Creating a drama at T.G.I. Friday?s Is it a pub?

Is it a pub? Is it a restaurant? Or is it theatre? The operators of T.G.I. Friday?s would hope that theircustomers see it as all three. For diners who tire of the scripted industrialised service processes of manyfast-food chains, the service encounter at a branch of T.G.I. Friday?s may come as welcome relief.T.G.I. Friday?s is a themed American restaurant and bar group started in 1965 in the USA and in 2010 had over 1000restaurants operating in 61 countries. In the UK, the chain operated since 1986 as a franchise through Whitbreadplc (in 2007 Whitbread sold operating rights of its 45 UK restaurants back to a consortium consisting of CarlsonRestaurants Worldwide and ABN Amro Capital).The credo of T.G.I. Friday?s, according to Richard Snead, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CarlsonRestaurant Worldwide, parent company of T.G.I. Friday?s, is ?to treat every customer as we would an honoured guestin our home, and it is reflected in everything we do?.There are four crucial components of the company philosophy which contribute to successful service encounters attheir restaurant:? Employees. These are seen as the key to service quality. This applies not only tofront-line staff who visibly contribute to guests? experience, but also toback-room staff.? Product. A meal is a focal point of a customer?s visit and consistency of standardsis important.? Package. This comprises the building and furnishings which must be kept wellmaintained.? Ambience. This is an important part of the meal experience that is difficult tospecify, but memorable to customersThe first T.G.I. Friday?s was opened at first Avenue and 63rd street in New York City in 1965 and featured the nowfamiliar red and white stripes. Inside were wooden floors, Tiffany lamps, bentwood chairs and striped tablecloths.Decor has become a key element in the T.G.I. Friday?s experience, transforming an otherwise bland and boringindustrial-type building into a theatrical stage. For T.G.I. Friday?s interior decor, a full-time antique ?picker?travels extensively to auctions and flea markets. Memorabilia have to be authentic and, if possible, unique to thearea where a new restaurant would be located. T.G.I. Friday?s offers ?mass customisation? in which the companyprovides a basically standard service to all customers, but the customers can personalise their meal through anextensive range of menu permutations.The company?s approach to managing the service encounter distinguishes between ?hard? and ?soft? elements. Hardelements include core service processes and tangible elements of the product offer, such as car parkingfacilities, the menu offered and target service times. The fundamental design of T.G.I. restaurants is remarkablysimilar throughout the world, with a large central bar with dining facilities surrounding the bar and authenticAmerican decorative memorabilia. Even the location of the toilets is standard, and an American guest visiting theT.G.I. Friday?s restaurant in Coventry would immediately know where to look for them. Red and white stripesawnings, wooden floors, Tiffany lampshades, cane chairs and striped tablecloths create an aura of the Americanbar/diner. Each restaurant offers a range of approximately 100 American/ Mexican food menu items and approximatelythe same number of cocktails. Service target times form part of the ?hard? element of the service encounter andthe company requires that starters should be served within 7 minutes of receipt of a customer?s orders. A computerprogram helps managers to monitor the achievement of these service times. The hard elements of the serviceencounter tend to be specified by head office and brand managers are expected to achieve specified standards. Menuand the product range are designed and priced centrally at head office.However, it is the ?soft? elements of the service encounter that distinguish T.G.I. Friday?s from its competitors.Crucial to the distinction is the empowering of employees to take whatever actions they see fit in order toimprove customers? experience. Employee performance requires, therefore, more than the traditional acts ofgreeting, seating and serving customers. Employees have to be able to provide both the behaviours and theemotional displays to match with customers? feelings. Getting serving staff to join in a chorus of ?HappyBirthday? may not be easy to script, but spontaneous singing when a meal is served to a group of dinerscelebrating a birth day can make all the difference in customers? experience of their meal. Of course, recruitmentof the right kind of people becomes crucial and perspective candidates are selected as for their sense of fun ason the strength of their CV. Initial interviews take the form of ?auditions? in which potential recruits are setindividual and group tasks to test their personality type. Opportunities are given for trained staff to expresstheir personality and individuality, for example by wearing outlandish clothes that make a statement about theirpersonality.T.G.I. Friday?s has become a preferred place of employment for restaurant staff, who have enjoyed relatively goodworking conditions, above-average earnings for the sector-especially when tips are taken into account- and a senseof fun while at work. The chain has won numerous awards as a good employer, including the UK?s fifteenth bestworkplace according to the Financial Times (FT) 2004 Survey of Best Places to Work, and the only restaurant chainto be included on the list for a second year running. It was also the fourth most fun place to work according tothe FT.In the pattern of service encounters developed by T.G.I. Friday?s a sustainable business model? Among theportfolio of restaurant formats operated by Whitbread plc, T.G.I. Friday?s has been a star performer, in contrastto some of its more traditional formats such as Beefeater, which have become less popular with customers. A glanceof the customer review site provides an insight into customers? experience of the serviceencounter. Overall, contributors seem to be happy with the format, although a number of people observed thatservice standards could decline when a restaurant becomes very busy. It may be fine for serving staff to sing tocustomers when times are quiet, but how can they do this and still meet their service delivery ?time targets whenthe restaurant is busy? A number of customers also commented on very high prices charged by T.G.I. Friday?s, withmore than one person describing them as ?rip-off prices?. But, in order to get the best staff who can create amemorable experience, is it worth paying a little more and passing this on to customers as high prices?QuestionsUsing the information form the case study and your own research, answer the following question:1. What are the connections between theatre and T.G.I. Friday?s? Is the dramaturgicalanalogy a good one? Why?2. What is meant by a critical incident? How can T.G.I. Friday?s identify whatconstitutes a critical incident and assess whether it has achieved customersatisfaction?3. Analyse the service interaction process at T.G.I. Friday?s based on the followingconcepts/models: ?blueprinting?, ?servicescapes?,? cyberscape? ?servuction?,?service experience?, ?service quality? and ?service failure/recovery?.4. Evaluate the different types of service technologies used by T.G.I. Friday?s. Howsuccessful was T.G.I. Friday?s Social Media Campaign?Source: Palmer, A. (2011) Principles of Services Marketing, 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill, pp.46-86.Essential readingLashley, C. (2000) ?Empowerment through involvement: a case study of TGI Friday?srestaurants?, Personnel Review, 29 (6), 791-815.Skordoulis, R.T. (2005) ?TGI Friday?s, UK: A Case of Innovation?, CorporateReputation Review, 8(1), 73-79.Wang, K-C, et al (2004) ?The effect of WebPages on customer satisfaction: arestaurant case study?, Advances in Hospitality and Leisure, 1,217-229.

Our group of high quality writers are ready to help you with a similar paper within a specified deadline. Just click ORDER NOW and provide us with your assignment details, contact information and make payments. You will get periodic updates on order progress in your email.


Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page:
« »