11509 Small Business Management
Business Case Study Analysis
Frank’s All-American BarBeQue Overview Robert Rainsford is a twenty-eight-year-old facing a major turning point in his life. He has found himself unemployed for the first time since he was fifteen years old. Robert holda BS degree in marketing from the University of Rhode Island. After graduation, a firm that specialized in developing web presences for other companies hired him. He worked for that firm for the last seven years in New York City. Robert rose rapidly through the company’s ranks, eventually becoming one of the firm’s vice presidents. Unfortunately, during the last recession, the firm suffered significant losses and engaged in extensive downsizing, so Robert lost his job. He spent months looking for a comparable position, yet even with an excellent résumé, nothing seemed to be on the horizon. Not wanting to exhaust his savings and finding it impossible to maintain a low-cost residence in New York City, he returned to his hometown in Fairfield, Connecticut, a suburban community not too far from the New York state border.
He found a small apartment near his parents. As a stopgap measure, he went back to work with his father, who is the owner of a restaurant—Frank’s All-American BarBeQue. His father, Frank, started the restaurant in 1972. It is a midsize restaurant—with about eighty seats— that Frank has built up into a relatively successful and locally well-known enterprise. The restaurant has been at its present location since the early 1980s. It shares a parking lot with several other stores in the small mall where it is located. The restaurant places an emphasis on featuring the food and had a highly simplified décor, where tables are covered with butcher paper rather than linen tablecloths. Robert’s father has won many awards at regional and national barbecue cook-offs, which is unusual for a business in New England. He has won for both his barbecue food and his sauces. The restaurant has been repeatedly written up in the local and New York papers for the quality of its food and the four special Frank’s All- American BarBeQue sauces. The four sauces correspond to America’s four styles of barbecue—Texan, Memphis, Kansas City, and Carolina. In the last few years, Frank had sold small lots of these sauces in the local supermarket.
As a teenager, Robert, along with his older sister Susan, worked in his father’s restaurant. During summer vacations while attending college, he continued to work in the restaurant. Robert had never anticipated working full-time in the family business, even though he knew his father had hoped that he would do so. By the time he returned to his hometown, his father had accepted that neither Robert nor Susan would be interested in taking over the family business. In fact, Frank had started to think about selling the business and retiring. However, Robert concluded that his situation called for what he saw as desperate measures.
Initially, Robert thought his employment at his father’s business was a temporary measure while he continued his job search. Interestingly, within the first few weeks he returned to the business, he felt that he could bring his expertise in marketing— particularly his web marketing focus—to his father’s business. Robert became very enthusiastic about the possibility of fully participating in the family business. He thought about either expanding the size of the restaurant, adding a takeout option, or creating other locations outside his hometown. Robert looked at the possibility of securing a much larger site within his hometown to expand the restaurant’s operations. He began to scout surrounding communities for possible locations. He also began to map out a program to effectively use the web to market Frank’s AllAmerican BarBeQue sauce and, in fact, to build it up to a whole new level of operational sophistication in marketing.
Robert recognized that the restaurant was as much of a child to his father as he and his sister were. He knew that if he were to approach his father with his ideas concerning expanding Frank’s All-American BarBeQue, he would have to think very carefully about the options and proposals he would present to his father. Frank’s AllAmerican BarBeQue was one of many restaurants in Fairfield, but it is the only one that specializes in barbecue. Given the turnover in restaurants, it was amazing that Frank had been able to not only survive but also prosper. Robert recognized that his father was obviously doing something right. As a teenager, he would always hear his father saying the restaurant’s success was based on “giving people great simple food at a reasonable price in a place where they feel comfortable.” He wanted to make sure that the proposals he would present to his father would not destroy Frank’s recipe for success.
Case Study Short Answer Questions Students should answer each question individually. Each question will be submitted separately via Canvas on completion of the relevant Module. Each question should be a minimum of 1 page in length. however it is highly recommended you look at the question and reflect on it and for those of you wanting to gain the most out of the course, write a response for your own study and understanding purposes).
You will find the business plan for Frank’s All-American BarBeQue. This plan examined several possible locations for a second restaurant. Frank and Robert considered several factors when evaluating alternative towns as possible locations. Some of these included population size, average income, travel times, and percentage of population. Based on the data, they selected Darien, Connecticut. Do you agree with the decision? Why or why not? Do you think other factors should have been considered? If yes, what would you recommend?