Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of YUM brand and forms the largest restaurant chain in the world in terms of sales revenue and assets (Pizza Hut, n.d, p.1). The brand differentiates from its competitors through three major areas namely performance, quality and as the best place of employment. The restaurant operation is the face of the organization. The distinct role of operations is to be possessed with the quality of pizzas and the experience that customers receive.
These operations are defined by the different concepts in Pizza Hut including full service restaurants, home service restaurants, restaurant based delivery, express units and franchise outlets. The operations at Pizza hut cannot be highlighted for any single functional unit but is the collection of many sets of activities carried out within the units and bring success by turning customer expectations into reality. Pizza Hut operations work to the CHAMPS policies like cleanliness, hospitality, accuracy, maintenance, product and speed.
These policies become the key drivers of operations excellence into the business. Despite the feasibility of such operation policies, the capability of the operations manager to deal with the issues faced during implementation is the key success factor. Therefore, this paper presents the key strategic and operational issues faced by the operations managers in Pizza hut.
According to Hill and Hill (2011), product design is involved with the conversion of ideas into reality (p.28). Pizza Hut has to design, develop and introduce new pizzas as a survival and growth strategy. Designing and developing new products is the biggest issue faced by the operations managers in many organizations including Pizza Hut.
The whole process needs identification to manufacturers of physical products which involves three functions namely product development, manufacturing and marketing.
Product development transforms the needs of customers into technical specifications alongside designing the different features into the products. Manufacturing is responsible for the selection of the process through which the product can be realized. Product design and development links customer needs and expectation to the activities needed to produce the product.
In response to this, Pizza hut operations managers have the role of ensuring the survival and growth of the business through effective product design and development. Indeed, the success of the company is not a matter of detached activities but rather it is the restless efforts of the company to put innovation into realities by transforming customer wants and needs into the shape of products. This is achieved through product development team that runs focus group to research on the customer behaviors towards pizza choices.
Sometime, products are launched after conducting selected research of the chosen customer sample yet it fails to survive in the market. This usually causes occurrence of unexpected costs or wastages in the stores. For example, cheese bread, the four for all pizza, Indian pizza and Bombay wings are the failed products that led to unnecessary costs.
However, Pizza hut has also launched successful products. For example, cheese bite pizza offered has caused an increase of 24% in pizza sales revenue (Pizza Hut, n.d, p.2). Maintaining such a legacy would require the operations managers to spearhead strategic initiatives that enhance innovation capability of the company.
Process design, planning and control
Process design refers to the concept of operations management that deals with macroscopic decision making of the whole process route for transforming raw materials into finished products. These decisions entail the selection of the production process, choosing the right technology, and analyzing the process flow.
Therefore, the important decisions in Pizza hut’s process design are to analyze the workflow for transforming raw materials into final products and selecting the work station for each individual included in the work flow. The design process is a major operations issue as it determines the costs as a result of wasted materials and labor.
During the preparation process, all things that will help to perform the operations in the store are prepared. This process involves activities such as defrosting of dough, cheese and starters. Failure to put the following day operations up to the mark, it then becomes difficult or shortage of items occur delaying the conversion process.
Operations managers have the obligation of ensuring that the preparations are done on the basis of the business forecasts of the next day. Failure to prepare the forecasted goods for the following day operations, it becomes virtually difficult for the following shift manager to oversee the business operations.
The make table is another step that is worth manager’s consideration during the process design. This refers to making orders that are received from customers and appear on the micros system (Pizza Hut, n.d, p.2).
The managers need to determine when there are collection customers, otherwise order work on first-in-first-out (FIFO) system (collection time is 10-15 minutes while delivery time is 30-35 minutes). At Pizza hut, getting ready the make table is an important part of operations.
The right proportion of ingredients, sauces, condiments and products are prepared as specified. Operations managers must consider vitally that the make table elements character, freshness, aroma and taste are veracious and kept at right conditions.
The cut table is also a worthy step in ensuring minimal wastage and the associated costs. The operations managers ensure that the pizzas are cut according to the customer check as well as pouching them accordingly. More important is to ensure that the pouched order goes with the right customer check otherwise the flow of the cut table is broken down and may cause the mistake of the target customer.
Finally, dispatching is another critical procedure that requires the attention of the operations managers. This is tricky and important work especially when more orders have been placed and produced but the drivers are few. The geographic area is usually subdivided into zones according to the postcodes and the customer order deliveries with address and postcode.
Therefore, the operations managers’ keenness is to dispatch the orders that can be delivered in masses in order to save time and effort. Although, the time taken to deliver an order to a customer is usually less than 30 minutes, the managers can influence the speed by adjusting the number of works according to peak and off-peak hours.
