What this organization has is a culinary leadership and this is not present in many similar organizers of events. This leadership enables all the partner venues to benefit and the collective talent and creativity of the entire culinary staff is spread all over the organization, in all areas. An organization like this cannot grow in isolation and has to coordinate and facilitate the sharing of ideas, techniques and award winning recipes for the preparation of different items. This has to take place not only within the organization, but also among the total community of chefs, even if they are working in other organizations.
This requires close coordination and for final and regular preparation of the items there has to be standards, increased efficiencies and total improvement of menus and services. Only through a close attention to detail, it is possible to provide the best that is available to the clients. The organization has performed well in the past and is internally very proud of its own achievements. This is the reason, as can be seen from an external point-of-view, why it is called upon to serve thousands of guests, and that is not an easy task for any organization. Some of the very important functions that they have done it are nine Super Bowls, twenty five World Series and nine Presidential Inaugural Balls.
Centerplate: Creating something Special)
Changes in management
All organizations require management and changes in management often cause a lot of trouble to the organization. Whether this organization is called Centerplate or Volume Services America, there are always troubles when new management takes over in the organization. There has to be a gradual passing on of the responsibility, and that cannot be done with just a change of designation. The problems come when there are unplanned changes. In this case, the problem of the organization started with the removal of John T. Dee from the organization. His first move was out of the company from being the Chairman of the company due to health reasons. At that time, the new Chief Executive Officer Lawrence E. Honig said "John has been a prominent leader in our industry for more than 35 years and he will be greatly missed. John has been an inspiration to those of us who have had the privilege to work with him. We offer him our sincerest appreciation for his years of service and our thoughts are with him as he focuses on more personal matters." (Centerplate Chairman John T. Dee Resigns)
This was an incident that took place on August 28, 2003, and the troubles did not end then - the company was compelled to announce the passing away of Mr. Dee on 8th September, 2003. This was a very sad incident as there was very little time for the new management to even properly take over, and it is quite likely that Mr. Dee was not being able to perform his full duties even earlier. He was only 65 when he passed away, and was effectively running the organization from 1993. He was first a director of Service and then as chief executive officer from August 1998 to April 2002. Even earlier, he was the chief executive officer of one of the subsidiary companies. (Former Centerplate Chairman John T. Dee Passes Away)
More important is however to look at his career, and he had been in the foodservice industry from almost the beginning of his career, from 1968. He was then in Aramark Corporation and he slowly grew up in the organization. He was in the management positions and rose to the level of becoming the vice president of sales and the president of the leisure services division of the company. The continuation of his career was also in the same line and he continued in the same industry. His competence can be clearly understood from the fact that he was employed by another company, Sportservice as a senior officer in 1979 and even given the position of president. Yet he did not continue in that company, but came back to Aramark and became the group president in 1980. His responsibilities had always been connected with the leisure foodservice business and its public restaurant operations. That was always his specialty and he also joined Top Food Services, Inc. As the president, till he was brought into Service America. (Former Centerplate Chairman John T. Dee Passes Away)
Thus his capacities were clearly for development in the food industry. Unfortunately, his life itself was cut short, and this brought in another person at the top level of the organization. Apart from all other difficulties, it takes quite some time for any individual to understand the nature of business for any business, apart from understanding the culture of the organization. That is the reason why we have two positions of chief executive officer and chairman of the board. The responsibility of the chief executive officer is to take all required action, while the chairman is in an advisory capacity. He also is able to give the benefit of his experience to the other members of the board. This is probably one of the main reasons for the consequent drop in the fortunes of the organization.
Drop in performance
After looking at all the excellent performance in the past and interesting history, let us now look at the present financial position of the organization. The hope of analysts about the company is slowly declining and one of the experts has brought it down from "outperform to neutral" (Services America Holdings downgraded to 'neutral') According to the estimate, the target price for the equity has also been dropped from $17 to $15. The reasons for the changes in the prediction of future fortunes of the company has been said to be due to the significant effects that the new operating team is expected to have and the view that the persons who have now resigned were highly efficient. These changes are also expected to harm the long-term growth prospects of the company and cash flow. The company is expected to be harmed by the growth in interest rates that are expected to take place soon. (Services America Holdings downgraded to 'neutral') The mumbo jumbo of share market experts are always difficult to understand, and looking on the face of it, for the last year, 2004 the company has paid a dividend of $0.79 a share against the payment made during 2003 of $0.09. (Announces Intent to Refinance Senior Debt and Names Janet L. Steinmayer President)
How can one say that the equity stock holders are to be any worse? In relation to predictions relating to the prices of stocks, there have been really no correct form of predictions which have been made from the year 1929 onwards and the prices are always been decided by means of the gambling instincts of the participants in the stock market. One of the most famous sayings in this light would be that "In relation to the long run, we are all however dead." There are certain actions which are being taken in the stock market that do not adhere to reality, as it applies to this company as well. The number of shares of the company has enhanced from 14.2 million which was at the end of 2003 to that of an amount of 22.5 million by 2004 end. It is thus clear that these are not considered to be shares which have been purchased in the stock market, as no sensible person would have got to purchase the stock understanding that the company has made a loss of over that of $10.8 million. The loss which was being made in the year 2004 has been converted to profitable terms of $1.4 million. The stocks which have been issued are just paper materials that have been issued to the major stockholders or the owners of the company. They are stuck with it as it is not possible ever to sell the assets of any organization at market value which is considered to be fair enough and efforts to this end will only tend to heighten the losses. The view to be taken with regard to any loss making organization is quite varied from the view that is to be taken in relation to a profit making company. What is to be done in relation to the loss making company is that it is essential to first get it to a stage wherein it breaks at least even; or else, it is considered to be just a process of slowly going down the hill even further and ultimately collapsing as a company.
One of the most interesting matters is that the plain figures from a balance sheet are always different from the figures stated by the company management at the annual general meetings. True all companies are viewed in literature as ladies and no one would like his favorite lady to be shown shorn of any decoration.…