The Fine-Dining Restaurant Project

Situation Analysis

Current Student Experience

The fine-dining restaurant project at Thompson Rivers University is designed to meet the TRU’s five strategic priorities and to address the dinner services needs of the immediate community, which are not currently met effectively by existing restaurants. The analysis of the market indicates that adequate dinner services are missing from the current student experience at TRU. Only three restaurants, Starbucks, The Den, and Tim Hortons are offering dinner services. With the large population of student and staff at TRU, sometimes these three restaurants fail to meet the demands in the market. Cases where clients visit these restaurants and fail to get the specific items they desire are common. Other students choose to purchase food items early before the other restaurants are closed. However, they admit that such practices are tasking.

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The fact that the existing eateries on the campus cannot meet the local demand is very upsetting to many students (Kloppenborg, 2015). Students specializing in event management and culinary arts are currently forced to find restaurants and hotels where they can work as interns to gain the knowledge they need upon their graduation. Many students admit that such processes can be frustrating, especially when the hotels and restaurants have so many students looking for the same positions within their facilities. These are some of the factors, which are missing from the current students’ experience at TRU.

The Market Needs

The local community is looking for restaurants that can understand and address its needs in the perfect way possible. According to Rajagopal (2012), in the current competitive business environment, customers tend to develop loyalty towards firms that meet their expectations every time they purchase a product. Whenever a customer is disappointed because of a substandard product, he or she can easily move to a rival company.

Currently, the TRU community is not properly served by the existing restaurants, especially when it comes to their needs during dinner. The market is looking for restaurants that will not just understand, but also address these needs satisfactorily and consistently. The fine-dining restaurant project is designed to meet these specific needs of the market once it starts its operations. It is expected that the student population and the general size of the community will expand in the coming days. As such, the current needs are likely to increase, creating an impressive opportunity for this company.

Competitive Advantage

The fine-dining restaurant project will add a significant competitive advantage to Thomson Rivers University. According to Dorfman (2014), employers are currently complaining that most of the most of the graduates lack practical skills needed in the workplace. They attribute this to the overemphasis on theoretical other than practical concepts. The employers find it difficult to integrate fresh graduates into their systems without properly training them, the process that they consider costly.

When it is completed, this restaurant will offer event management and culinary arts students a perfect environment to gain practical skills in their respective fields. The knowledge that these students will acquire from this facility will enable them to become efficient employees. They can also use such skills to start their businesses, something that is highly encouraged as the institutions try to promote entrepreneurial skills among students.

The University will gain reputation in the country as a facility that trains highly skilled graduates who can easily be absorbed in the job market without the need to go through training. It will increase the competitive advantage of TRU over its major rivals in the region. The new facility will also improve the experience of students, staff, and other community members at TRU in terms of delivering dinner services to them. It will improve the infrastructural development at TRU, a fact that will enable it to attract more local and international students. The project, if completed on time and as per the specifications provided in the proposal, will benefit every member of the TRU community.

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Future Trends

According to Williams (2012), the trends in the field of education are changing, and it is critical for the players to understand the change so that they can respond to it effectively. One of the major changes being witnessed in the field of education is that the focus is moving from teacher-centered approach to student-centered approach to education. There is a deliberate effort made by the stakeholders in the education sector to make students more involved in the learning process.

These students should understand, and appreciate the need for them to take part in the educational activities instead of waiting for the teachers to direct them on what to do all the time. Ottow (2015) says that a new trend is also emerging where the emphasis is placed on the practical aspect of learning. Theories are still important, but students must learn how to put them to practice. Schools, especially institutions of higher learning, are currently under pressure from various stakeholders in the field of education to ensure that students can put into practice what they learn in a classroom setting.

Strategy

The Need for the Idea

Thompson Rivers University needs the idea because of a number of reasons. Other than the infrastructural development that this project is expected to create at the university, it is also going to address specific consumer pains that other facilities currently existing at the institution have failed to address. Students and the entire community find it difficult to have quality dinner services on campus because most of the existing restaurants close very early.

With the increasing population at the institution, the demand for dinner services is increasing. The new idea will be a perfect solution for current problems faced by students when looking for dinner services, especially given the fact that it will also be giving many students an opportunity to gain work-related experience. The entire TRU community will benefit from the idea. The administration will benefit from the increased popularity and image of the university at the regional and national level as the university gains a reputation for its highly skilled graduates. Limited complaints from students will be expected, as their needs will be met effectively.

To the teaching staff, students, and other community members, this facility will address their basic dinner services needs uniquely. It will also offer them a perfect environment where they can organize parties and events late at night when most of the other restaurants at school are closed.

It is also important to note that this idea perfectly fits the criteria of the five priorities for five years (Barker & Cole, 2012). It will increase students’ success by offering them a perfect environment for learning practical skills. Given that it will be meeting the basic needs of the students and reducing their frustration when they need dinner, this new restaurant will also enable students to focus more on their studies. The project will increase intercultural integration among the entire community. It will promote regular and constructive interaction and engagement among students, making it possible to eliminate some of the common misconceptions and stereotypes.

The project will increase the research capacity of the students, specifically those who will be involved in the initial project of establishing the restaurant. They will be expected to conduct research and understand the needs of the market before defining the products necessary for the market. The idea will help promote the entrepreneurial capacity of the involved students. These learners will also get to understand the relevance of sustainability. The sustainability of this project will depend on its ability to generate income through creation and retention of loyal customers.