As Mahadevan (2010) suggests, forecasting is a major consideration for operations management during the planning stage of operations (p.16). Forecasting the expected demand is the foundation for every operational activity in a business unit. Through this all factors get into touch with planning, organizing and controlling of the operational activities.
Eventually, this will lead to the total production of the business unit. Derek Waller (2003) is a famous management scholar and connotes that forecasting product and demand is the most essential activity for any business organization (pp.261-262). It is an imperative aspect to successfully push forward the business on set objectives until the point of efficiency is realized.
Similarly, forecasting at Pizza hut is a crucial item for the business success. Before operations manager develops a plan for human resource allocation or food checking, they must consider the forecast of sales as well as the anticipated upcoming event in the period. Resource allocation for the usual shifts works well in Pizza hut in relation to the plans but other external factors may influence the speed and service delivery. For instance, bad weather conditions and road hazards in the form of accidents and blockades can slow service ability.
In addition, unexpected orders can increase the demand for products while the availability of ready-made products may be inadequate according to the stipulated demand for the shift. Hence, the variation in the stipulated demand and the actual demand may cause the shortage of products and eventually make customers to feel dissatisfied with the service.
Good weather and special occasions such as sports, festivals and rituals can increase the demand. Given that all these variations relate to Pizza hut operations, it is the role of the managers to ensure minimal impact on the business through short-term strategies that adjust production consistent with the demand changes.
Providing customer with experience
Behind any business, customer care is the central point of concentration and should be treated with due respect. Most important is to discover the ways through which the customer needs and wants can be fulfilled. This begins from the top managers whereby they set procedures and policies that ensure proper interaction with customers (Bozarth & Handfield, 2008, p.5).
Customers do not look for a relationship in given brand but they rather want to be respected, understood and get their products when they want them. Thus, operational activities are best positioned to give customers the good experience and reassurance they want. So when the operation department facilitates the experience needed, the opportunity to develop necessary relationship follows.
Pizza hut sell pizzas in a market where other competitors are doing the same. Therefore, it is very important for the company to be differentiated against the competitors in order to ensure sustainable growth. The values and attitudes make important differentiations while operation policies and the quality of pizzas are key factors (Say et al, 2003).
In order to attain the desired outcomes, operations managers in Pizza hut must enhance the beneficial interaction between the team members and customers. One way of achieving this is to equip the order takers with essential skills as they form the link between the business and the customer. The other way is to ensure that the products are produced with the highest quality through the use of appropriate production gears and developing the skills of the individuals involved.
Quality control can be defined as the method used by the operations management to maintain the desired level of quality in products. It can also be considered as the systematic control of different factors that leverage the quality of a product. For physical products, the aim is to prevent defects at the source while relying on an effective feedback system and corrective actions.
Quality control can also refer to the management method through which product of uniform quality is produced. This means that there should be the whole collection of operation activities which ensure the production of optimum quality products and services at minimum costs.
The aim of any business unit at Pizza hut is to achieve the complete operational polices practices. It is expected that optimal strength should be utilized into production process to get the maximum outcomes and maintain 100 percent product quality standard. This implies that all production activities should be timely and accurate.
In addition, quality without waste is the principle behind inventory levels and timing systems in the restaurant. Failure to follow the principle leads to the discrepancy of operations that eventually affect the quality of products and customer satisfaction.
In that perspective, the operations managers in Pizza hut have the obligation to ensure that the teams meet the desired quality. Therefore, throughout the supply chain the quality lies with the overall team. This must then be achieved if the managers set rigorous policies during product development.
One way through which the managers have ensured standards is by regular monitoring and auditing of the production system. Quality is checked through CHAMPS Excellence Review while quality assurance is attained by monitoring the complaints as well as corrections through available corrective methods.
Pizza hut have established several operation policies yet the operation managers are faced with many issues that requires professional and strategic responses to enhance the overall performance of the business. Right from the conception of an operational activity, the key point to consider is the wants and needs of the customers and thus the managers effectively influence the operation in that focus.
Bozarth, C. C. & Handfield, R. B. 2008. Introduction to operations and supply chain management. Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Hill, A. & Hill, T. 2011. Essential operations management. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mahadevan, B. 2010. Operations Management: Theory and Practice. New Delhi, India: Pearson Education India.
Pizza Hut. n.d. System makeover re-energizes Pizza giant’s sales and productivity. Web.
Say, M. et al.2003.The Importance of the Customer Experience. Admap Magazine, Issue 440.
Waller, D. L. 2003. Operations Management A supply Chain Approach. Farmington Hills, MA: Thompson Learning.