Barrie Super Subs is a chain of 300 restaurants across Canada. The restaurant’s managers spend most of their time purchasing, hiring and managing accounts of the business. The assistant managers help the managers with their work but they serve the customers during the busy lunch time.
The team leaders and part time workers are university/college/high school students who serve the customers and earns minimum wage. The restaurant managers are subject to monthly bonus which is determined by the percentage of wastage relative to sales. The managers know that the lower the wastage the higher their bonus is.But wastage occurs and is a common factor at restaurants due to spills, overcook and incorrect orders.
The team leaders are minimum wage employees and since they have no incentives they do not report accidental or deliberate wastages to managers. Moreover they fear of getting snubbed by co-workers in university classes. The restaurant employees get a food allowance if they work continuously for four and one-half hours. Some employees who work less than four and one half hours indulge in consumption of food secretly while some provide free soft drinks and chips to their friends to become popular in school.
These are considered wastage as unaccounted food and drinks. The employees believe that the food expense is low company expenditure. However at a certain time the wastage of the restaurant had risen so much that the managers stopped getting bonus. They reiterated by changing and authorizing the food allowance for workers working six hours or more in a single shift from four and one-half hours.
It deteriorated the workplace atmosphere at the Barrie Super Subs restaurant. The new food allowance rule disappointed the workers and almost 20 % experienced staff quit their job in search of another job.It did not improve the wastage of the restaurant and besides it exacerbated the relations between existing workers and managers. The managers couldn’t find replacements for the lost workers and instead the shortage of employees at the restaurant required them to spend more time in preparing food and training the new staff.
It resulted in lower deliberate wastage but the accidental wastage rose due to inexperienced staff’s high mistakes. However after few months when things were under control and managers received a modest bonus.They realized that situation is improving and chose to devote less time on training and serving customers. Soon the conditions changed and the restaurant started to incur wastages as the managers shifted their attention to other segments of the business.
Their workforce displayed their bad habits. The shattered managers then cancelled the food allowance and authorized employees subject to termination if found consuming or giving away food without permission. The wastage dropped for the next month but it started to increase again. Current Situation and ProblemsBarrie Super Subs managers want to increase sales and reduce wastage at this outlet.
They are making below average profits since last 18 months. Wastage occurs when food and drinks are unsold, damaged or unaccounted for. If the food is dropped, spilled, burnt, given way or consumed by the employees without paying for it, is considered wastage. Managers’ monthly bonus is reduced as a result because it is calculated by percentage of wastage compared to sales.
If the wastage is at the minimum or low, the mangers will get higher monthly bonus.This is causing them to make several policy changes to reduce wastage and increase their monthly bonus. These changes do show positive effects at first but last for a very short period of time, as the wastage is reduced but gradually starts to increase over the months. Employees at Barrie Super Subs are given food allowance if they are working for four and a half hour continuously.
Employees are not satisfied with this allowance because most shifts are for two to three hours long and most of the time they are not eligible for it.They also complain that the allowance is not sufficient in amount. Problems occur as a result because employees with shorter shifts start to consume food and drinks when mangers are not present. Some employees give away helpings, soft drinks and chips to their friends for free.
Wastage problems increased to an extent that five months ago managers at this outlet received no bonus. This forced the mangers to take steps by giving allowance to only those employees who have six hour continuous shift.This did not solve the problem in fact aided it because 20 percent of trained staff left and also did not discourage employees from eating or giving away food. There was a significant moral decline as employees discourage their friends from working there and put a strain on the working environment which was not fun for employees anymore.
The relations between managers and employees became even more strained after this step was taken. Managers faced new problems as they had to hire new staff which had no prior training. There was increase in accidental wastage because of inexperienced staff.The increased presence of the mangers improved the conditions and their bonus went up significantly.
The moment managers withdrew from daily operations the wastage problems started to increase again as the staff went back to its old habits of eating and giving away food, new staff also joined them. Mangers made even tougher policy by threatening to fire employees caught consuming or giving away food and removing employee allowance. This also did not fix the problem as the deliberate wastage declined for a while but now it is on the rise again.State Alternative Solutions: 1) Increase food allowance The managers should consider increasing the food allowance of the employees as they are not satisfied stating it’s not sufficient.
Most employees have shifts that are three to four hour long so decrease the time limit required to be eligible for the food allowance from four and a half hours to two-three hours. 2) Increased involvement Managers should Increase their involvement in daily operations, as it is observed that deliberate wastage is decreased when managers are present.The employees are more careful when the managers are present and it prevents them from consuming food or giving it away to their friends. Employees justify consuming food by claiming that they work as hard as other employees who are working longer hours.
The employees are given minimum wage and most of them are students, they have no sincerity with the job so making the rules tougher will not fix the problem in the long run. Either managers should consider increasing food allowance or personally take care of the daily operations to bring down deliberate wastage problem.