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Barbara's Experience at Flint Hill Beef and Lamb

Barbara's Selection of Assistant Manager Position

Barbara got along well with Bob and Larry. They invited her to corporate headquarters for further interviews, and the impression she made on other Beef and Lamb executives was exceeded only by the impression they made on her. On the second day of her interview series, she was surprised to be offered a selection of several assistant manager positions in different cities. She had relatives and friends in central North Carolina. so she picked Flint Hill. NC. a growing community near Charlotte. The week after her college graduation, she headed for Flint Hill exuberant with optimism.

Smith Hamilton, manager of the Flint Hill Beef and Lamb. had only the day before been told he was being sent an assistant manager. When Barbara entered the restaurant, eager to begin the career she had trained for, make a good impression, and justify the faith that Larry and Bob had shown in her. Smith Hamilton barely gave her the time of day. He told her he was busy but said that she should 'make herself useful." Barbara was quite surprised to receive such a reception at the local level, since she had been treated so beautifully by the company founders. but she resolved not to be down about it. Barbara spent her first day walking around in the restaurant. meeting people. taking notes. asking questions of employees and guests, and generally getting the lay of the land. Since Smith Hamilton was too busy to talk to her on the second day. she spent it in much the same way. By the end of the week. with no help from Hamilton. Barbara had gathered valuable information. given it much thought, and saw numerous ways in which the already successful operation of the restaurant could be improved.

The next day. she made her presentation to manager Smith Hamilton. She was too excited to notice he kept looking at his watch. When she finished, he said: 'Young lady I have made money with this Beef and Lamb restaurant every year since I have been here I have 18 years of experience in the business, and I've got this restaurant set up just like I want it. Sure. I never went to college, but I know the food business. All you have is book (earning. These ideas of yours might look good on a homework assignment. but they will not work in Flint Hill. North Carolina. I don't want all these 'point of sale' machines' 

your highfalutin college notions might be you ought to interview with Beef ancl kcef - thck me and learn something about the what that outfit needs. Or you ,; ..r justrestaurant business.

1 How did things go so wrong?

2. Should Barbara bear any part OF the blame? Should the institution where she received her training in hospitality bear some blame? 3 If you were Barbara, what would you say to Smith Hamilton. and what would you do? Would you 'stick with him and learn something about the restaurant business'? Further readings on the topics in this chapter are listed in 'Additional Readings' on pages 507-509. 

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