For your consideration”
The Children’s Museum
You are to assume you have been hired as the Catering Manager, and, using one or more analytical tools for problem solving, must prepare a report (2,500 words, +/- 10%) that addresses some of the key problems within the café. Specifically, you must:
Analyse and comment on the financial, and other numerical information contained in the case study (500 words);
Provide an analysis of the current catering provision (specifically considering aspects of food production, marketing and service) at the Museum Café, and make recommendations (1,000 words);
Comment on the problem of increased labour turnover and propose measures by which labour turnover and overall staff satisfaction could be improved (1,000 words).
The work must be produced in report format, and include reference to theory. The report must be written in the 3rd person. The word count for each section is a guideline only. The total report length should be 2,500 words (+/- 10%).
Please note you must ensure you include your programme title on the front sheet of your work.
You are reminded that your work should be presented in report format in 12 point font, Arial, with 1.5 line spacing. Harvard referencing should be used appropriately.
Case Study Assessment
THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Introduction to the Case study
This case study examines the role of the catering services in a fictitious children’s’ museum situated in the South-West of England. The museum’s one catering outlet, publicised as ‘The Museum Café’, is in fact a cafeteria style operation seating 124 persons. As well as providing a service for visitors to the museum, this catering facility may be hired outside normal museum opening hours for functions.
The recently appointed Museum Director is concerned that the catering services project a poor quality image in an otherwise popular and highly rated museum. He therefore obtained the approval of the museum’s management board to commission a consultancy firm ‘Quality Review Consultancy’ to review the current provision. Many of their findings form the basis of the information included in this case study.
Students will be required to review the current catering facilities and make suggestions for future provision for visitors. In their analysis and recommendations they will need to consider the consultant’s findings and the financial and organisational information provided.
The case study will test students’ powers of analysis, creativity, communication and presentation. Where students are making an assumption, this should be clearly indicated in their response.
The case is divided into the following sections:
The Museum and its Catering Facilities
Personnel of the Museum Café
Sales and Marketing of the Museum Café
Quality Review Consultant’s Report
Further Findings of the Consultant’s Report
The Case Problem.
Appendix 1 Visitor Numbers
Appendix 2 Financial Performance
Appendix 3 Current Menus
Appendix 4 Function Menus
1.0 The Museum and its Catering Facilities
The museum occupies the ground floor of a Victorian mill building. It is a large open space divided into a number of attraction areas.
The Museum Café is on the first floor of the building with viewing windows along the length of the seating area overlooking the displays below.
The café has been in operation for the 18 years that the museum has been in existence. The same catering manager was in post for this period during which time very little has been spent on the catering facility although considerable changes have taken place in the museum itself.
Access to the café is by a lift and staircase situated in one corner of the main exhibition area. At first floor level these both open onto a small foyer which leads directly into the café.
The Catering Facilities
These comprise of:
A cafeteria area seating 124 persons on tables of 6 and 10 seats; this bench type seating is fixed to the vinyl covered floor; the most popular seats are those with a view down into the museum.
The kitchen which opens onto and incorporates the cafeteria service counter (with screening between counter and eating area).
There is a further storeroom, which is used by the catering staff.
The Café Menu
The menus currently offered by the café are in Appendix 3. These have changed little in recent years. Among suggestions made by the Museum Director is that the café should offer wine by the glass and beers/ciders as part of the normal beverages available
Type of Service
The service style could be best described as assisted counter service. Customers choose their cold dishes, snacks and drinks and pay at the till. In the case of hot food, orders are given to the cashier, the dishes are paid for and a ticket issued. The customer is called to collect their dish(es) when the kitchen has them ready.
Hours of Operation
The museum is open to the public from 10am to 5.30pm on weekdays and weekends throughout the year, the only days of closing being Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
The Museum Café is open from 11.30am to 4pm whenever the museum is open. It can also be booked for evening functions.
2.0 Personnel of the Museum Café
The current staff organisation chart is included below:
The Catering Manager reports directly to the Museum Director and produces a monthly operational profit and loss summary of the café and function catering trade. At the end of the accounting period this is collated to provide an end of year account. The end of year accounts for the previous three years are included in Appendix 2(a) and the average spend per customer may be found in Appendix 2(b).
The Catering Manager has overall responsibility for the catering operation, but with a focus on the cafeteria area, booking and organisation of functions, ordering of non-perishables and the accounts.
The Catering Manager’s staff consists of 10 full time equivalents, made up of 14 staff in total; 4 staff (the chef, 1 kitchen assistant, 1 kitchen porter and 1 service assistant) are full time, the rest are part time.
The Head Chef is responsible for the kitchen, function catering and ordering of all fresh and frozen foods.
The Kitchen Assistants tend to work in pairs on early or late shifts with all staff covering the lunchtime period. The work is divided by:
Salads, sandwiches, cold dishes and filling of counter display;
Hot dishes including jacket potatoes and deep frying.
The Kitchen Porters are responsible for all the kitchen areas and the washing up.
The Cashiers in the cafeteria are all part time and work either an early shift from 11am to 2pm (2 people), or a late shift from 1.30pm to 4,20pm (1 person) on a rota basis. They operate the tills, cash up, ensure the float is correct, carry out daily till analysis and bank the money. They also take orders and write slips for hot meals, order from the kitchen and ensure that customers are called when the dishes are ready.
The Service Assistants are responsible for:
Making sure the dining room is tidy (it is cleaned by contractors who clean the museum);
Preparing the service counter for opening times (food, cutlery, glasses etc);
Making hot drinks;
Restocking the counter during service;
Cleaning the dining room tables and transferring dirty dishes to the wash up.
There has been a problem with increased labour turnover in the last two years and in the last month the head chef and two of the counter assistants have given notice of their intention to leave the museum. The main reasons for leaving have been:
Lack of training and development for catering staff;
The monotonous nature of the work;
Poor working conditions.
3.0 Sales and Marketing of the Museum Cafe
The current approach to sales and marketing of the catering facility with the museum is uncoordinated. The sign at the entrance is misleading. Once inside the museum, signage to the catering facility is poor and points of access are difficult to locate.
Merchandising is absent from the cafe area i.e. tables lack tent cards