1. To identify the factors people consider important in making casual dining restaurant choice decisions.
2. To determine the characteristics customers use to describe the Santa Fe Grill and its competitor Jose’s Southwestern Café.
3. To develop a psychographic/demographic profile of the restaurant customers.
4. To determine the patronage and positive word-of-mouth advertising patterns of the restaurant customers.
Research on Santa Fe Grill
Hello Sirs, Please find herein the report of the commissioned Marketing research studies for Santa Fe Grill that was instituted following your request. The research was conducted in accordance to the standards of TPB methods that are recommended for such exercises. (Ajzen, 1991)
Business research involves a systematic and organized process that attempts to investigate a particular problem encountered or experienced in a work setting that requires a solution. It consists of a series of steps that are formulated, designed and executed with the sole goal of finding the solution to the issues raised by the management. Identifying the problem in an organization is the first step in research methods. Information is gathered, analyzed and factors connected with the problem determined. The problem is solved after taking the necessary measures to correct the problem. (Bradley, 2010)
The whole process of attempting to solve the problem is known as research. It involves a series of structured, well thought out and well executed activities that assist the manager to solve organizational problems or how to minimize the problem. Research is therefore the processes of enquiry, definition, investigation, examination and finally experimentation. The processes are systematic, diligent, critical, objective, and logical. The result would finally be a discovery that assists the manager to deal with the challenges facing him. Gathering the relevant information, critically analyzing the data in ways that facilitate decision making and implementation of the right decisions and courses of action all help in understanding the business research processes. (Sekaram and Bougle, 2009)
Decision making is just a process of making a choice between alternative solutions in resolving problems while research generates suitable and viable alternatives for an effective and final decision. The research knowledge obtained drives the manager to undertake several research options when solving similar, smaller or bigger problems while undertaking his job i.e. may be as an accountant, auditor, brand manager or operations manager among other positions. Research methods also assist in identification and discrimination of good and bad studies conducted by other research organizations assists in effective interactions between other researchers and consultants in related fields. There is a very big difference between a manager who makes decision through common sense analysis and one who uses a detailed scientific research process is that the latter involves a secured process that effectively describes, explains the issue based on data that has been carefully collected and analyzed for that specific problem facing the manager. (Sekaram and Bougle, 2009)
The following are the findings on Santa Fe Grill and the general information on the industry.
|Customers Response Summary|
|Details||Frequency||Percentage||Valid %||Cumm %|
The respondents who go out and eat in Mexican restaurants are 100%. Their gross income is more than $15000 every year though on further analysis, only 17.4% earn between 15,000 and 20,000 while 26.5% earn between 20,000 and 40,000 per year. About 23.2% earn between 40,000 and 80,000. Another 21.2% earn between 80,000 and 120,000. Less than 12% earn over 120,000 per year. (Wolcott, 1990)
The Respondents Average income in $’000 (dollars)
Most of the respondents have recently eaten at the Santa Fe Grill, that’s 63% of the respondents have eaten at the restaurant. The rest never responded to the questions or their answers are missing. Most of the people who eat out are men and account for almost 65% of the total visitors who eat out. The people between the ages 35 to 49 years account for 51% of the people who eat out. This group is followed by the age group between 50 to 59 years who account for 25% of the visitors. The people who eat at the restaurant have none or less than two children.
Ages of the Visitors to the Restaurant
The Results of the Study
The positive and negative comments and sentinents expressed by the respondents have been summarized and classified into three groups, those who agreed with the views that the restaurant provided good service, the waiters are firendly and their prces are fair were classified on the Agree group while those who were dissatisfied with literally most of the issues touching on the restaurant like the prices of food and the customer service were grouped in one group as Disagree while those who were undecided or neutral were classified and grouped as Neutra. The following diagram depict the findings.
.Summary of the Study
The respondents who are positive about the Santa Fe Grill are about 50% of the total people who took part in the research work while the ones who are undecided are about 20%. The restaurant should strategize and restructure its management and come up with marketing strategies that will attract more customers. About 68% of the customers have never seen any advertisement on the restaurant which means the restaurant’s marketing strategies are not effective or they are nonexistent. (Triantaphyllou, 2000)
Factors that are Important to Customers Choice of restaurant
The major factors that are very important to customers are the average atmosphere that a given restaurant provides. About 51% of the all respondent would like the standards of the restaurant to be at least of average standards or higher. It’s critical that the food quality should be of good quality or at least of average standards while service to customer is considered by 41% of the respondent as important. The prices of food are considered very important by 33% of the respondents while less than 20% feel that the prices of food in a restaurant are least important.
The competitive advantage of Santa Fe Grill is that most people like the Mexican food which can be justified by the 100% respondent’s admission that they have eaten Mexican food at least ones in the last six months. About 50% of the respondents are very positive on the quality of food and service being offered at the restaurant. The large number of people who are undecided can be swayed by good marketing strategies that will attract them and make them think positively on the services of Santa Fe Grill.
The major area that Santa Fe Grill can improve on is its marketing techniques that are practically ineffective or none existent. More than 68% of the respondents have never seen any advertisement on the restaurant in the last six months. Santa Fe Grill should improve its marketing strategies and develop new policies that will attract new clients and increase the sales. The other areas are the customer service section where most of the customers are discouraged from returning to the restaurant. The management should investigate why most clients prefer not to return to the restaurant.
