MGT 435: Organizational Change
Dr. Lisa Smart
May 27, 2015
Transforming Friendly’s by Implementing Change
In the world of business every corporation, big or small, will go through an organizational change that could either make or break the company. The break may not be a complete disaster for the company but it could be enough to shut down some of the chain operations or the customer flow could slow down. The family style restaurant, Friendly’s is a good example of a business that had a good thing going, was faced with an organizational changes and somewhat failed to adapt and maintain what they are known for and that is the very reason some of the restaurants have shut down. Applebaum, Habashy, Malo, and Shafiq (2012) state that, “Changes are an inevitable part of the current market” (“Introduction”, para. 1). There is not a truer statement because in order to keep up with customer and stakeholders, companies must evolve in some capacity. By using Kotter’s Eight Step Approach for transitional change, Friendly’s may have a fighting chance.
The company Friendly’s is a restaurant aimed at creating a relaxed atmosphere where families can get together and create memories. They pride themselves on good food and even better desserts. Founded in 1935 by the Blake brothers in Massachusetts, it started off as just an ice cream shop and in just five short years the first hamburger was on the menu (Friendly’s, 2015). It wasn’t until the year 2000 that even newer foods were added to the menu. They offer elaborate kids meals, several signature salads, the classic foods that have been on their menu since the beginning, and a selection of up and coming trendy foods. They are not a nationwide restaurant and are mainly located in the Northeast part of the United States. They have always been know for the ice cream desserts and nowadays you can either dine in or even take out; there’s also the possibility of purchasing already made ice cream cakes that one can take home and enjoy later.
The main problem with Friendly’s is that they’ve strayed away from the very thing that made them famous, their ice cream. Their ice cream menu is jam packed with a lot of different varieties, but the actual food menu has become the focal point of the restaurant. In the world today, more people are turning to organic, fresh ingredients for the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Friendly’s restaurant food comes frozen, in cans, and jars and then is cooked up on a giant stove and served. Not too much is fresh and that has strayed customers away from even going there at all. The ice cream is what is going to bring in their customers and the shift on concentrating on the food menu has put a damper on the Friendly’s chain. This is when an organization can chose to lead by recognizing and implementing change, repeat what other companies around them that are like them are doing, or stay standing in the way while the restaurant world changes around them and eventually goes under. Friendly’s needs to get back to basics and simply their meal menu and push their dessert menu. Expanding further south and west is an option they should consider because where it is warm year round, ice cream will favor on any menu.
Weiss (2012) states that, “The need for large-scale transformational change requires comprehensive planning approaches that both the OD and change management fields offer” (“Planning Approaches for Transitional Changes”, para. 1). Kotter’s Eight Step Approach outlines the following steps: establish a sense of urgency, form a powerful guiding coalition, develop a vision and strategy, communicate the change vision, empower others to act of the vision, generate short-term wins, consolidate gains and produce more change, and anchor new approaches in the culture.
Establishing a sense of urgency in this scenario would be to establish what the exact problem is for…