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Problem Statement: Kudler's Fine Foods
Kudler's Fine Foods is a gourmet food store founded in 1998 by Kathy Kudler. They offer gourmet food with only the finest organic ingredients. They currently have three different locations throughout the southern California area. There are plans to open some new locations in Carlsbad California and in the San Francisco area. The long term plan is to open stores in other high end areas such as Scottsdale Arizona, Naples Florida, and Greenwich Connecticut.
Competition is an issue that Kudler's has not had to directly deal with, however there is a chance that a gourmet food store can open in the area. Should a gourmet store open within the vicinity of a Kulder's store it can cause some stiff competition and possibly the failure of that store. With a superior marketing strategy this company can survive. The marketing concept consists of three parts, the customer, service, and profit orientation (Nickles, McHugh, McHugh, 2008). The customer orientation is the focus on what the customer wants and needs (Nickles, McHugh, McHugh, 2008). The question management needs to ask themselves is, what type of gourmet food are the customers interested in? Service orientation is the focus on the same objective, the satisfaction of the customer (Nickles, McHugh, McHugh, 2008). If everyone is focused on the same objective then failure will be minimal, besides customer satisfaction should be the main focus of any business. Like the saying goes, "the customer is always right". Profit orientation is the focus of the profitability of the company with the use of the most cost effective methods. Serving the customers with the highest quality products at the most minimal cost to the company will enable the survival of the company.
Expanding the stores locations is a high risk move for Kudler's Food. Two years after Kathy, the owner, opened up her first store in La Jolla, she decided to open up a store in Del Mar. The Del Mar store is not doing well. The plan is to "phase out" the Del Mar store. The question here is why did it fail, and how can we prevent another failed store? While the demographics showed to be successful there, it still failed. I feel that a town or city with a larger population must be selected for a new store location. The best way to have a successful store is to have a trademark. Get out there and scan the area stores and restaurants. Find out what they have that makes their customers want to keep coming back. On his show, "Kitchen Nightmares", world famed chef Gordan Ramsay checks all the area restaurants to see why their customers keep coming back. He makes sure that the restaurant he is trying to help doesn't duplicate what the others are doing. He encourages them to have a special trademark. For example on one of his shows he encourages a struggling Italian restaurant to make fresh homemade pasta their special trademark. That restaurant made a profit and had more patrons because they wanted their homemade pasta, they were now known for their trademark.
Kathy is the main person in charge of all ordering, inventory, and financial transactions. With the expanding of stores this is allowing Kathy less face to face time with her customers. It is important for the customers to be able to see and interact with the owner. It shows the customers that the owner is present and passionate about their business. Investment company Edward Jones does not allow any emails to their customers. They only allow personal, voice, and snail mail contact only (Roach, 2009). The more personal forms of contact build stronger relationships between the business and customer. In order for Kathy to have that face to face contact a new management team needs to be implemented. This new team will be able to order products, take inventory, and complete financial transactions. The financial transactions will also need to be done by computer. A financial operating system such as QuickBooks will need to be implemented so more than one person can handle the finances. If Kathy needs to be away or is sick someone can gain access to the financials if it is set up on a computer. Kathy also plans to retire in 10-15 years, and with a computer based financial, inventory, and ordering system in place the transition will be much easier.
Kudler's Fine Foods can be a successful gourmet food business. If management can develop and implement a superior marketing concept it will attract and keep customers. If another gourmet store were to open up in the area, management will need to make sure they market their special trademark. That trademark will let everyone know why they are the best and why their patrons continue to come back. Finally the implementation of a computer based inventory, ordering, and financial system will allow Kathy more freedom to have the face to face time with her customers. It will also allow the flexibility for Kathy to have time off and retire in 10-15 years. Kudler's Fine Foods can and will be a successful gourmet food store if management works together and they focus on the customer and their needs.
- Kreisberg, B. (Producer). (2010). Kitchen Nightmares. [Television series]. : FOX.
- Nickles, W. G., McHugh, J. M., & McHugh, S. M. (2008). Chapter 13 Marketing: Building Customer Relationships. Retrieved fromhttps://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader.aspx.
- Roach, E.(2009).How To Make Face Time Work For You.Small Business Branding.Retrieved from http://www.smallbusinessbranding.com/1221/how-to-make-face-time-work-for-you/ University of Phoenix. (2007). Kudler Fine Foods Virtual Organization [Computer Software]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, Simulation, MGT/521 website.