Café Company (CaféCo) – Meg and David Morris are the owner-managers of a medium sized business called CaféCo located on the Gold Coast, – Discuss the ways resistance can have positive or negative impacts on the change management process


You need to consider how you will identify the range of issues and problems in the following problem statement.

Café Company (CaféCo) 

Please Note: This case study is fictional. Any resemblance to actual names and places is purely coincidental. The case is for students studying MGT3002 Managing Change

Case Study:  Meg and David Morris are the owner-managers of a medium sized business called CaféCo located on the Gold Coast, Queensland.  CaféCo provides customers with home-made meals prepared fresh each day.  The family business has been operating for 10 years and prides itself on excellent customer service and provision of family-style meals in a restaurant.  CaféCo also offers a take-away food service as well.

CaféCo was seen by the wider community as a successful medium-sized business offering quality meals at reasonable prices.  CaféCo employs 60 staff with one general manager Nick Lowe running the restaurant.  The opening hours were from 6am until 5pm and offered Breakfast and Lunch menus – seven days a week.  Meg and David’s responsibilities were to source suppliers, order in food products and cleaning supplies, maintain plant and equipment and recruit staff.  Nick managed the rosters, ensured staff were happy and productive, and opened and closed the café.  He was always at CaféCo working alongside staff.

CaféCo experienced peak trading times (lunch times:  Thursday, Friday and Saturday) weaker trading times (lunch Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).  Overall, breakfasts were the weakest of trading times and needed improving to attract more customers – all days of the week.  At other times, the restaurant was either half-full or had no customers!  Despite this scenario, the business was fairly consistent and had a steady profit over a period of 5 years including relatively stable staff.  Whilst on an overseas holiday in February 2016, Meg and David decided to expand their business to include a catering service for independent functions from the kitchen at CaféCo.  They were planning to cater for weddings, family events, corporate/business lunches and other special events/functions.

In order for this expansion to go ahead, Meg and David decided to use their savings and additional finance to fund this new catering division of their business.  It involved remortgaging their restaurant and home loans to purchase new and expensive equipment for the kitchen, hire more staff and pay for a marketing campaign to promote the catering aspect of their business.

Meg and David ‘announced’ their new expansion idea at a team meeting on 3rdMay 2016.  The new equipment would arrive in two weeks-time, three new staff would start in three weeks and the marketing campaign had just begun and included television advertisements, social media, letterbox flyers and radio interviews.

CaféCo staff were astonished at the ‘announcement’ and raised several complaints with Nick after the meeting.  First, there were part time staff who were keen to work more hours each week and were annoyed that new staff were being recruited!  Second, some equipment in the kitchen needed replacing to improve the production of meals on the current menu and this request had been neglected for 6 months.  Third, the kitchen was small and just coping with food production running the restaurant and Nick did not know how the kitchen would cope with new equipment, additional staff and food processing!

Nick overheard two long-term staff members complaining: ‘if only Meg and David would spend more time at CaféCo, they might know how hard it is to maintain good quality food and service when the restaurant seating area needed refurbishing’.  Other staff were heard saying: ‘we are not going to work harder just to please Meg and David’!

Nick communicated the concerns of staff with Meg and David.  He raised that several staff were unhappy about the new venture and he tried to explain that they had valid complaints that needed addressing.  Meg and David were annoyed at hearing this and confirmed that it was their business and staff needed to ‘get on board’ or ‘they could find employment elsewhere’!

On the 22nd May 2016, the local papers were advertising about an expansion of the shopping center which was located next door to CaféCo.  This new extension was planned to begin in early June 2016 and would include three more cafes, provide free music and entertainment in a new, vibrant, open and modern dining space.  Apparently, this new project had been discussed in the local papers and community for the past 6 months.

© 2017 Jane Boeske USQ School of Management and Enterprise

Based on less than perfect information supplied about CaféCo case study statement, where you may need to fill in the ‘facts’ by adding more assumptionsthat you think may assist you in solving case issues, you are required to act as the Change Manager Consultant to address the issues and challenges:

Task Required:

  1. Explain the importance of correct ‘diagnosis’ in planning and improving organisational functioning. How could have Meg and David correctly diagnosed problems in their business before they decided upon expanding their business?  Use a SWOT analysis to assist your answer.   Ensure you use and reference Chapter 8 and 5 Waddell et al 2017 text (700 words – excluding word count in the table).
  2. Discuss the ways resistance can have positive or negative impacts on the change management process. How might Meg and David assist staff to overcome resistance to change?  Ensure you use and reference Chapter 4 Waddell et al 2017 text in your answer.  (700 words)
  3. Explain single loop and double loop learning. How can Meg and David encourage staff to contribute ideas at CaféCo?  Ensure you use and reference Chapter 6 Waddell et al 2017 text in your answer.  (600 words)
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