The report is a detailed analysis of the case study of prêt a manager. Prêt a manager is famous not only for the pre packed sandwiches that has been a craze in the entire nation but also for the customer service that it offers. The company is known for the fast customer service. The company has developed with the passing time. The CEO of the company kept on making efforts to work on the issues faced by the company. The most important aspect of the organization that attracted the customers towards them was the freshly made sandwiches. The company made sandwiches that they made in front of the customers.
This was the biggest positive point of the company. The customers bought the sandwiches more from this store because they were sure of what they were having (Ren Chen and Chen 2017). The cook prepared the sandwiches in front of the customers and this gave the customers a feeling that they were consuming food that was safe. This feature of the company made it more popular and it attracted more consumers towards them. The consumers were treated on the priority basis. The company suddenly took the decision of introducing twin stores, in which the food was prepared in the other store and they were offered to the consumers in the other outlet.
This acted as a major drawback of the company (Shaw Wilson and Pret 2017). The company had to undergo many media attacks. The report presented by the media on this had an adverse effect on the consumers. The media presented some other scenario in front of the consumers that were negative. The food that was brought from the other store in a wheel cart was the biggest problem of prêt a manger. The idea of twin store therefore proved to be an unsuccessful one. This was the biggest problem that the company had to face (Hollensen 2015).
Aim of the research
The aim of the report is to analyze the case study of prêt a manager. The objective of the report is to analyze the background of the store and to find out the strategy that has been adopted by the CEO of the company. The consequences of the steps taken by the CEO have been analyzed in the report. The report consists of logical recommendations that are effective and that are necessary to develop. The report consists of a literature review and the analysis of the literature review. The report consists of the description of the situation of the problem and it discusses the solutions of the problems.
The report focuses on the case study analysis technique in order to discuss the problems and analyze the situations. The theory of consumer behavior has been analyzed in the report. The consumer behavior theory has been applied in this case and the aspects of the same have been studied in a detailed manner. The entire report focuses on the problem and the ways to tackle the problem. The report jots down the problem and applies relevant theory to it. The company faces not major issue but the biggest problem that it faces is the problem of twin store. The biggest problem that the company faced was a change in the behavior of the consumers. The company thought of bringing about a change in the store (Finch 2016).
1) What is the reason for which the concept of twin store was an unsuccessful one?
2). what theory can be applied in order to avoid the concept of twin store to be a failure?
3). Will the idea of twin store ruin the brand reputation of the company and will it suffer from a major loss?
It includes the objectives like:
- a) To find out of the ways to improve the growth rate of Pret a Manager.
- b) To find out the relevant theory to improve the issues faced by the company.
- c) To conduct a survey of the competitors of the company.
- d) To analyze the negative as well the positive aspects of the concept of the twin store.
- c) To review about the growth of the company.
Earlier the company used to make the sandwiches fresh in front of the consumers. They were famous for this. The customers preferred the foods that were made in front of them. The company took the decision to open a twin store where the food was made in some other kitchen and it was brought in the wheel cart in the store (Reich 2014). This made work faster and easier but despite this the customers preferred the freshly made food that would be made in front of them. The media highlighted the issue and the consumers were convinced by the media not to buy the sandwiches as it was not fresh. This served as the biggest threat to the company.
They were continuously hammered by the media and the consumers were offered an alternative of the company. The media had a big hand in turning the consumers negative in purchasing the products of prêt. The report concentrates on the “Engel, Kollet and Blackwell Model” in order to solve the issue (Ghobadian and O’Regan 2014). This is the consumer decision making process. The process is applied as the company faces major problem from the end of the consumers. The behavior of the consumers changed towards the company and they were no more willing to buy sandwich that were prepared from before.
