The Marketing Mix

As a part of my business class/Institutional Foodservice, Production, and Management dietetic internship rotation, we are required to develop a breakfast marketing campaign. The reason for this project is to incorporate the marketing mix and to essentially improve breakfast sales at the Taziki’s Mediterranean café in the WVU Mountainlair. We are required to speak with the management for advice on what’s working and what’s not working within their breakfast menu and customer foundation. As an ISPP dietetic intern and graduate student, I am also required to apply this information to my Management Quality and Process/Performance Improvement Project, as well.

So, to manage marketing activities, managers must deal with variables relating to the marketing mix and the marketing environment. The marketing mix is defined as the specific combination of marketing elements used to achieve an organization’s objectives and to satisfy the target market. The marketing mix decision variables are product, price, place, and promotion. The marketing environment variables are political, legal, regulatory, societal, economic, competitive, and technological forces.

Product

A product can be a good, service, or an idea. Even though the manufacturing of products is not a marketing activity, research on customer needs and product design is. Product decisions focus on which products to develop, which current products to promote, and which products to discontinue. The term new product means it is a genuine innovation because it has not been served commercially yet. The term new to the chain, like McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, are really an imitation of a successful product offered by another chain restaurant, like KFC’s chicken nuggets.

Price

Price is the amount of money charged for a product. Price competition has become very common in foodservice operations. Marketing managers usually are involved in establishing pricing policies for different products because consumers are concerned about the value obtained in the exchange. Price is a critical component of the marketing mix and often is used as a competitive tool. Price also helps establish a product’s image. The goal is to set the price at a point that customers perceive value, yet the company achieves the volume and profit it desires.

Promotion

Promotion is used to facilitate exchanges by informing prospective customers about an organization and its products. Promotion is used to increase public awareness about a new product, or to renew an interest in a product that is declining in popularity. The level of advertising in fast-casual dining, like Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, has become quite large.

Place

In marketing, place refers to the location, the place where food or services are offered. Increasingly, food is prepared somewhere else. Food manufacturers are preparing, packaging, and distributing menu items to restaurants and contract companies. Customers are noticing an increase in mobile carts and food trucks. This is giving the public more options when they are away from home- and at an affordable price as well.

mark mix

Microsoft Word - The Marketing Mix

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Quantity Demand: Historical Roots

The desire for an efficient foodservice operation requires that the production manager to know the estimated number of customers or the number of servings of each menu item in time to order prom the procurement unit. Good forecasts are essential for managers in planning smooth transitions from current to future output, regardless of the size or type of the foodservice (i.e., schools, hospitals, or restaurants). Forecasts vary in sophistication from those based on historical records and intuition to complex models requiring large amounts of data and computer time. Choosing a forecasting model that is suitable for a particular situation is essential.

Historical Records

Adequate historical records constitute the basis for most forecasting processes. Often, past customer counts, number of menu items prepared, or sales records re used to determine the number of each menu item to prepare. These records must be accurate and complete, or they cannot be extended into the future with any reliability.

Effective production records should include:

          Date and day of the week

          Meal or hour of service

          Notation of special event , holiday, and weather conditions, if applicable

          Food items prepared

          Quantity of each item prepared

          Quantity of each item served

Although production unite records reveal the vital information on menu items served to customers, production is by no means the only organizational unit that should keep records. Only by cross-referencing records of sales with those of production can a reliable historical basis for forecasting be formalized. Records of sales will yield customer count patterns that can be useful for forecasting. These data can be related to the number of times customers select a given menu item or the daily variations induced by weather or special events.

Historical records in the production unit provide the fundamental base for forecasting quantities when the same meal or menu item is repeated. These records should be correlated with those kept by the purchasing department, which include the name and performance of the supplier and price of the food items.

historical forec

What Does “Team Growth” Mean to You?

A team, especially one that is in a foodservice operation, has four distinct stages of group development. The four stages of group development were created by Dr. Bruce W. Tuckerman after observation of the different phases in the development and maturity of groups of people.

Forming

The first stage is forming. This is where teams are getting to know each other, as well as learning what will be required of them in order to achieve their assigned goal. This stage is defined by the way the team members approach each other and inspect the limitations of group behavior. The group is also evaluating the manager’s role and leadership. Throughout this stage, the manager takes a larger role in directing the progress of the team. Directing involves telling the group what specifically needs to be accomplished, establishing guidelines, and providing specifics on the five Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why) and How. At this point, the team members are focusing on being part of a team.

Team Feeling:

          Excitement; Optimism; Pride in being selected; Wondering what role and influence they will have; Anxiety; Questioning why they and other team members were selected

Team Behavior:

          Friendly; Agreeable; Deciding how to accomplish tasks; Determining acceptable team behavior; Information gathering; Handling complaints about the organization; Discussing barriers to the task

Leadership Style:

          Directing

Storming

The second stage is storming. At this point, the reality of the project sets in for the team and various interpersonal struggles begin to surface. Typically, this is the most difficult stage for any team to get through, since power clashes and competition between team members are common and are easily seen here. Besides this realization, team members become impatient with their lack of progress and rely more on individual approaches instead of teamwork. At this time, the manager needs to utilize a coaching style to clarify and explain tasks repeatedly. The manager will need to persuade team members often to work together and refocus their efforts.

