Green Lentil Vegan Restaurant
It had been two years since John Kohl, the owner of Green Lentil Vegan Restaurant, had opened his restaurant and he thought that by now, he should be enjoying himself and making a decent living. For a number of years, John had taken business classes at a local university and saved money, with the goal of opening his own restaurant. Now, though, he felt overwhelmed with all the problems the restaurant faced. Assume that John has retained your group as consultants to improve the operations of his restaurant. After a thorough visit of the facility, your group was invited to attend a business meeting at the restaurant. In this meeting, John and his employees discussed about operational problems in trying to decide on what to do next.
John had opened his Green Lentil Vegan Restaurant in downtown Las Cruces, a town in southern New Mexico with a population of about 80,000, in 2013. He had grown up in Las Cruces and learned the restaurant business from his father, who was a chef at a Las Cruces hotel. John had worked summers in the hotel’s restaurant and had developed a taste for the vegetarian dishes offered there. A space downtown had become available when a barbecue restaurant had gone out of business, so John leased it and eventually opened his restaurant. He hired a chef to work Wednesday through Sunday from lunchtime through dinner, while John took reservations, did office work, other behind-the-scene jobs, and anything else required to operate the restaurant. John also hired another part-time cook, three waiters, and one kitchen helper.
Since the business was small, John had no formal purchasing, inventory management, or quality control systems. The chef and one waiter were allowed to purchase food, alcohol, and supplies as they required, from several local distributors. Over the past two years, inventory problems had cropped up-there were frequent times when various food items on the menu would be stocked out, while other items took up too much room in the storage area or had to be thrown out because they were spoiled. On other occasions, the restaurant would run out of things like napkins or ketchup, requiring John to rush down to the local Walmart to buy these items at a higher price. Several times, when John looked, he could not tell where things were stored, or how many items were in stock. The full-time chef, while a good cook, would take cigarette breaks at the most inopportune times, and he always seemed to be fighting with the kitchen helper and the part-time cook. In fact, several helpers and one part-time cook had quit in the two years they had been open. There also were days when customer traffic seemed very light-so much so that John was wondering if he should lay off one of the waiters. On other days, though, there were so many customers that wait times were long and John had noticed some customers leaving before their names were called. Recently, John had begun getting customer complaints about the food and the service when he walked around, asking customers how they liked their meals.
John decided to call a meeting on Tuesday morning, which your group attended as well, to discuss the various problems with the restaurant. Unfortunately, the meeting turned into a finger-pointing complaint session, and John quickly felt it getting out of control. So he thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting. He has requested thorough analyses of his Green Lentil Vegan Restaurant’s operations so as to figure out best course of action moving forward.
Use the table format (an example is shown below) to answer the three questions.
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