The consumers showed a clear change in their behavior of buying the sandwiches from prêt. The report however suggests the company to understand the behavior of the consumers more appropriately (Gopaul 2014). The report includes the fact that the company must understand the needs of the consumers and must consider the opinions and preferences of the consumers before taking any big decision. The decision of the company hampers the choice of the customers and it is difficult for the company to increase their revenue. The report stresses on the fact that the company must however learn the ways to tackle the implementation of new strategies. This is the major purpose of the report.
Case brief: Description of the situation
According to Dickerson and Hassanien, (2017) the description of the case has not been discussed clearly in the case but the problem related to the case has been however mentioned in the analysis of the case study. The background involves the background of the organization and the reason why prêt is famous and popular among the mass. It includes the reason of the preference of the people. The major point of the case is the innovative thought that was introduced by the CEO of the company. The company brought the concept of twin store that served as a negative point and apart from there were some other issues.
The most vital issue was the issue of setting up twin store. The owners of the company after running the restaurant successfully for nearly ten years thought of selling one-third of the company to Mc.Donalds in a transaction (Brooks 2014). The deal gave Mc Donalds the option to purchase the remaining two-thirds if there were certain growth targets met. This however gave some shares to Mc. Donalds but it definitely gave the opportunity to prêt a manager to expand in more areas and they were pushed to expand rapidly (O'Bryan 2016).
The company however suffered from two straight years of losses and from a dramatic increase in the leverage of the company (Nyandiwa 2016). The company changed the CEO and Schlee started his career as CEO in the company. The company had no problem after changing their CEO. The systems were improved and they were made for the good of the people. He had the intention of internal expansion. The customer service of prêt was tremendously good and the customers were offered with the best services (Batey 2015).
However it was argued by Spicer, (2017) Prêt`s main offering was sandwiches, although the chain served foods like soups and salads apart from sandwiches. The biggest strength of the company was that it did not add any preservatives and it did not add any artificial colors. It was prepared by the cook in a fresh manner. The product consistency was ensured by him (Durrani 2014). All the prêt kitchens made sandwiches throughout the day (virgin 2016). They made sure that the sandwiches were available by 10.30 A.M. At this time the employees were seen to switch from the kitchen to working the tills for the rush for lunch (Ambrose and Jensen 2017).
The kitchen transitioned to variable production making batches of 16-20 sandwiches as needed. The CEO again made the decision of opening up twin stores where the foods were prepared in some other stores and they were brought in a wheel cart (Smythe 2013). This became an issue of the organization. This was not in favor of the organization. The customers raised a doubt on the quality of the product. The company received negative responses for this. There was a time when they received 500 responses from the customers for opening the shop (Wellin 2016). After this they did not receive any positive responses and the demand of the sandwiches went down (Karataev 2015). The products that were preferred by the consumers were freshly made and freshly packed.
There was a trend among the people to consume freshly packed and freshly made sandwiches (Simard-Morissette 2013). The shop had to understand the changed behavior of the consumers and had to formulate strategies according to the needs and preference of the consumers (Allen, Piecyk and Piotrowska 2017). The company had to face a loss in the revenue of the company. The company had to go through a setback due to the decision taken by the CEO to form a twin store. The concept of twin store was made to ease the hassle of the employees and to make the quality of consumer satisfaction better (Smith 2016). This was inversely proportional and it turned into a big issue of the company. This issue was highlighted by the media and the minds of the consumers turned negative. In spite of all this the company continued to keep the concept of twin store and it was not successful.
However it was argued by Simpfendorfer, (2014) that the customers anyhow got used to it but this decreased the amount of customers. However while analyzing the entire background this can be stated that the company has taken certain decisions which had adverse effects on the company. This was attacked by the media as well as the customers. Apart from this issue there was no serious issue that was addressed in the case study. The company was making progress by opening new stores in many regions and they were facing profit with the passing years. The strategy of twin shop someone failed and the brand image of the company were affected (Van Belleghem 2015).
