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CSR Individual Project: Managing a Restaurant

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When interviewing potential employers for his restaurant manager position, Jerry Westrom, an owner of Ember’s Restaurant in California, first talks about the negatives that surround the management position, before discussing the positives in details (Krumrie, 2014). The aim of employing this approach, according to Westrom, is to know if their hearts are in it (Krumrie, 2014). If the candidates seem incredulous about anything, Westrom proclaims that he has doubts if they are going to make it. When it comes to pressure on managers, most people think of managers in highly paying industries like banking, automobile and engineering. Most people forget that managers in low paying industries, like restaurant business and retailing, are also subjected to pressure that can affect their critical thinking, and most of all, their behavior in relation to sustainability and social responsibility. The paper will discuss these effects.

As a restaurant manager, the pressures that one seems to undergo are law, values and expectations and business objective.

Law

While the effect of restaurant operations on the environment has been well discussed in literature, the law requires restaurants to be aware of the surroundings they are operating in (Kasim, Ismail and Issa, 2011). Currently, restaurant managers are pressured to “green” their operations. In addition, the law is always pushing for the minimum wage to be increased. This increases the pressure on management, as the manager is caught between market pressure on one hand, and moral pressure on the other hand. In most cases, the manager acts as an advocate for other employees in the restaurant. However, when the law pushes for higher minimum wages in this industry, the manager does not know what to do. On the other hand, the restaurant is forced to raise the prices of its products, as well as cut employee benefits.

Economics and Market Demands

About one third of restaurant sales go to purchasing of food and beverages. This causes enormous pressure on the maager as he is forced to ensure cost in the kitchen is well managed to ensure profitability. The strongest annual increase in food prices was in 2011 (8%). Since then, the price of whole sale food has been increasing slowly. Despite that, the price of whole sale foods remains elevated (Lindberg, 2011). At the same time, the price of foods and other services on restaurant menus are not increasing with a similar pace, putting pressure on the restaurant manager. In fact, the cost of food in the market, and the ability to generate profits are the most challenging issues in restaurant management.

Business Objective

The objectives of an organization act as the blue print, which determines the course of action the organization ought to take, as well as help them determine their future direction (Lindberg, 2011). In that sense, if the organization fails to define its objectives clearly, it will not be able to coordinate its activities, as well as forecast its future events. The four objective functions, according to Barney and Griffin (2011), are: providing direction and guidance; facilitating planning, inspiring and motivating employees, helping the organization to control and elevate performance. Business objective in a restaurant is one of the management pressures, because, it is the work of the manager to ensure all employees are parallel with these objectives.

Pressures’ Influence upon Manager Behavior Related to Sustainability and Social Responsibility

With the law is forcing businesses to report on social and environmental impact, managers are forced to ensure their organizations act according to CSR requirements. Currently, managers are required to formulate the CSR report, which is also known as corporate citizenship, social performance or sustainability report. Because of this, the manager is more aware of the environment the organization operates in. For instance, regulatory pressure is forcing managers in restaurants to recycle their waste, which reduces the amount of waste materials on landfills. In this case, the manager is forced to observe not only the restaurant’s operaations that are profitable, but also those operations that are beneficial to the society.

Managers cannot control the economic factors and market demands. However, this pressure affects the manager’s behavior in certain ways. For instance, the commodity market is forcing restaurant managers to control the ingredients, which are used in the restaurants. Some of the things that most managers are forced to do are: monitoring clients’ plates, adjusting parts of the menu, considering using recyclable materials, and using cheap but healthy food products. While closely monitoring clients’ plates helps to know which items are consistently left by most customers, it also helps to reduce waste.

Business objectives, on the other hand, influence managers’ behavior towards his subordinates and other stakeholders. In this case, the manager is forced to behave in a way that will increase employee’s performance and improve the overall reputation of the organization. In this case, the manager views employees as stakeholders, thus, addresses the issues which are beyond their economic, legal and technical requirements (Lindberg, 2011).

Evaluation of my Satisfaction with Performance and Social Responsibility

Considering what is required for one to be sustainable and socially responsible, my performance is not up to the required CSR standards. While the restaurant continues to make profits, a lot of food goes to waste and other employees are left out of the organizations decision making process. A number of things, therefore, need to be done to ensure sustainability and social responsibility.

  • Implement a recycling plan, which will be used to recycle materials like paper.
  • Support sustainable products and ensure the restaurant is committed to purchasing these products only.
  • Ensure the restaurant is using 100% recyclable packages from recycled sources.
  • Serve only the foods that are healthy.

By implementing these changes, the restaurant will be more social responsible and sustainable.

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