Standardization and Streamlining of Processes, as well as Gauging Employee Perceptions Within an Organization

Case Study: Restaurant Industry and Food and Beverage Services

In this study, a leading group in the restaurant industry sought the help of LAC to carry out an in-depth organizational assessment of the various business units that they operate. The objective was to ascertain the current state of each organization and the direction that they seek to take.

The group is made up of several different entities. Although each unit has value-added services, diverse markets, and distinctive leadership, they are all directed under the same value chain. On account of this, the client sought to unify and streamline the organization, which is made up of more than 15 business units, into a single operator.

In order to determine the appropriate points for providing the client with the information that would allow for a more effective decision-making process, LAC contacted every team in every entity, at all hierarchical and operational levels. The objective of this was to understand the level of satisfaction of each team and to be able to determine how the organization should be structured, as a group and at the level of individual units. To conduct the research, surveys of the work environment, observation tools, and the mystery shopper method were used, additionally, in-depth interviews were carried out with the managers in different positions in the organization, in order to gauge the perceptions of all employees and produce a comprehensive assessment covering all possible areas of the company. The organizational analysis focused on the following axes: organization and operations; organizational talent; strategy and management; process improvement; communication; harmonization of strategies; information technology; promotion and sales; finance and accounting.

  • Profile of the partners: the partners and the general managers have a strong impact on all of the group’s restaurants. Their presence is essential to employees and, when they visit a restaurant, employees strive to give their best and earn recognition from the management. This increases motivation and productivity.
  • Organizational culture: in general, the environment in different restaurants is neither rigid nor bureaucratic. Rather, it is fun, artistic, and creates strong feelings of camaraderie and familiarity. However, the casual tone that exists in certain areas of the organization can work against it. There is a relaxed atmosphere, that hampers professionalism, and the desire to create order, formality, and follow protocols is perceived as a taboo within the company. 
  • Structure and formalization: the mechanisms, strategies, and processes need to be formalized and known by each member of staff in order to lay the foundations of true organizational culture. Taking into account the growth of the organization and the size of the workforce and its operations, the formalization process takes on even greater importance.
  • Quality and continuous improvement: an issue that the company has to work hard to address, especially during staff induction, is the provision of training and professional development evaluations, as these have been shown to be deficient, and need to be formalized, standardized, and monitored.
  • Leadership and empowerment: the ratings on the Work Environment survey as well as the in-depth interviews that were conducted show that the area managers (middle managers) of all the restaurants left a good impression on the employees.
  • Remuneration and benefits: the employees were generally dissatisfied with their salary, and inclined to feel that the level of remuneration is unjustified. The observation has been made that the previous point is closely related to the pay employees are receiving based on the amount of work they currently do.
  • Communication: this aspect is one of the main weaknesses of the group, especially at high levels such as Top-level Management, Administration/Human Resources, and between the partners/directors themselves. The observation has been made that the difficulties regarding ​​opportunities are in part caused by a certain degree of informality that exists in the organization.
  • Standardization (Admin/HR): the Administration Department and Human Resources confirmed the importance of standardizing processes and being aware of what is happening in other restaurants since barriers to communication currently exist between those in charge of the restaurants, everything is handled separately, without centralization, which creates high costs and low efficiency.

Through the analysis of different factors, this study has managed to provide a supported, critical and tangible frame of reference so that the project partners could make decisions with greater confidence, eliminating as much as possible the conditions and agents of uncertainty that surround the project. The group was provided with sufficient information to define the desired course of action and the changes needed to achieve the project objectives in the most efficient way possible and with the greatest impact. 

If your company is in the restaurant industry or food and beverage services, with an organizational analysis from LAC you can:

  • Gauge the employee and worker perceptions of your organization.
  • Standardize and/or harmonize internal and external processes.
  • Streamline operations and communication.
  • Recognize the strengths and weaknesses that are particular to your company.
  • Identify areas for improvement and opportunities for the growth of your organization.
  • Determine strategic points for a much more successful decision-making process.

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