Problem statement, plan of analysis
Pret A Manger is one of the leading sandwich shops of United Kingdom, which is commonly referred as “Pret”. The company hugely emphasizes on the usage of natural ingredients and promotes it. Their sandwiches are made on the day of purchase and the unsold food is collected by the charities. However, the company is facing some issues recently. Pret opened a so called “twin” shop in order to expand their business. The twin shops did not have a kitchen of their own and therefore, the sandwiches were prepared at some other shop, keeping in mind the quality of the food. It helped the company to expand their business at some great locations of the country. “Twin” shops allowed them to go to small scale sites. In addition to this, it helped the company to grow their leadership pipeline as each and every employee had major responsibilities.
However, there were some disadvantages for the company, which severely affected their business. Not all the employees liked the concept or idea of the “twin” shops. They did not even admire the idea, which created a downfall in the business. Moreover, several news publications started attacking their business procedure. In the year 2009, ‘The Sun’ hammered Pret for misleading their target customers as the company claimed that the items are exclusively prepared at their shops.
Most of the Pret shops marked their food packets with “Just Made in This Shop’s Kitchen”. This tactic of theirs got repeated at the stores’ sign boards and labels. However, all the twin shops sold sandwiches to the customers by including a small piece of paper mentioning about the off site preparation. This angered the customers due to initial deception. This major drawback reduced their number of target consumers and proved to be highly disadvantageous for the company.
Other major issues included the customers’ lack of satisfaction and engagement. They felt that the “twin” shops resulted in the elimination of employees’ connection with the food they were selling. The Managing Director of Pret, Andrew Walker mentioned in one of his interviews that there is something more interesting about making than selling. On removing the element of manufacturing, one will lose his/her control as well as connection with the food. Some of the “twin” shops faced issues as the kitchen was located somewhere else, which reduced the availability of several items and moreover, the company experienced certain problems in relation to the maintenance of the sandwiches’ selection. The former assistant manager of the shop even mentioned that it has always been easy to run a shop with a kitchen because of the production’s nature. The whole menu selection procedure also impacted the company, as it generated some amount of bitterness against the parent shops.
These were the major issues which affected the business’ growth and progress. However, few arguments were made on their expansion procedure. If the company continues to expand their number of stores by fifteen percent every year, it is immensely necessary to make some alterations in their business model. The company needs to adopt some more innovative strategies in order to enhance their popularity. In addition to this, it is important to keep some alternative strategies into consideration (Hollensen 2015).
Customer behavior theory
The case study of Pret A Manger emphasizes on the detailed analysis of the store’s benefits and drawbacks. According to Bowie et al. (2016), the research of a case study is something focused on a segment or phase of an individual’s or some company’s life. Various reports on education (Woodcock and Stone 2012), sociology (Salim 2012) and psychology (Wilson and Gilligan 2012) have studied an individual or a company as the core unit of analysis.
Case study methods have been used in this report in order to develop a comprehensive and rich understanding of the company and its employees. (Chernev 2014) mentions about various designs of case studies, including single as well as multiple case study designs. One of the major rationales includes the identification of the company’s expansion issues. This is contrary to the multiple case study analysis method. A major component of the case study analysis is to gain an understanding of the company’s competencies and in competencies. Furthermore, it helped in gaining useful insights regarding the company’s downfall in the business of expansion (Mullins, Walker and Boyd Jr 2012).
However, with proper analysis it is found that several alternative strategies can be implemented in order to regain its popularity. According to Scotch (2017), proposed strategies, it is evident that the company needs to reshuffle its goals as well as major policies. It is immensely necessary to jot down the in-competencies of the company and the changing consumer behavior. This part of the report mainly focuses on the consumer behavioral theory. In order to determine the behavior of the consumers, marketers tend to use a number of models related to the consumer behavior. The “Engel, Kollet and Blackwell Model” refers to the theory of the reasoned actions that lays out five different processes, consumers consider while making any purchase. Firstly, the input step comes into play, where the customers stress on the marketing materials they observe online, television or newspapers (Foxall 2014).
