Upon conducting an Operational Analysis it was discovered that the operation’s online marketing efforts were seriously and adversely affecting the company’s profitability, online reputation, employee morale and diluting the value of their brand. The operation had discounted $115,469.54; 10.2% of its entire sales and Groupon accounted for $53,351.61. Further the company was giving an additional 25% to Groupon on top of the 50% discount incentive being given to its customers – leaving the operation with just .25 for every dollar of sales derived from Groupon. They were literally “Giving away the House” and unaware of the true cost of their marketing efforts. Compounding matters was the lack of social media oversight of their online reputation. Groupon guests frequently posted negative comments on Yelp about the food quality and service on the nights the Groupon promotion were valid. The high traffic being generated through Groupon negatively impacted the operation’s ability to provide great service, prepare food properly and adversely affected their ticket times; resulting in a higher rate of dissatisfied customers and negatively impacting employee morale.
Upon conducting an Operational Analysis of all three divisions it was determined that there was a serious disconnect between the Market and Catering divisions. The entire organization evolved from their original core business, which was event catering; and was recently voted “Best Caterer” in the state Arizona. The catering and event sales team staff were off-site and did not conduct any business within the market space. The market looked more like a coffee shop trying to compete with a Starbucks rather than a display of what was possible from the catering division. The food displays within the market were uninspired and lacked the visual appeal that made the Catering division such a success. There were no clues present that the market was actually a catering and event company. The Market’s prepared foods were out of direct site when entering the property. Next to a meager selection of wines were trinkets and picture frames for sale. The Market lacked appeal and was poorly displayed and did not flow well from a guest perspective. The market did not showcase The Brand effectively and was in need of some slight modifications to better facilitate guests and achieve a look more in line with the company’s core values and concept.
The Market team was retrained and became well versed regarding the Catering division and was now able to speak effectively about the companies catering abilities and services being offered. The Market staff was now able to cultivate new leads on a daily basis with great results for the Catering division. The Market division was now a driving force for the Catering department; generating interest, creating demand and developing prospects into viable sales leads for both the Eatery and for Catered events. Sales team members from the Catering department now work side by side in the market providing sampling to potential guests and following up on leads while the prospect was still present in the market. Upon reorganizing the display cases, redirecting the traffic, improving the organization and equipment to facilitate service and adding more seating alternatives the market was transformed from struggling coffee house to a thriving and vibrant take out market serving the local business community. Pictures of their food and events hung from the walls and were prominently displayed. The company’s Market has now become the public face of the Catering department and both more closely mirror the brands true identity. Market sales immediately increased three fold in addition to developing a steady stream of new sales leads, daily, for the catering division.
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