnel-a memorable way" (Hellpizza, n.d.). Hell Pizza has very stringent protocols associated with customer care, products and services. Negative feedback is good example of this commitment. If a customer sends negative feedback regarding their service they are committed to solve that issue within 24 hours. Their main concern is to provide best food on time. If an order is late, they are adequately compensated with a guarantee that their issues will be dealt with swiftly and efficiently in future interactions.

2.3 Organizational Culture and Ethics

What distinguishes this enterprise from your average pizza fast-food outlet is the theme 'Hell' of which it marketed to its customers. These include names of its food products e.g. pizzas named after the 'seven deadly sins'; custom décor and furnishings; coffin-shaped pizza boxes and many more. The clever use of names and puns effectively captures the attention of their audience, in this case potential customers and bystanders. Moreover, it is not to say that these marketing strategies have not endured some backlash in the media. In October 2006, Hells Pizza launched a campaign to promote a new pizza on their menu 'Lust' involving the distribution of 170,000 branded condoms. Needless to say this incident spurred a wave of controversial debates as whether this company had gone too far in its quest for profit. Now not all publicity for this company has been bad, in fact Hell is also known for its participation in social activities, philanthropy one might call it. Hell is significant contributor to charities that care for people affected by natural disasters and staff or associates in need. Furthermore, Hell helps give back to their respective communities through recycling all their plastics, glass, tin etc and more recently giving free eco-bags to customers with every order.

2.4 Management of Knowledge Resources

The management of knowledge resources in Hells Pizza enterprises occurs by various interactions and means. From a top-down perspective, information flows via the use of training manuals for managers and staff; a training and accreditation system for people wishing to open a Hell franchise; direct contact from Hells head-office in person or emails; and experience-based training for new staff. An example of these processes in practice is the Hells Pizza training manual 'Book of Hell', again cleverly coined 'the constitution' (Hellpizza, n.d.). This manual includes the entire Hells menu, ingredients, and instructional recipes for staff to become familiar with in the training process. Furthermore, when this training process is completed, officials from the Hells Pizza head-office are required to assess the training of new staff through a practical examination.

Similar to top-down approaches, information also flows bottom-up. Hells head office welcomes all types of input from its staff and customers, for example, suggestions or recommendations on how to improve their products and services. Hell Pizza encourages its stakeholders to participate in decision making. An example of this can be illustrated in Hells voting forms distributed with each order asking them which drinks they prefer: coke or pepsi. In Hells endeavor to choose a new sposor for their drinks range, customer input and participation is also seen as valuable.

2.5 Group Dynamics

Inside Hell stores there are many verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate between different sections. There are four main sections in Hell stores including: front counter, make-bench, fryer and drivers. Effective communication is necessary between these four sections. Printed dockets are also tools of communication in that they ensure prompt and effective management between sections. Apart from that there are also non-verbal tools of communication. For example, delivery bags that are not closed means that the order is not ready or incomplete. Placement of printed dockets on make-bench, fryer and cut area is also a non-verbal tool of communication. These kind of verbal and non-verbal techniques help staff to work effectively in team and avoids conflicts. Verbal communication is primarily done so in English language.

2.6 Meeting management

Every year on Halloween, Hell Pizza organizes a national level conference. This conference is about acknowledging and rewarding their stores, managers and staff that have excelled that year. Another part of the agenda is Hells monthly staff meetings and perhaps and the occasional party. Every member of the crew are encouraged to express their ideas during these meetings. The occasional party is an means of developing good working environments. And all else aside, meetings also take place on daily basis to discuss routine business planning.

2.7 Stakeholders

Suppliers and customers are the two main stakeholders of Hell Pizza. Davis Trading Ltd is main supplier which supplies most of products to Hell stores in New Zealand. KSV is vegetable and Coke supplies drinks to all stores in New Zealand. All these suppliers are connected through intranet. The main tools of communication with these suppliers are via the intranet, emails, fax and telephone. Other means of communication include: television, posters, signboards, typically used to market and advertise their products and services.

2.8 Network

Hell is moving with the times… using Facebook and other networking websites for marketing purposes. Recently they have begun using Youtube to campaign 'deliver me to hell', a video clip which some might say is trying to reach out to a younger audience. This clip was one of the most viewed clip of New Zealand. Sponsorship is also proving to be a successful marketing tool, creating networks by sponsoring TV programs such as 'Pulp Sport'.

3. Summary.

Hells Pizza company is without a doubt one of the more successful businesses in the New Zealand and with good reason. Hells Pizza utilises various modes of communication in its business dynamics. Each form of communication or interaction is handled with efficiency, whether its customer feedback, staff training, brand advertising or marketing, Hells Pizza maintains a high standard quality services. And despite media backlash on some of their advertising, it would appear that the publicity has done more good than harm… so perhaps 'global domination' is not too far off the mark.