Secondly, the consumer collects some data related to the commodity they wish to buy and moves to the next part of information processing. In this stage, the consumer compares their input with the past experiences as well as expectations. Thirdly, the consumer move to the stage of decision making, where he/she decides whether purchasing the product will prove to be beneficial or not. In this stage, customers get mostly affected by various external influences and variables.
This includes the customer’s envisions about making the purchase (Hill, Jones and Schilling 2014). In this context, the consumer also gets influenced by the motivation need theory and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Under the hierarchy of needs theory, individuals tend to fulfill their requirements and needs on the basis of five part system of priority. This specifically includes, physiological, love, safety, self actualization and esteem. Marketers have been successfully using this theory to identify the consumers’ behavior of purchase. Therefore, such strategies must be implemented by the company to grasp the changing preferences of the consumers (Best 2012).
Analysis and Findings
As per the current financial reports, the performance of Pret a Manger reveals that the group sales have increased to fifteen percent and the company has opened more than fifty shops in other countries. More than eight hundred new full time jobs have been created across the world. In addition to this, the company has donated over three million food items to the charities. The company’s Chief Executive, Clive Schlee has mentioned in one of his interviews that it is one of the most remarkable achievements of Pret. The company simple tactic of freshly baked food items has grabbed the attention of many. Moreover, it has helped it in flourishing and gaining popularity in other parts of the world. The company has given away more than one million free coffees as a random act of kindness (Kapferer 2012).
However, the company’s strategy of “twin” shops was a major drawback. Most of the employees were against this concept of “twin” shops. The company faced huge problem in understanding the changing preferences of the consumers. This was evident from the fact when the target market continued to fall for this segment. Some customers got angry when they came to know about off-site preparation of the food items. The company’s unit selling proposition is their freshly made sandwiches. However, the concept got marred due to their so called innovative concept of the “twin” shops. Various news publications started hammering the company’s new concept. Therefore, it is important to undertake alternative strategies for the company’s betterment. Understanding the changing consumer preferences would be beneficial for the company (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2012).
Firstly, Pret a Manger needs to reshuffle their major policies and goals. Working out on an existing policy statement can prove to be a fundamental contribution for the company’s future success. For developing such a policy statement, the managers of the company must be able to identify the issues and problems. Corporate goals are regarded as an indication of the company’s initiatives to achieve targets. The Chief Executive officer of the company, Clive Schlee mentioned in one of his interviews that Pret have no fear in competing with other companies. The only major issue is the “twin” shops’ concept, which needs to be resolved soon, in order to yield better outcomes. Secondly, in order to achieve the desirable outcomes, the company needs to gain a proper understanding the consumers’ issues. Consumers’ preferences change from time to time. The company needs to keep a track of their behavior and attitudes in order to set up a proper policy statement (Armstrong et al. 2015).
Consumers did not like the idea of the off-site sandwich preparations. Therefore, the company needs to adopt some different strategies of how they can retain their unit selling proposition in the “twin” shops. Some differentiation strategies need to be implemented in order to differentiate their products from others. In addition to this, alternative strategies can also help in providing the company with more and more opportunities. Moreover, additional assistance can be provided for solving the business challenges and problems. Entry to the new market strategy is much more efficient and effective for the market development in the international platform. The company is famous in some selected countries only and therefore, it needs to develop its market in other countries, in order to get immense popularity. Along with this strategy, the market share can also be increased, which will benefit the company to a huge extent. A strong customer base will be created in the international platform (Hutt and Speh 2012).
