Applebee’s is the largest casual dining chain in the world with 1,970 locations

| November 24, 2016

Part 1

Applebee’s is the largest casual dining chain in the world with 1,970 locations throughout the United States and nearly 20 other countries worldwide. The menu features beef, chicken, and pork items as well as burgers, pasta, and seafood. The Applebee’s CEO wants to make the restaurant more profitable. The CEO believes that customers will pay for a “tastier menu” which will generate more profits. (Management Information Systems, 13th edition, page 480).

However, Applebee’s must deal with rising costs for labor and restaurant operating expenses such as insurance, taxes and utilities. Transportation and gasoline costs have risen and food products are more expensive. And, today’s consumer is more aware of spending habits.

Assume you are the food service manager at a local Applebee’s restaurant or you are a midlevel manager in one of the Applebee’s regional offices. You have been assigned to a team of people to work on this “tastier menu” initiative.

Put your decision making skills to good use and respond to the following points and questions:

1. From a manager’s perspective (which may be different from the CEO’s perspective), briefly identify the problems identified by the CEO.

2. Do you see any problems other than just the menu in making the restaurant more profitable?

3. What pieces of data would Applebee’s need to collect to earn more profits?

4. How might you use social media to collect data and information?

5. What kinds of reports would be useful to help your management make decisions on how to improve menus and profitability?

6. How would your team determine the success or failure of this initiative?

Part 2

Where you an entrepreneur during your early school years, or did you know someone who was? Perhaps you didn’t have your own store, but maybe you or a friend worked as a babysitter, a news delivery person, or perhaps mowed lawns for families in your neighborhood. While you may not think of these jobs as being small businesses, that is exactly what they are.

Think of yourself, or someone you knew, and answer the following questions in your initial post:

1. What type of business did you (or someone you knew) operate? What was the market type (perfectively competitive, monopolistic, oligopoly, monopolistically competitive)?

2. How did you decide what price to charge for your services? Did you think the price was worth more than the effort you put into it?

3. Think about the competitive situation you faced in the business. Try to determine why the prices received by you or your friend were so low?

4. What was the opportunity cost of the business? Was it worth it?

Part 3

The Federal Government is extending the regulatory reach of federal agencies. State governments impose regulations upon businesses and industries within their boundaries and local governments have regulations that affect businesses and industries.

There is a huge debate over how much government intervention and control should exist in a free market system. For this discussion, in your initial post:

1. State the name of the company in a key industry and determine the type of market you believe it to operate in (perfectively competitive, monopolistically competitive, oligopoly, monopoly).

2. Next, consider the federal, state, and local government regulations applicable to this firm and discuss the following: (Be sure you explain your answers)

· How is this business or industry affected by regulation by a government agency?

· Should this industry have more government regulation or less? Support your opinions.

· Do businesses/industries want to be regulated by some government agency?

· Does government regulation increase costs to those being regulated?

· Do government regulations affect employment?

· Do government regulations have a positive or negative impact upon economic activity?

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