CASE STUDY Week #6 – QUALITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE AT MICHAEL’S COFFEE AND DESSERTS
Providing the highest-quality products and the highest level of customer service are two of the core values of Michael’s Coffee and Desserts. This chain of gourmet coffee and pastry shops was started in Spring Green, Wisconsin, by a mother-and-son team. The vision for the concept came after the son despaired of finding pies “just like mom makes” when he had to travel on business. Now, the company has shops in 30 states and is considering opening shops in a couple of foreign countries. The company plans to continue expanding by adding at least two new shops each quarter for the next three years. Each shop has one manager and 6 to 10 associates.
The company recognizes the need to ensure that training on quality and service is delivered consistently across all operations. The owners see this training as a key ingredient in achieving their vision of “being the favorite place to meet for dessert and coffee.” Further, in addition to training shop managers and associates, Michael’s wants to put together a program to ensure that current shop managers will mentor and develop future shop managers. Associates are typically high school and college students and retirees. The current goal of the management team is to develop a training and development program for Michael’s shop managers and shop associates that will be the best in the industry and that will be offered around the globe.
1. Do you agree with the owners that training is needed? Discuss your answer.
2. What should Michael’s do first in setting up this training program?
3. What unique challenges need to be addressed in designing the training program, given the wide range of ages of the employees and the cultural differences in different parts of the U.S. and abroad? How would you manage these challenges?
4. How should the owners evaluate training effectiveness?