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391DEL – Advanced Business English: Assignment Brief

391DEL – Advanced Business English: Assignment Brief
Coursework 2: (50% weighting)
Write a report of 1000-1200 words (+/-10%).
Read the case study and write a report in response to the information provided.
General guidelines
You should include the following:
– A title page (including your name, ID, group number and class teacher)
– The main sections used in a report
Please note you do not need to include references in this task.
Please also follow these guidelines:
• Your work should be 1.5 spaced;
• Use an academically appropriate font (e.g. Arial/Times New Roman), Size 12;
• Use page numbers;
• Provide a word count
• Complete an assignment cover sheet/plagiarism declaration, and submit this with your work.
Marking Criteria:
The marks awarded are based on report content, professional format and style, as well as language accuracy (grammar and vocabulary).
Please refer to the separate guide for specific marking criteria on Moodle.
Submission:
Please submit the hard copies of your work before 4pm on 13th December, 2013, to the coursework reception desk on the 6th floor of the George Eliot building. Your written analysis must go through the Turnitin process before it will be marked.
Your attention is drawn to the University’s regulations on all aspects of assessment, including submission and extenuating circumstances.
For further information on assessment please refer to the Student Portal: https://students.coventry.ac.uk/BES/Pages/Home.aspx
Your essay must be submitted to Turnitin on Moodle by 4pm and to the DEL reception by 4pm on Friday 13th December 2013. Any late submissions will be awarded a ‘zero’ grade.
Task: Business scenario
Imagine you are working as a business consultant and have been employed to provide some business expertise on a specific situation.
Read the case study and then write a clear and detailed report containing:
1) An analysis of the current situation and the problems faced by the company.
2) Recommendations for action.
Case study:
Background information:
Introduction:
Derek Jones, a 54 year old Englishman, and his Greek wife Maria, have owned a restaurant called Zorba’s located on the Greek island of Corfu for 25 years. The restaurant serves a mixture of traditional Greek food and British dishes such as fish and chips and English breakfasts. The restaurant was very popular with tourists and locals in the past, but has now fallen on hard times. The company is making a loss and if the situation does not improve then they may have to close the business and move back to the UK. They approach your consultancy company in order to get advice on how to improve the struggling business.
Operational problems:
Profit:
The table below demonstrates the decline in net profit (in Euros) from the restaurant in Corfu:
Year Average monthly profit / loss Year Average monthly profit / loss
2008 2000 2011 -100
2009 600 2012 -300
2010 100 2013 -400
 
 
 
Atmosphere and menu:
Derek has always been keen to promote a party atmosphere in the restaurant, and often has live music at the weekend along with traditional Greek shows and dancing. There are also nights when all the plates are smashed at the end of the meal in the traditional Greek style. These evenings used to be very popular with the tourists and the local population, but numbers have recently declined.
The menu in the restaurant is dominated by traditional English food, such as fish and chips and English breakfasts. In the past, this was always very popular, especially with the British tourists on the island. However, in recent years there have been some complaints about the range of food available with many younger tourists wanting to eat traditional Greek and international cuisine.
Staffing and management:
Finding good waiters has been a problem for the restaurant since the departure of Tom and Jack, two young waiters from England, in 2010. These waiters had lived on Corfu for 5 years and spoke good Greek as well as English. They were popular with the locals and tourists and Derek has found it difficult to replace them with suitable staff from the island.
There have also been some issues with the management style of Derek’s wife Maria. She has often had arguments with the head chef, Stavros, and with the waiting staff. Customers have often heard these arguments and they have resulted in some of the employees leaving to find alternative jobs at other establishments. Maria used to work as a waitress in the restaurant and has strong views about how the staff should behave at work. In recent years, Maria has had to take on more duties around the restaurant including waiting, cooking and serving drinks. She has complained of feeling very tired and stressed out from this extra work.
When the restaurant first started Derek used to be very involved in the management of the business, and he also used to help out in the kitchen in the mornings and at busy times. However, in the last few years he has been less active in the hands-on running of the establishment. Dennis does still manage the bar at the weekends when he usually has a group of old friends over to play cards and listen to music. He often supplies them with free drinks and they tend to stay until one or two in the morning.
Economic environment:
The recent recession in Greece has had a negative impact on the profits of the restaurant. Unemployment on the island has gone up and locals have seen their wages decrease in value. Many local people have stopped eating out in order to save money. There has also been a decline in the numbers of holidaymakers from the UK, as people cut back on foreign breaks in the negative economic climate.
Competition:
When Zorba’s opened it was one of only a few restaurants on the sea front, so it was able to attract a lot of customers. However, in recent years a number of other establishments have opened which offer a variety of different cuisines such as Greek, Italian and Indian food.
One of the most popular places that have opened in recent years is Milano’s, an Italian restaurant specialising in pizza which also opens during the day for sandwiches and snacks. The bar is popular with young couples and families who enjoy the relaxed and fashionable atmosphere.
Feedback from customer and staff surveys:
Zorba’s has recently completed a survey of customers and staff; some of the extracts are included below:
Local Customers:
“The menu is so boring! They never change it so we prefer to go somewhere with more choice.” Kristos, 48
“The plate-smashing and the dancing are so loud! We went for a quiet meal but there was so much noise!” Dimitri 52 and Sophia 49
“Since the recession, we don’t really have spare money to eat out very often. When we do we want it to be in a really special place.” Alexis 45 and Polina 42
Tourist customers:
“To be honest, if I wanted to eat English food I could stay in England! When I’m in Greece I want to try the local dishes.” Carla, 24
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the manageress shouting at the poor bar staff! We walked out as we are here to relax not listen to arguments!” Darren, 28 and Tracy, 26
“I tried to explain that I was a vegetarian, but the waiter can’t have understood as he brought me bacon for my breakfast!” Jack, 30
“We took the kids there on a Saturday night but the owner seemed more interested in hanging out with his friends! In the end we went to the Italian across the street.” Dave, 48 and family
Quotes from the staff survey:
“The party evenings are a bit naff and old-fashioned. Do people really still go to these things?” Alexander, waiter, 22
“Maria is so hard to work for. One day she’s friendly and the next really angry. It really stresses me out!” Damian, bar staff, 26
“I think Derek needs to do a bit more to help out. Maria always looks really tired!” Sartoris, waiter, 24
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