Apart than these strategies, several other techniques like franchising in developing countries, merger and acquisition, joint ventures with other companies and more. Such techniques will immensely assist in the operations of the business, as per the market expansion. Substantive market growth and expansion can be ensured through various integration strategies as well as effective diversification (Woodcock and Stone 2012). The company can also gain popularity by launching a fresh menu exclusively designed for the “twin” shops. In this way, the customers will get attracted and try out the new range of food items. Their complaints must also be noted down and corrected accordingly. Pret should also adopt some strategies for lowering their costs and gain maximum production. Furthermore, effective distribution channels must also be established (Theodosiou, Kehagias and Katsikea 2012).
The substantive growth of the company is being directly related to its operations. The diversification also relates to the product line’s increase. Thus, the company must adopt a new variety of innovative menu, which can be easily introduced to the market. Moreover, with the company’s existing business strategies and current status, the business can expand in the international market as well. This will also help in the identification of the market strategies and trends as well as the competitors’ plans (Mullins, Walker and Boyd Jr 2012). In addition to this, implementation of the retrenchment strategy of marketing will prove to be beneficial for the company, as it helps in dealing with crisis situations. This particular strategy can be easily applied when the consumers’ preferences change and some specific products fail to meet their demands. The company can also adopt the strategy of divestment, along with liquidation and turn around. Adoption of these techniques will assist in the overall management of the company’s operations and resources, which in turn, will help in meeting the expectations of the customers by ensuring cost effectiveness (Sørensen 2012).
The current status of Pret reveals that nothing is more important for the company other than spending energy, passion and time on right people and at right place. Pret uses natural ingredients for the preparation of their products.
The first and foremost thing is to monitor the customers’ as well as the employees’ demands and expectations (Theodosiou, Kehagias and Katsikea 2012). Presently, the company is trying to focus on their in-competencies for improving its sales and production. The company is concentrating on their efforts to expand their business in the correct manner. Pret believes that concentrating on the efforts will yield better outcomes and positive results. The company believes in hiring the right people and labels them as “right pret people”. Having a well organized organizational tree along with a succession plan will prove to be beneficial for the business’ growth and progress (Baker 2014).
Moreover, Pret’s recruitment centre ensures that the company is recruiting the best candidates in order to serve the customers with their best services. In addition to this, the company also believes in having an effective staff quota, with motivated and proud staff members. Pret also holds regular team briefs and meetings in order to monitor the staff’s morale attentively. The company also manages their stores with proper management systems and procedures. In addition to this, the company makes sure that all the staff members are handling the customers attentively, in a presentable manner. These tactics will prove to be advantageous for the company (Šimberová 2014).
However, the company should also encourage and support its employees to work better every day. Moreover, the organizational leaders must motivate the staff members to voice their issues, if any, in order to resolve their demands. At times of crisis situations, the company should keep its employees aware of all the issues and even ask for their valuable opinions and views. This acts as a motivator and helps them perform better by giving their best. It also makes them feel special and valued. The company, in addition to this, should also focus on the six key factors of good services (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2012). This must be circulated among the team members. Pret should also organize sampling programs on a regular basis, which needs to be tied with major initiatives. At the delivery shops, the employees must greet the customers warmly. Timely deliveries must be encouraged. This calls for more effective and efficient trainings imparted to the employees and other staff members. In addition to this, the company should keep a track of their profitability and losses. This will help them maintain their consistency level (Hill, Jones and Schilling 2014). Assessment of the Analysis
The mentioned retail food chain restaurant has been facing a number of different problems. Pret a Manger is one of the leading chains of sandwich stores with stores located in prime location of US and UK. The company is the one and only restaurant which has its kitchens located in the store itself (Hornstein 2015). The presence of kitchens within the store helps the employees to serve fresh packed sandwiches to the customers rather than providing them with packed sandwiches that have been created in the central manufacturing facilities of the companies. The “twin” shops of the company have been a hit with the customers as well as the organization. The decision of the management to establish more twin shops has helped them to manage the organization in a much better way (Cummings Bridgman and Brown 2016).