            Team Feeling:

          Resistance to approaches different from what the team is comfortable with; Swings in attitudes about the team and project; Questioning many aspects of the task

Team Behavior:

          Arguing; Choosing sides; Perceived “pecking order”; Increased tension; Jealousy; Power struggles; Lack of progress; Loss of interest

Leadership Style:

           Coaching

Norming

The third stage, norming, sees team member settling their differences and developing more cohesive and trusting relationships. The team realizes that they can work together and help each other achieve success. The members understand the team’s needs and accept the team ground rules and the roles that each person plays in achieving the project goals. Conflict decreases as these realizations occur and team members develop more confidence in their ability to work together and accomplish the task. At this time, the manager transitions into a leadership style of supporting the team by providing encouragement, listening more than telling, and promoting team discussions.

            Team Feeling:

          Expressing constructive criticism; Membership acceptance; Relief that things are finally going smoothly; Understanding own contribution; Acceptance of membership

Team Behavior:

          Attempts for harmony; Avoiding conflict; Discussing team dynamics; Sense of common purpose; Establishing and monitoring team rules; Expressing ideas

Leadership Style:

          Supporting

 

Performing

At last but not least, the fourth and final stage is performing. This is where team interdependence is recognized. Team members can analyze and solve problems successfully together. They have accepted each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can adapt to meet the needs of each member. The team becomes very productive and truly adds value to the organizations. At this point, the manager can use a delegating style. The manager no longer needs to provide much direction and can periodically monitor the team’s progress with update meetings.

            Team Feeling:

          Insights into group processes; Understanding of each member’s strengths and weaknesses; Satisfaction with progress; Trusting; Friendly; Having fun

Team Behavior:

          Individual behavior modification; Working through team problems; Close attachment to members; Flexibility; Humor; Ownership of results

Leadership Style:

          Delegating

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team grow

Teamwork

Since my summer in the WVU Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) dietetic internship is primarily focusing on the Institutional Food Service, Production, and Management rotation, I thought it would be fitting that I talk about the importance of teamwork. The importance of teamwork has been proven to be effective in today’s fast-pace foodservice organizations. The use of teams has become an unavoidable solution at tackling some of the pressing challenges that managers face in the food industry. Whether it be from finding ways to reduce costs or to increasing overall sales, all of these issues usually impact more than one department and can benefit from a multi-perspective approach.

The companies or organizations that use teamwork and team-based activities will be better prepared to make necessary decisions to adjust to supply and to meet customer’s demands. Yes, individual employees can make a difference to an organization, but no single person has enough knowledge, creativity, or experience to tackle some of today’s complex problems. Remember, two heads are always greater than one.

Several foodservice systems look to managers to influence teams whenever and wherever possible. Essentially, a team is a group of individuals who operate as a unit for an assigned goal. Teams differ from other work groups because they typically have performance goals to achieve. Team members usually feel some type of accountability for working together to achieve these goals. So, teamwork is the actual state of acting in a collaborative and cooperative effort to create positive results for the achievement of one common goal. For example, my group at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café had one of our group members drop the Business class. So, instead of panicking or blaming each other for common mistakes that we might have made that next day, we worked as a group and everyone helped each other at their designated stations. And it even brought us closer together as a team because we know that all 3 of us rely on each other, as well as the management of course too. And to be honest, I think that we’re performing even better as a team now because we were somewhat forced with a fight or flight situation.

Part of a manager’s responsibilities is selecting team members who skills complement each other. Now, this particular situation the management did not have the choice to choose their teams. But the College of Business and Economics did have the choice to choose the students taking this class. Here is a list of complementary skills needed for teams:

          Technical expertise

          Problem-solving skills

          Interpersonal skills

Technical expertise is a core competency that every team needs. The type of problem that will be assigned to a team dictates to a certain extent what expertise you will need to bring together. Skill in several areas may be needed, depending on the problem at-hand. For example, if Taziki’s Mediterranean Café was researching a new menu item to offer to customers, a team of dietitians, food prep specialists, servers, operations personnel, and marketing specialists would supply the necessary blend of experience to ensure a thorough analysis of what customers want, rather than just a team made of one of these groups listed. Using the knowledge and skills of a cross section of an organization will strengthen the likelihood of a team reaching its goal.

Problem-solving skills are needed by teams to identify the root or underlying cause of a situation or challenge. These skills are also needed to identify potential solutions and trade-offs. Initially, a team needs to have at least one member with this capability. As the team progresses, more team members should develop these important skills.

Interpersonal skills is the third and final category of team skills. Members who communicate effectively and facilitate a group process are critical to the success of a team. Team members who possess these skills help produce an environment of directness and confidence that allows the team to flourish and make progress towards their goal.

Balancing all 3 of these skills is essential f or a manager to consider when working with a team.

Teamwork

TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork