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During the last summer holiday I chose to help my uncle who ran a fast food restaurant in Urbana. Majority of the restaurants customers came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My uncle had hired ten employees who helped him run the restaurant. Six of the employees were involved in preparation of dishes and maintaining the cleanliness of the restaurant. The other four employees worked as cashiers and basically helped my uncle supervise the operations of the restaurant. My uncle wanted me to help him manage the restaurant because he wanted to attend to family issues. The restaurant was facing three major problems which greatly reduced its profits. These problems were; late arrival of employees, high electrical power bills and wastage of water. My uncle imagined that the best method to control these problems was through hiring and firing of employees which he had been doing for a few months before I arrived
He informed me that he was tired of hiring and firing and he wanted to do something new that will enable him run the restaurant without problems. He asked me to go and think of something because he had tried every possible solution he could think of without success. The following week we held a meeting with an aim of getting the employees perspective on the issues at hand. Employees who were often late claimed that they were living far away from the restaurant and therefore found it difficult to arrive in time during the morning hours. The employees also explained that it was difficult to manage the water problem because the water taps were not effective. They also explained that the excess power bill was a result of some faulty equipment. Most of the claims seemed legitimate after reviewing them. I decided to take a closer look at the restaurant and I noticed there was excessive lighting especially in the dining region.
Now that we had defined the problems we sat down to look in an effort to find solutions to these problems within a reasonable timeframe. My uncle said that he could repair the faulty equipment as well as look for more effective water taps. He also agreed to reduce the lighting in the dining region in order to reduce the electrical power bill. Initially my uncle considered relieving the four employees who resided far away from the restaurant off their duties. However I asked him to find out their proposal regarding their issue. These workers explained that they would prefer to extend their evening sessions if they were allowed to arrive one hour later than the rest of the employees. My uncle was pleased by their opinion and created a program that addressed their issues. He was also able to make the recommended changes within two weeks. The results were very positive because there was immediate decrease in water and electricity charges. The employees were also satisfied with the program that my uncle had created because it allowed them perform their duties optimally.
There were some benefits that came along with implementation of these changes. The employees felt happy with the way my uncle had solved their problems. The improved trust resulted to increased morale of the employees because they felt that the management was sensitive to their issues. The results of these improvements were immediate because the resultant electricity and water bills reflected much lower charges as compared to the previous bills. The profit margin of the business was able to improve because of the reduced charges and the improved work ethics. I also learned that consulting with involved parties can allow one find solutions to problems.