Operations Management - The production system, which is being analyzed, is that of Valentinos Restaurant.

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Mohammed Abul-Hawa        -  -

Operations Management

The production system, which is being analyzed, is that of Valentinos Restaurant.

Valentinos is an Italian restaurant, which has been running under the same ownership for the past 18 years.

It is a reasonable sized establishment based in the ‘heart’ of Cleethorpes.

The restaurant prides itself on quality and targets the mid end of the market. Its clientele is family & anyone who wants a romantic night out. It caters for all occasions, tastes & special occasions.

Valentinos pioneered Italian food in Cleethorpes, being there first it has seen of competition and still runs strong.

The mission statement of Valentinos makes it easier to establish what the important aspects of the product are.

“ To provide high quality food and service at an affordable price, whilst ensuring the satisfaction of each and ever customer”

The product, which Valentinos is offering, is Italian food.

As the market for take away food is becoming ever more saturated with competitors, with an ever-growing number of take-aways and restaurants opening up, it is becoming increasingly more important to recognize the core aspects of your product. By doing so you are able to highlight the differences between your own product, and that of your competitors, to enable you to offer a superior product/service than the next.

  • Arguably the most important aspect of the product that Valentinos is offering is authenticity. The product must be authentic; by no means can the product be seen as just, ordinary Italian food. It must be seen as something different from what everyone else is offering. Obviously with Italian food, as with any other basic type of food, there is a basic product, which the customer is expecting e.g. if the customer is ordering a pizza, there is the standard way of having a bread base with whatever topping the customer requests. So the restaurant has to ensure their product is what the customer expects, but unique in every way.
  • The meal/food must be traditional and in accordance with everything that the customer expects from an Italian meal. Everything from the food, to the way it is presented, to the way the restaurant looks must have an aura of traditionally to it i.e. It isn’t much of an Italian ‘feel’ if the place looks like a McDonalds. So traditionalism is another integral aspect, which ties in very closely with authenticity. These two factors combined are what separate the core product of one business, from another.
  • The food must also be seen as being ‘trendy’! The idea of such a product being trendy doesn’t seem important if you are only specifically targeting one segment of the market e.g. family meals. If you want to expand your customer base you must try to make yourself appealing to that segment of the market e.g. couples/groups on a night out.
  • Another very important factor if the product is that it must be quick. This may seem straightforward, but it is much more complicated than it seems. Although time is of the essence, the customer having a meal needs to feel that they are not being ‘rushed’ through their meal.  At the same time they need to feel as though they aren’t waiting any longer than they should be. It is therefore very important to establish the correct time scale, from when the customer orders the food, to when they receive it.
  • The price scale is a very important element, which the restaurant has to think carefully about. The restaurant states, within the mission statement, that the food must be at an “affordable price”, however, the boundary between the food been reasonably priced lies very closely with the food being ‘cheap’ or ‘overpriced’. So the inescapable consideration of price is very important and apparent whenever a meal is purchased.

Although the next two factors aren’t directly related to the product, they are synonymous with the purchase of the product, whether it is a meal or a take away.

  • Atmosphere ties in very closely with the idea of a traditional & authentic meal. The atmosphere can’t be bought; it is more of an experience that comes with the purchase of the product. It must again be given careful consideration, as it is another element, which separates you from your competitors.
  •  The service a customer receives is as important as the food itself, it sounds drastic but is very true. You could have the best food in the world, but if you aren’t treated well you will not go back. There are so many other places to go, why put yourself through it again. So it is of extreme importance that a customer be treated to “high…quality service” every time they visit your establishment.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of 70 people, with room for another 20-30 standing. The restaurant caters for special occasions e.g. parties, wedding receptions etc and has regular bookings, but the main trade is made by people just walking in. Because of this, there are never really any set figures for the number of customer at any given time; however there are trends i.e. the weekends are predominantly the busiest time of the week.


The trends constantly change, pending on the time of the year i.e. the summer is without a doubt the busiest time of the year, with the overall level of customer demand increasing drastically.

The accompanying table (Please refer to Fig.2) helps to indicate the weekly trend throughout each night of the week, showing ‘peak’ periods and increased levels of demand.5

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The ranking helps to give an idea of how busy it gets at what time of the night, on what night.

The nights are basically grouped into three categories (Sun/Mon/Tues), (Wed/Thurs) & (Fri, Sat).

During (Sun, Mon, Tues) the opening hours aren’t as long as the rest of the week. As on these days there are no night attractions open e.g. nightclubs. Therefore customer demand is generally not as high; the main custom is made up of people coming in for an evening meal, with eating in accounting for a large portion of the restaurants business.

During (Wed/Thurs) ...

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