For Santa Fe Grill to succeed it should adjust and implement the recommendations below and adopt the following recommended strategies to improve its sales and marketing effectiveness and efficiency. (Diaz-Ruiz, 2013)
Promotional strategy is a function that involves informing, persuading or influencing the decisions of the customer. Its major objective is to develop and promote a products primary demand. Different companies have varied promotional strategies. Some use these strategies to expand in their different markets while others use them to reach selected and particular markets. Most promotional strategies goals are to provide the basic necessary information about the product and to differentiate in order to increase its sales, its value and to stabilize its overall market. (Blythe, 2008)
To provide the basic information of the existence the Santa Fe Grill, the company must come up with a marketing communication strategy that will involve making key decisions about who the customer is, how they will be contacted and what kind of message should be conveyed. For instance, Santa Fe Grill will target different distinct groups depending on the message and taste of the potential customers. This process, known as market segmentation divides the market into groups which are very distinct from each other. (Smith & Taylor, 2004) These groups can target the different age groups and research on different tastes and needs of these groups and recommend what they really like. In figure 2, the ages that mostly frequent the restaurants are the ages between 35 to 49 years. The other ages are underrepresented and it only means that research is needed on what are the needs of these other age groups
In one of the messages, Santa Fe Grill should target the working class with such messages referring to good life, endless entertainment, security and secure parking and good music. While in other messages it would target parties or other ceremonies involving the general public. www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorial/
The importance of market segmentation is that it increases the efficiency in marketing operations by narrowing the market specifically toward a designated and defined segment in a way that is consistent with the characteristics of the segment. Market segmentation leads to product differentiation from each segment while tangibly or intangibly differentiating it from the rival products from the competitors. (Kotler, Keller, Brady, Goodman & Hansen, 2012)
Positioning involves the development of brands as the images of the company’s products or services. (Knox and Macklan, 1998)The combination of all the required elements of marketing mix is needed to achieve the required strategy. Positioning explains the uniqueness of the services in the market place and also its advantages against the other restaurants. Branding is a tool that is often utilized to position the product by designing its packaging and the writing styles used on the posters. For any communication to be effective, the customers must form a picture mentally about his perception of the product which eventually influences the price they are willingly or a ready to pay for the product. Brand equity occurs where customers are willing to pay much more for a product because of its position. Airline industries have branded their services like the Economy class, Royal class, Business class or deluxe depending on the airline grading policies. These branded classes attract different charges. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010)
Santa Fe Grill would definitely brand itself as the number one eating spot with all kinds of drinks in a secure and a well protected environment where there is endless music and good food. The development of product and service advertising message takes place after the product or service has being successfully position and the potential customers and their needs have been identified i.e. the requirements of the target group. (Gronroos, 1990) A distinctive, creative and well branded advertising generates impressive results that ensure successfully marketing and promotional strategy. (Chernatony and McDonald, 1996) To make the service more appealing to the customers or the target group then the adverts designers should be constantly referring to the customers to tailor them according to their needs and tastes. (Franklin, 2012)
Santa Fe Grill will require some kind of advertising, and it’s essential that whether yellow pages are used or bill boards, the most important and basic requirement is the strategic thinking, the references behind the advertising and the needs of the targeted audience. Informative advertising is an approach that builds and creates the initial demand for the product or service during the introductory process of the life cycle of the product. Persuasive advertising is used in the later stages of the product to improve its competitiveness among its competitors. Other forms of advertising that can be used are comparative advertising and reminder oriented. For instance the adverts of the Santa Fe are often comparable due to the nature of their industry. The efficiency of the services offered is very critical to the success of the promotional strategy.
Sales promotion involves other forms of increasing sales other than advertising, personal selling or public relations through one time or occasional selling. Initially sales promotion was a supplement to a company’s sales efforts or advertising process, but it has become part of the promotional mix for most firms. (Pfister & Tierney, 2009)There are two strategies available to the Santa Fe Grill, the pushing strategy or the pulling strategy. The pushing strategy is an approach that’s sales oriented. The product or service is marketed wholesalers and the retailers in the marketing process or channels. These particular products like the carbonated drinks are often marketed by the sales personnel who carry them during their promotional activities and their benefits explained to the targeted audience. They offer special discounts and promotional materials like T-shirts, hand bags, caps and other attractive gifts to increase their sales. Examples are the branded Pepsi T-shirts and their caps which are usually trendy and well designed to attract potential consumers. A pulling strategy generates the consumer demand for its product or service mainly through advertising and sales promotion and marketing appeals. The ultimate aim of the advertisement is to create a demand for the service among the potential clients who will eventually be attracted by the product or service. (Holloway, 2004) The marketer believes that the strong demand created will pull item, product or service by compelling the marketing intermediaries to accommodate it through the marketing channels. For instance, Santa Fe Grill can announce free entry to an organized event or to a particular entertainment spot by bringing tokens or certain identifiers that can promote particular cocktails by offering free drinks or food to certain clients at the restaurant. (Wood, 2003)
Jose’s South Western café offers and hosts a variety of events which include birth parties, anniversaries, luncheons and different other kinds of celebrations that attract clients from different backgrounds and age groups. They currently have different kinds of menu’s which even include children’s menu. (Marder, 1997) These processes have segmented their services which target specific clientele. This strategy has helped South Western café to maintain and attract new customers.
In most cases both strategies are used depending on the products or service being promoted. (Payne, 1993) Pulling strategy is mostly used for consumer products or services while other industrial products use the pushing strategy. (Booms and Bitner, 1981)
To conclude, Santa Fe Grill has great potential to increase its sales and create a successful restaurant by adopting the strategies illustrated above. Lack of advertising and marketing strategies costed the Santa Fe Grill its initial success as it could not maintain and attract more customers.
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