Mauna Loa Café, a 220-store coffee and pastry company, is facing several challenges. The company is asking you—one of their smart, new employees—for ideas to improve the business.
Write a memo to management proposing your idea(s) for improving the business.
Your audience is company management. They have specifically asked you for your ideas. This is your opportunity to impress them.
Your goal is to convince management to adopt your ideas. Consider what will persuade them and what they need to make a decision. For purposes of this assignment, you can “invent” marketing studies, cost-benefit analysis, profit projections, etc. Be sure to include enough background and evidence to enable them to make a decision. Focus on benefits but also acknowledge obstacles.
You can include as few—or as many—ideas as you wish. Each idea should be in a separate paragraph. However, if the description of an idea makes the paragraph too long, find a natural break point and continue to another paragraph. Also, arrange your ideas in order of importance. Your first idea should be the most important, your next idea should be the next most important, and so on. How do you determine what is most important? Consider your audience. Decide what is most important to Mauna Loa Café management.
You are writing to people above your position. Choose a sincere, reasonable, and respectful tone. Also, because your goal is to convince your readers, convey confidence in your ideas.
Mauna Loa Café (Example )
To: Mauna Loa Café Executives From: Krystal Rodriguez Date: February 12, 2014 Subject: The Vision Model-Mauna Loa Café
I would first like to start by thanking the executive team for this great opportunity to help our company expand. I believe with these new and innovative ideas Joshua Kai, our founder, will be happy that his dream launched to reality.
First, I would like to talk about the setup of the caf茅. A new innovative way to increase customer service and decrease long irritating lines would be to split the café. By utilizing this method we will see a clear distinction between customers who have time to relax and stay and enjoy their coffee, and those who have a busy schedule but need their quality Hawaiian coffee. There will be two door entrances. One will be titled “Aloha,” meaning “Hello” and “Goodbye.” The other entrance will be titled “Ku’u aku,” meaning “Relax.”
The next thing is discussing what makes these two atmospheres different. On the “Ku’u aku” side we will use a different of method service, and switch to conveyor belt. Conveyor belts are used in many sushi restaurants and it has been seen to increase profits by 15% and employees have reported to feel less stressed. In the “Ku’u aku” side you pay 12 dollars and it’s all you can eat. In the morning we will feature mostly hot drinks like our signature cappuccinos, and espresso drinks. Our pastry selection will include warm oatmeal and warm sweet bread, sandwiches, coffees. Towards mid-day going onto nightfall we’ll switch the beverages to our colder drinks like our signature iced coffees and frappuccinos. With the pastry selection being more of a dessert treats.
On the “Aloha” side we will start by having 3 different lines to decrease traffic. We will also feature a new drink every 2 weeks with an opportunity for customers to vote if our café should keep it or not by pressing buzzers that light up green for “yes” and red for “no.” Drink prices vary between 4-7 dollars. The colors in both cafés will feature warm bright colors like yellow and orange. When using warm colors in places where you eat you will tend to eat more by 17%. The music that plays will be soulful and empowering. The genres will vary and incorporate respectful upbeat and instrumentally/lyrically incline music to cater to older customers as well as our young adolescents. The cool aspect of the “Aloha” side is our lighting. The lighting will constantly change with different colors from the color scheme wheel every 15 minutes. We will also start a new tradition with receiving tips. Every time a customer put a tip in this handmade metal bowls from Hawaii a bell will ring and the lights will flare out a rainbow scheme onto the walls for 5 seconds and a recording of little Hawaiian children will sing, “Our home, our family, together we are one.” This will promote a family and community feeling atmosphere that our customers will feel they need, and will continue to come back.
Our store hours will convert into a 24 hour schedule with Wi-Fi accessibility. We are located in many main cities where people do not sleep and neither should the taste of our Hawaiian origin coffee. By making the cafés 24 hours we will accommodate to customers that are sobering up from nearby bars and clubs and people starting their morning active workouts from nearby 24 hour gyms and fitness centers. By staying late we will help our high school and college students find a place to escape, a sanctuary to study. If we utilize this, we will see another 15% increase in net profit.
Last but not least our budgeting plans. How are we going to pay for all of this? That is the easy part. By spreading the word of our quality coffee on social medias and commercials people like hipsters will soon make us the place to go. We will also launch our new commercial where in a blind test we will make our version of the same coffee that Starbucks makes, and because we use fresh and quality coffee and ingredients customers will pick our coffee over our competitors. Soon people will want to come and try our coffee and experience what other happy customers have been saying. Once we do that our sales will increase a total of 40% and we will see the customer attendance increase another 65%. To promote our feature coffees for customers to try we will give out coupons and holiday specials. We will also introduce the loyalty cards, or how I like to call them the “kupa’a” cards. They both mean the same thing. It’s free to become a member and it will start by receiving a free drink on your birthday. The more you use your “Kupa’a” card the more benefits you get. Benefits include receiving a free drink every week, a location finder to keep track and see where we are serving their community at nearby expos and marathon where we will also be promoting our coffee with our very own street team. As a member you will also receive a schedule of our “shot hours” where certain drinks are half-off for a full hour, and “caffeine weeks,” where our seasonal drinks are on special.
Oh man, and how can I forget our valuable employees! As an employee at Mauna Loa Café you will receive benefits as a partner in the company. Every employee that dedicates six months with the company and completes barista training will receive an employee benefit card. Much like the “Kupa’a” cards but better, this card is called the “Ho’okupa’a” card, which means “stay loyal”. As an employee stays loyal in company their incentives increase. Incentives vary from extra days off, bonuses, priority scheduling for work hours, to managers discount and a package of fresh ground coffee every week. Employees will also have the opportunity to participate in scholarships for school and home needs and opportunities to travel with the street team to promote our coffee and answer some questions from customers themselves. There is no way that we can continue to make our customers happy if we didn’t make our employees happy first.
I believe if we made these changes we will launch Mauna Loa Coffee into the World’s Best Coffee. We will make our employees happy, which makes our customers happy, which makes our community happy, which all goes back in making you happy. Once again I would like to thank the executive team for taking the time and reading this vision model and I appreciate the opportunity you have given me.
“A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia.” (“No task is too big when done together by all.”)
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