1.7. Key definitions of terms
Research process = a sustained effort concentrated around a topic or subject of study aimed at generating new findings, and characterized by identification and labeling of variables, research design, collection of data, analysis of data and evaluation of the problem (Shinde).
Qualitative research = Research method through which researchers address the studied phenomenon by observing it in its natural environment and strive to make sense of it (Klenke, 2008).
Drive through = a window or another open and easy access facility, through which business can be conducted, and the customer does not have to leave their car (MacMillan Dictionary).
Startup business = a business that finds itself in the first stages of business operations (Investopedia, 2012).
Target market = the group of people to which an economic agent has decided to market and sell its products and/or services (Preddy, 2004).
1.8. Chapter 1 summary
In a changing social climate, the eating habits of the population are changing. This leads to the creation of several business threats and opportunities for the operators in the food industry. At this level, an identified opportunity is that of opening and running a fast food pasta restaurant with a drive though. The success chances of this establishment are given by the healthy feature of the foods, as well as the increased convenience in purchasing them.
Still, from a business perspective, the endeavor is faced by countless challenges, and the scope of this current project is that of reviewing the literature in order to identify these challenges, and also forward means in which they can be addressed. In this specific order of ideas, emphasis would be placed on the following:
The steps to be undertaken when opening a restaurant
The features of the fast food pasta sector
The key success factors in operating a fast food pasta restaurant.
The research approach to answering these research questions is represented by the inductive mechanism, through which observations are completed and a conclusion is formulated. The study is important due to its centralization of available data, as well as the provision of insight for the practitioners, but it is limited by the exclusive reliance on secondary data and the usage of the qualitative research methodology.
Chapter 2: Literature review
2.1. Overview of literature review
The scope of the current research is that of identifying several important pointers in ensuring the successful launch and operation of a fast food pasta restaurant. This endeavor is highly intricate and its success is pegged to a multitude of features. This project then strives to identify the key success factors and as such support the practitioner in developing a successful business operation, as well as support the theoretician in better understanding the topic.
Still, the very objective of the project is complex and has to be approached in a composite manner. This manner of approaching the research objectives and questions is represented by the very literature review section. In other words, the current section represents a solid starting point in answering the three research questions previously posed. Based on the research completed, an analysis would be conducted to further detail the specifics of the findings and the means in which they manage to answer the initially posed questions.
2.2. Outline of approach
The literature review section could generally be organized by two important criteria -- the nature of the findings presented and the nature of the sources used. Specifically, by the nature of the sources used, the streams in the literature review section could be organized as follows:
Information retrieved from books and textbooks
Information retrieved from journals and other peer reviewed sources, and last
Information retrieved from internet articles and other non-peer reviewed sources.
Each of these sources of information is characterized by its own specifics. For instance, the books and...
Nevertheless, they can often be outdated and the information they contain might not be applicable in a highly dynamic and quickly changing context.
Then, the peer reviewed articles have the benefit of being written and verified by researchers in the academic community, meaning that they are highly reliable. Their downsides could however refer to the fact that they would deal with specific issues, from specific angles and they could also be written in a highly scientific manner, which restricts the access of the general readers.
Finally, the internet articles and other informal sources have the benefit of addressing current issues in a quick and efficient manner, yet they might be less objective. All of these sources would be used throughout the project and they would be combined in an effort to decrease the limitations and attain the pre-established objective of the research project.
However, this classification of the information by nature of the sources would not be used to create the streamlines of the current literature review section. In essence, the streams would be represented by the means in which the information retrieved would help to answer the initially posed questions. In other words, the current section is created on three specific streams, each one integrating various literary sources and aiming to answer the research questions. Specifically, the first stream revolves around the steps necessary to launch a startup business; the second reveals aspects of the fast food pasta industry and the third focuses on the key success factors in business operations.
2.3. Stream one: Opening a business
Throughout the literature, it is overall accepted that the opening of a restaurant is a complicated effort, which implies an increased degree of risk, as well as intense commitment. According to Shri L. Henkel, Douglas Robert Brown (2006), before actually engaging in the practical and technical aspects of opening the restaurant, it is necessary for a vision to be created. This vision would create a sense of direction and purpose for the restaurant and would constitute an important starting point in the making of the practical decisions in the future.
"One of the first things you need in order to fulfill the dream of owning your own business is to create a solid vision on how you will accomplish your dream. Developing a solid vision will help you write your business plan and sell your concept to lenders and potential investors while communicating your vision to the multitude of people you will work with to make your dream a reality" (Henkel and Brown, p.18).
Also in line with the vision, Lorri Mealey points out to the need to choose the concept of the restaurant. At this level, emphasis would be placed on the choice between an independent restaurant and a franchised one. With an independent restaurant, the owners will often serve food they like, in a comfortable ambiance, whereas with franchised restaurants, they will have to follow a strict set of rules.
Once this decision is made, the owners will have to find a name for their startup restaurant; create and write up the menu of the foods to be served; equip the restaurant with the necessary utensils and hire the personnel which would prepare the foods and serve them, as well as attend to other adjacent matters (Mealey).
Daniel Miller (2006) considers that another important aspect of opening a restaurant is represented by location. It is as such of the utmost importance for the future restaurant to be located in an area with an easy access by consumers and potential consumers. Additionally, other factors to be considered when choosing a location include the proximity to other attractions, the neighborhood, transportation, parking, zoning, the previous occupancy of the facility and so on (Miller, 2006).
Miller also emphasizes on the changes which need to take place at the level of the individual. Specifically, he argues that it is crucial for the owner of the restaurant to accept the new challenges that would be raised by the opening and running of the restaurant, and to change their lifestyle in order to meet these challenges. The owner would for instance no longer have the security of a steady job; they would face physical and emotional exhaustion and they would be less able to spend time with their family (Miller, 2006).
Then, another important step in the opening of the restaurant is represented by the identification and selection of the adequate target market. Unless the owner of the startup is able to identify, attract and serve the proper target market, the restaurant's chances for success are highly reduced (Pride and Ferrell, 2010). In such a setting, the Entrepreneur magazine identifies five important target markets, as follows: generation Y, generation X, baby boomers, empty nesters and seniors.
The generation Y consumers are individuals born between 1980 and 2000, who represent the most ethnically diverse consumer category, as well as the largest one; they often prefer fast food facilities. The individuals in the generation X are born between 1965 and 1977 and they prefer products with great value…
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