However the management of the company is worried about the future of the organization as because there have been reports of customer grievances in many of the twin shops that the company operates. The main reason lays in the packaging of the foods (Hayes 2014). All the different items that are sold in the stores of thee company come with the tag of “just made in the kitchen of the shop”. However it was found out that many of the products had a tag of off site preparation. This has been a serious breach of the statement the company claims. This has resulted in a loss of customers and has affected the sales figure in a worse way. Another key issue lies in the untimely termination of the employees by the management on the claims that they are unhappy to sell the products to the consumers. Such a negative step has resulted in a bad publication of the company which will take some time to improve (Hornstein 2015).
After a thorough analysis of the total situation it is seen that the management needs a total revamp as because it still runs on the ideology of a traditional strategic set up (Cummings Bridgman and Brown 2016). Such a result may be best for the present, but will surely spell doom for the organization in the coming years.
The management of the mentioned organization has to come up with some exclusive ideas that will help them to be the best in the market. Some of the strategies may be;
- Attracting local workforce to help the industry be competitive
- Managing the twin shops in an efficient manner
- Conducting surveys that will help them understand the condition of the market.
- The market survey will also help the management to understand the grievance of the customers and address them in a proper way.
- The management of the organization must have a proper idea of the consumers needs which will help them to provide the best services and foods to them (Cummings Bridgman and Brown 2016)
- The management must move away from their habit of terminating employees on a regular basis as because this will help them to win the trust of the customers.
Among the above mentioned solutions Retention of the employees on a long term basis and recruiting local workforce is the best possible solution for the organization. The recruitment of local employees will help the organization as local people are the ones who can have the best idea of the consumers and thus can make recommendations to their managers on such basis. Retention of the employees on a long term basis helps the management to win the trust of the employees. On the other hand the employees can also deliver their best performance to the organization.
- The management of the company must formulate some ideas to maintain the twin stores properly and make sure that the parent stores can provide adequate back up to the small store
- It is the duty of both the managers of these twin stores and formulate a list of recommendations to ensure smooth flow of business (Matos and Esposito 2014)
- Essential communication is one of the most primary task of the management. Establishing an essential communication is one of the main tasks of the managers of the twin stores as essential communication is helps the company to provide essential service
- The management has to disclose all the facts related to the foods that will help them to gain the trust of the consumers
- The company must utilize their competitive advantage to full extent as because no other competitors provide organized and healthy food like Pret (Cameron and Green 2015)
Actions to be Taken
· The concept of Twin shops has taken a hit from several of the customers as because the company serves some food that are packed at a much earlier date
· The just made sandwiches are not available all the time in small stores as because the location of kitchens elsewhere create serious problems to the availability of these sandwiches
· The company must remove the tags just made from the products that have been made earlier as because it is a direct deception of their initial promise to deliver on site prepared foods
· The Twin shops must make a list of the available sandwiches and other foods in a particular store and make sure that the parent stores of the organization provide enough storage foods for the small shops
· Operations Manager and Store Manager
· Operations manager, Store Mangers of both the stores
Limitations of the study
The following report has been prepared in a well structured manner that has explored most of the topics and issues related to the following business. However the researcher has missed out on some important points. The research could have highlighted some key issues that cripple the industry. The topic of increased employee dissatisfaction could have been provided more importance as because employees form the backbone of Pret. Another main issue or perhaps the most important issue that needed to be highlighted was the future of the company after Brexit. The absence of such issues has made the report a bit normal. The report could have been much more standard if the researcher had mentioned the following issues. However the lack of time and the absence of the issues in the case study itself limited the researcher from highlighting such facts.
Scope for Further Research
The research was prepared within a very short period and thus some important points that needed to be discussed were missed out by the researcher. However given the time to complete the research and the limited amount of proper resources the report prepared was compact in nature. The research has highlighted on some key topics in the analysis which has enough scope for the future researchers to mention these topics in detail in their future researches. The huge scope that the research provides will surely be of great importance for new researches on the same subject.
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