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Competitive Advantage

The proposal will add competitive advantage to the Faculty of Adventure Culinary Arts and Tourism at TRU. As explained above, it will offer this department opportunity to offer its students firsthand experience on the theories learned in the class. Students in this faculty will not have to visit restaurants and hotels for internships to gain the knowledge they need. These students will also gain entrepreneurial skills because they will be involved actively in the decision-making and operational activities at the restaurant.

Lecturers in this faculty will also find it easy when it comes to supervising the students when they are in the field. Given that the facility will be on the campus, these lecturers can easily visit their students to assess their level of skills in implementing the theories learned in the classroom. The high-efficiency solar panels that will be fitted on the building’s roof will reduce the cost of electricity for this restaurant. The solar panel will provide reliable and clean energy for lighting and heating. It will also be used to run of the electronic equipment in the restaurant.

Budget Breakdown

The budget for this project has been set within a range of $ 5 million to $ 25 million. Everything must be completed as per the expectations of the donors and all other stakeholders and within the set deadline. The table below shows a breakdown of the proposed budget.

Total Estimated Budget $ {5-25 million}
Expenditure Min {$} Max {$}
Cost of construction: designing, flooring, surfacing, panels and paint, tiling, duct work, and any other construction, fixture, and fittings’ costs 7,000,000 9,000,000
Kitchen equipment 150,000 220,000
Tables and chairs 75,000 125,000
Electronics, security, and music systems 25,000 45,000
Signage 9,000 11,000
Opening inventory 12,000 26,000
Labor {including cost of training} 14,000 35,000
Development of a website 1,000 6,000
Social media marketing and PR 13,000 44,000
Operating capital 48,000 128,000
Total 7,347,000 9,640,000

Table 1: Estimated cost of the project.

As shown in the estimates above, the project will cost a minimum of $ 7,347,000 and a maximum of 9,640,000.

Uses of the Proposal and Use Cases

The proposal for the fine-dining restaurant project can be applied in various contexts other than the one for which it was proposed. The concept in the proposal can be applied when undertaking various other related projects. One of the most probable uses of this proposal would be for one or a group planning to come up with a fast-food outlet in a local school or a community with a high population of students. The proposal can also be applied when one is seeking to put up a small or medium-sized beverage company.

Evaluation

How to Evaluate the Project

The proposed project is expected to cost between 7,347,000 and 9,640,000, which is a significant amount of investment. It will be necessary for the management to ensure that measures are taken to conduct a regular evaluation based on the initial goals set for the project. The assessment should be conducted in three main ways. The first analysis will involve inspecting the physical structures and systems to ensure that they function as per the expectations.

It will include examining the building itself, the kitchen, the music and other entertainment systems, the furniture, and the signage among other physical facilities. The second approach to evaluation will involve the ability of the restaurant to address the needs of its clients. Sustainability and relevance of this project depend on how well the restaurant will address the market gaps (Lock, 2014). The third approach to appraisal will be to determine if it is capable of meeting internship and other training needs of the students in the identified departments. It may also be necessary to evaluate if the project has had the desired impact on the image of the institution locally, nationally, and regionally.

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How to Determine Success of the Project

When determining the success of this project, the focus will be to determine how well it has met the four functions for which it was developed (Furman, 2015). It will be important to determine how well the restaurant has provided a practical serving experience to hotel and events management students who are in their first and second year of study at this institution. The second criterion for success will be to determine how well the restaurant’s kitchen has offered culinary arts students with an opportunity to practice and improve their competencies in a standard kitchen environment. The third criterion for success will be to determine how well the restaurant provides dinner services to the TRU community.

The initial market research identified a gap in the market that needed to be addressed. The success of the project will be defined by how well this need is met. Lastly, it will be necessary to evaluate how the profits made from the operations of this restaurant are used for the benefit of the students. As defined in its vision, the proceeds are meant to help various student-based activities.

Impact of the Project

The fine-dining restaurant project will have a significant impact on the entire TRU community. For the administration, the success of this project will help improve the image of the university as an institution that is not only keen on promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship among learners but also one that is committed to offering practical-based courses to equip its graduates. To the student body, this restaurant will meet their dinner services needs, which are currently poorly met by the existing food outlets within the campus.

The student will now have more time to focus on their education other than how to get quality dinner services in reliable locations. To the students of culinary arts, hotel, and event management, this facility will be a perfect ground for them to sharpen their skills. They will get to understand the work environment early enough so that they can get fully prepared when they finally graduate.

References

Barker, S., & Cole, R. (2012). Brilliant project management: What the best project managers know, do and say. Harlow, UK: Pearson.

Dorfman, J. (2014). Economics and management of the food industry. New York, NY: Routledge.

Furman, J. (2015). The project management answer book. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts Press.

Kloppenborg, T. (2015). Contemporary project management: Organize, plan, perform. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning

Lock, D. (2014). The essentials of project management. Burlington, VT: Gower

Ottow, A. (2015). Market and competition authorities: Good agency principles. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Rajagopal, P. (2012). Darwinian fitness in the global marketplace: Analyzing the competition. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Williams, J. (2012). Competition and efficiency in international food supply chains: Improving food security. New York, NY: Routledge.

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