Restaurants are businesses that offer foods and drinks to customers within the hospitality industry. There is a small distinction between restaurants and hotels in the hospitality industry. Few restaurants expand their business to offer other services that are usually for hotels such as accommodation services. A number of hotels also offer restaurant-related services. These similarities in the two sectors categorize them into one industry referred to as hospitality. There are many restaurants and hotels in the state of California. The restaurants offer a variety of products and services to a significant percentage of the California's population.
Just like any other business operation in California, management of a restaurant faces a number of challenges. These challenges range from competitive and demographic issues to social concerns and regulatory issues. Geographical issues such as the location of a restaurant are also a challenge. Poor location of a restaurant is one of the biggest challenges that restaurant management faces. A bad location may hinder the operations of the restaurant and reduce the number of customers. A poor location that does not have enough parking and does not provide clear visibility to the restaurant is a challenge to the restaurant. Hospitality is an industry in which the participants face stiff competition from each other. This competition poses a challenge to restaurant management to meet the needs and expectations of customers in order to stay in the industry. Restaurant management faces the challenges of selecting the best workforce that can deliver value to the business. Poor choice of workers is a serious challenge to restaurants as it requires individuals with a high sense of hospitality. It is also upon the restaurant management to maintain the workers by offering attractive incentives and quality working environment (Griffin, 2007).
Demographic selection is another challenge to the restaurant industry in California. This is because different generations have different preferences. In selecting the demographic to target, a restaurant has to consider the composition of the population of where the restaurant is located. Young people from the age of 18 to 32 prefer fast foods due to the nature of their lifestyle and the majorities are still students. Older generations also make up a big portion of the population and a restaurant has to consider providing services that suit their needs. Designing of a suitable mix, that capture both the younger and older generation can pose a challenge to restaurant management. On social concerns, restaurants face challenges such as food safety and licensing regulations. Restaurants are subject to the health department inspections for food safety and the surrounding environment. Restaurants, that offer alcohol, require licensing to ensure no alcohol serving to under-aged people and intoxicated products to other consumers.
Several ways of overcoming the challenges that face restaurant management are available. Considerations and research are necessary in deciding the right location for a restaurant. The right location for this form of business is a place that is easy to access by many customers. If the restaurant cannot afford its own parking, alternative parking should be available for customers seeking the services of the restaurant. To overcome competition and be relevant to the restaurant market, restaurant management should be creative in formulating alternatives to curb competition. Offering services such as free delivery to offices and homes can help overcome competition. A restaurant can overcome competition by paying attention to the physical features in terms of product quality, atmosphere, uniqueness and standards. According to Andrews (2009), restaurant should not be too much concerned with the public, but particular segments where their products will meet particular needs.
Quality and experienced employees will facilitate the success of a restaurant. Management should carefully choose and strive to maintain the employees so that the restaurant achieves its goals. The restaurant should create an encouraging environment that will keep employees for years. To succeed in the hospitality industry, employees need not only qualifications, but also the right attitudes towards customers. Employees should be friendly and welcoming. In order to meet the challenge posed by demographic selection, a restaurant should design a system that accommodates all age groups and meet their particular needs. The menu should be appealing to the demographic with the highest population percentage. A restaurant can overcome demographic challenges by locating the restaurant close to residential areas with younger demographics and families. A restaurant should bear in mind the concerns of the community around its location. Maintaining a clean and conducive environment for food processing and handling will help create a sound image that attracts customers. Customers prefer standard products and services that are safe to use. Better features of products and performance also attract customers to the business (Andrews, 2009). Compliance to the rules and regulations from the authority will reduce the risk of business closure and bad reputation.
Impact of computerization on food service and lodging operations
Hospitality industry is not behind in the adoption and utilization of technology in its operations and services. Food services and lodging utilize modern technologies such as computerization of activities to make work easier, increase efficiency and standardization. Computerization in most sectors of the industry such as accounting, sales and personnel management has a positive impact. Most sectors of industry experience better performance and revenue increase from computerization. Computerization facilitates accurate recording of sales and transactions for restaurants, hotels and lodgings. Computerization speeds up activities in the sales department through cashless transactions and reduces previous losses incurred through manual systems. According to Sigh & Kasavana (2005), computerization has revolutionized the hospitality industry through improved efficiency, cost saving and effectiveness. Personnel management has significantly improved with computerization. Restaurants and lodgings can exceed customer expectations through enhancement in customer relationship management. Personnel management has improved by the use of computerized property management systems.
Accounting records and past performance of the industry are now easy to access and refer. Availability of Accurate and organized accounting records help to reduce losses through theft and refer to make future industry decisions. The quality of technology infrastructure is at a recommendable level many economic operations, and social activities rely on technology in the state of California. Many people access these technological infrastructures and have become part of everyday life style. Potential customers to restaurants and lodgings make orders, bookings and enquire for reservation through the internet. Many restaurants fix wireless connections with the restaurants for customers to access the internet while enjoying other services of the restaurants. Sigh & kasavana (2005) notes that technology infrastructure primarily in information technology is highly used in the management operations of restaurants and lodgings.
Interdependence of food service, lodging and meeting places in the hospitality industry
Lodgings, hotels and restaurants both carry out various activities that relate to one another. A client in the lodging sector requires the services of the restaurant or hotel at one particular point. This shows the interdependence that takes place among the various sectors of the hospitality industry. The performance of one sector can have either direct or indirect effect to another. Customers are more attracted to use services of a business that provide all the services in one building. The treatment a customer gets in one department, for example, the restaurant determines the treatment one expects in another department for example lodging within the same business setup. It requires high efficiency in all sectors within the industry in order to attain customer satisfaction.
A case study of California's Park hotel can explain the synergy in the hospitality industry. The hotel is a one-stop centre for all hospitality service requirements for an individual or family. Interdependence in Park hotel has improved through harmonizing of activities and strategies to achieve a common goal. Harmonizing of activities is through pricing mechanism that follows a stipulated procedure. Pricing is important because the prices of one sector determine the prices of…