Hard Rock Café Operations Management & Productivity

Hard Rock Café signage, 10 decisions of operations management, productivity of kitchen and wait staff
A Hard Rock Café signage in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. How do the 10 decision areas of operations management and productivity relate with Hard Rock Café’s operations? (Photo: Public Domain)

Hard Rock Café is a food service business originally focused on operating casual dining restaurants. Founded in London in 1971, the company developed its brand through the themed restaurant experience. Customers are typically greeted with an ambiance of rock and roll. The company underwent significant growth and expansion in the 1990s. Today, Hard Rock Café is diversified, with operations in the themed restaurants industry, casino industry, and hotel industry. The firm has also achieved global status, with 145 themed restaurants, 21 hotels and 10 casinos in 59 countries. In 2007, the Seminole Tribe of Florida bought the firm. Hard Rock Café’s headquarters were since moved to Orlando, Florida.

The success of Hard Rock Café is partly linked to the firm’s effectiveness in applying the 10 decisions of operations management and productivity principles and concepts on personnel, such as kitchen staff and wait staff.

Hard Rock Café: 10 Decisions of Operations Management

The 10 decision areas of operations management are necessary for managers to improve business operations. The goal is to develop operations that satisfy business objectives, while minimizing problems that cause inefficiency. At Hard Rock Café, these 10 decisions are applied to ensure that the brand, company reputation, and financial targets are met, as follows.

1. Service and Product Design. Hard Rock Café applies service and product design decisions to maintain the Hard Rock ambiance and image. Managers assess different attributes of target markets and make some slight modifications to the products and services. Still, these products and services consistently follow the Hard Rock Café brand image.

2. Quality Management. Hard Rock Café applies quality management by maintaining a specific quality assessment role for the operations manager. The manager uses the firm’s quality standards to identify issues and weaknesses. Recommended changes are then applied to ensure compliance.

3. Process and Capacity Design. Hard Rock Café’s process and capacity design refers to internal business processes and the target capacity of facilities. Internal business processes include food preparation, order routing, reservations, and others. The target capacity of Hard Rock Café facilities is based on the condition of the local markets. The company applies process and capacity design decisions to maximize capacity utilization.

4. Location. Hard Rock Café decides on the location of its businesses based on market and industry analysis. Market research is applied to determine if the market can support a Hard Rock Café. Industry statistics are used to determine if expanding the firm through additional Hard Rock Café locations is feasible.

5. Layout Design. The company decides on layout design by assessing the expected influx of customers and the nature of business operations in facilities. Hard Rock Café themed restaurants, casinos and hotels have different layout requirements. The company’s operations managers apply layout design for efficient workflow in the limited space available in these facilities.

6. Job Design. Hard Rock Café’s job design decisions are reached and applied through an analysis of needs and expectations of the company and its employees. The appropriateness of job design is evaluated based on employee feedback and company standards. The company’s operations management is focused on optimizing workers’ person-job fit, while making it easy for employees to do their jobs to maximize efficiency.

7. Supply Chain Management. Hard Rock Café’s supply chain management decisions are based on market demand, variety of suppliers, and inventory management costs, among other factors. The supply chain management decision is applied through the operations manager and location manager.

8. Inventory Management. The company applies inventory management decisions through inventory management software. Hard Rock Café’s operations management uses demand fluctuations and historical records to predict changes needed in the inventory. The inventory is then adjusted accordingly.

9. Scheduling. Hard Rock Café makes decisions in scheduling by evaluating current operations effectiveness. The schedules must satisfy capacity requirements. Also, operations managers disseminate planned schedules to staff and use their feedback to make adjustments. The adjusted schedules are then applied to ensure flexibility and resilience of the business.

10. Maintenance. Maintenance decisions at Hard Rock Café are made and applied based on a comparative evaluation of assets and the firm’s standards. For example, the company has standards on how much equipment wear and tear is allowed before the equipment needs repair or replacement. Hard Rock Café also has standards and policies on how maintenance should be conducted involving qualified personnel.

Determining Productivity of Kitchen and Wait Staff at Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock Café determines the productivity of the kitchen staff and wait staff through a set of well-defined quantitative and qualitative criteria that reflect performance. Some of the quantitative criteria used in operations management at Hard Rock Café are as follows:

  1. Kitchen staff productivity: The number of orders that the kitchen staff fulfills within Hard Rock Café’s standard allotted time versus the number of items ordered by the customers
  2. Wait staff productivity: The number of orders that the wait staff serves or delivers within Hard Rock Café’s standard allotted time versus the number of items ordered by the customers
  3. Kitchen and wait staff productivity: The total number of staff members versus the total number of orders fulfilled in a day
  4. Kitchen and wait staff productivity: The number of late or unfulfilled orders per day versus the total number of orders for that day

The qualitative criteria for determining kitchen staff and wait staff productivity at Hard Rock Café are based mainly on subjective judgment of managers, staff members, and customers. For example, operations managers use customer complaints and comments to qualitatively monitor kitchen staff and wait staff productivity.

Hard Rock Café uses these quantitative and qualitative productivity criteria to assess specific performance aspects of the kitchen staff and wait staff. The company also combines these criteria to develop a broader perspective on the productivity and performance of the kitchen staff and wait staff. These quantitative and qualitative criteria guide productivity decisions at Hard Rock Café.

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