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Case Study—Is This General Manager A General or a Manager?
The employees of the Anchor Country Club have been assembled in the main dining room and are anxiously awaiting the introduction of the club’s new general manager, Fritz Kremmer. The previous manager resigned two months ago to take another position. The board of directors of the club were not unhappy that a transition was occurring. The club did considerable food and beverage volume in its four outlets: the main dining room, the grill room, the card room, and the snack bar at poolside.
While revenue was increasing at the rate of inflation, cost were escalating much faster, service had deteriorated (based on a membership survey), and no real capital improvements had occurred in the past three years. The end result was that the dining room and grill room were just breaking even, and the card room and snack bar were marginally profitable, but also had low check averages.
At precisely 9am, two distinguished-looking gentlemen entered the dining room. Fred Thomas, the elected chairperson of the board, spoke first.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce to you our new general manager, Fritz Kremmer. Fritz come to us after serving for five years at the Midtown Athletic Club. Our search committee interviewed more than 20 candidates and without a doubt, Fritz was the unanimous choice. We have given him a full briefing on our conditions and what we expect, including an upgrade in our service, our facilities, and yes, even our attitude. Fritz, this is your team. As we have told you, the board has given you its full support as you undertake your new duties.”
Fred and Fritz shake hands, and Fritz turns toward the 90-person audience, He begins, “I will speak loudly so everyone will be sure to hear me and there will be no misunderstandings. Thank you, Mr. Thomas, for your kind words. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I have already had the opportunity to read the policies, schedules, and financial reports. It is abundantly clear to me that changes are in order if we are to succeed. Here is a list of the things that we will be implementing immediately.” Fritz proceeds to hand out a sheet of paper to each employee. “I want to go over this list so everyone will be clear as to what each item means,” he proclaims in a loud voice. The list reads as follows:
There will be no more off-menu orders.
There will be no more substitutions.
Employees who wish to exchange shifts must have my approval. There will be no more informal swapping.
We will schedule employee hours consistent with the volume of business forecasted.
All employees will address members age 13 and above by their surnames with the prefix, “Mr.” or “Ms.” Such as “Mr. Thomas” and “Ms. Thomas” Children under the age of 12 will be addressed by their surname with the prefix “Master” for the boys, and “Miss” for the girls.
There will be no touching of members and guest.
Social conversation with members and guest will be kept to a minimum.
There will be only one meal special per day.
All employees are instructed to arrive at work precisely on time, not early or late.
At all times, servers will be courteous to production personnel, and vice versa.
As we will be reducing our inventory somewhat, we will likely experience run outs. Be prepared to recommend high-profit alternatives.
There will be no smoking, swearing, or drinking alcohol anywhere on club property.
When Fritz finished reading the list, he asked, “Are there any questions?” There were none. The dining room was absolutely quiet.
Discussion Question (Please answer in a paragraph format.)
What did Fritz do that was right?
What did Fritz do that was wrong?
Would you add or delete anything to this list?
If you were an employee, what would you say or do?
How would you have addressed your new 90-person team if you were introduced as the new general manager?