Free Floating

by: Jason Chan

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The business that my partner and I are consulting is Alubihod’s hidden paradise for seafood (confirmed after a free lunch treat by the owner). The business is JM Seafood Place. We had the opportunity to meet and interview the business three times this week. After these meetings, we have a clear project scope as to what are the problems we need to solve and we came up with a tentative schedule to help solve these problems. For this blog post, I will center it on the root of these problems that the restaurant is facing and how we plan to tackle it.

The root of these problems is the way the owner manages the restaurant. The way she manages it is similar to an object free floating in the middle of the sea, where the object floats according to the current and has no specific direction. In other words, she lack the initiative to take the business to the next level and runs the restaurant in a very “freestyle” and “let it be” way.

As a result of such management style, the menu remains unorganized and outdated, there is no accounting or inventory tracking system in place as she is reluctant to write things down. Hence, she does not know how much the business makes on a daily or monthly basis. Moreover, the employees do not have specific roles which leads to frequent conflicts, and marketing efforts remain bleak. Lastly, she has an attention span of an insect when we interview her. She was simply not that interested in improving her business. Therefore, we turned to her son instead, who is much more concerned about the business and willing to listen to us instead.

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With what it seems to be a sea of problems the restaurant is facing, my partner and I needed to prioritize the problems. At the same time, we are also very careful and honest in managing our business’ expectations and what we can do for them. After thorough brainstorming, the top three problems sorted by priority are menu revamp, marketing, and constructing an accounting and inventory system. For the menu revamp, we plan to simplify it by sorting it according to cooking style and the available meat for the cooking style. For the marketing, we plan to help them build a Facebook page, print out posters and come up with a tagline that reflects the restaurant’s mission. As for the accounting system, we suggest using an order slip and recording transactions into a book system and tracking inventory using a creative yet simple card system.

We got right into action after the second meeting and started interviewing customers and visiting many places with the owner’s son to get an estimate of how much solving these problems would cost. The most difficult part would be the availability of the some materials such as printing of posters and menu of the correct size and the right order slip. I will be making the trip to IloIlo city on Sunday and hope to find these materials.

We acknowledge that helping the business solve these problems would take longer than expected and that’s why we are going full throttle on executing our solutions and try to measure its results. We will continue to make the most of the upcoming days with our aim to ensure the business at least has a direction to float towards and have an idea of how much they profit. I am confident in being able to accomplish these things in time because we do not stop when we are tired, we stop only when we are finished.

 

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