This case deals with the human resource aspect of Castle’s family restaurant. The family has eight restaurants in the northern California Region. These eight restaurants have around 300-340 employees. Most of the employees who work in these eight restaurants are hired on a part-time basis. Only 4 employees work on full time basis. Jay Morgan, who is the HR manager for Castle’s family restaurants, travels to each of these locations every week in order to handle functions such as scheduling, recruiting, hiring and answering queries for employees when needed. Apart from the HR functions, Jay Morgan also looks after the employee payroll with the help an Excel spreadsheet and computer application for printing payroll checks.
Jay Morgan has approached me with a proposal. Due to increased gasoline costs, Jay Morgan wants to limit his travel time to each restaurant location and wants me to suggest ways to complete his HR functions in an efficient and cost effective manner. As an HR consultant, my job is to come up with an effective HR plan that would solve Jay Morgan’s issue of travelling to different work locations and completing his job responsibilities from his office itself.
California is one of the most bustling areas of the United States. The Castle’s Family Restaurant has eight restaurants in the northern California area. Northern California has a population of around 14 million people. With eight restaurants, Castle Family aims to target these 14 million people with variety of offerings. Its restaurants serve fast food such as hamburgers, steaks, Mexican tacos and some oriental cuisines like Chinese and Sushi. Each of its branch has around 40-42 employees, out of the eight branches, four of them have a restaurant manager who works full-time while the other four have all part time workers and managers.
Because most of the workers in these branches are working on part time basis, they follow a rotation style of functioning. A worker who serves customers for one week would be working at the cash counter the next week. The idea is to introduce a cross-functional style of functioning which would motivate the workers to gain new skills and keep working in an effective way. Because of such cross- functional requirement, the workers who are recruited must possess cross functional skills. The idea behind this is to increase the restaurant productivity. Also, by hiring workers on a contractual basis, there is no possibility of formation of any kind of worker union, which might create any issues for the restaurant chain.
One of the most important tasks for Jay Morgan, the HR manager, is to schedule work responsibilities to its workers on a weekly basis. Currently, Jay Morgan is maintaining an excel sheet on which he records and creates a weekly job responsibility chart for different employees. In order to distribute this job responsibility chart, Jay Morgan goes to every branch, every week, and distributes the sheet to the workers. In this way, scheduling of work is done.
For recruiting, Jay Morgan follows a standard procedure of posting a recruitment advertisement on the local newspapers. This recruitment is done on a quarterly basis, if there is a sudden attrition of workers from any particular branch; workers from other branches are asked to shift to work for that branch. Recruiting is one of the major cost centres for Jay Morgan, as cost of posting an advertisement and organizing a recruitment drive is pretty substantial, when compared to the size of the business.
Apart from recruitment and hiring, Jay Morgan also receives several queries from his workers on a weekly basis. Queries range from work issues to customer related conflicts and resignations. In order to answer and solve these queries and issues, Jay Morgan makes it a point to visit the restaurant branches two hours before they are open for public. He tries to cover these 8 branches between Mondays –Friday. On weekends, he avoids going to these branches owing to heavy customer inflow.
Finally, Jay Morgan also takes care of the worker payroll, which keeps him occupied during the weekends. He uses an excel spreadsheet in order to create a payroll and a computer application to print the payroll checks.
Based on my assessment of the business situation, I can infer that Jay Morgan is single headedly managing all the HR functions for Castle’s Family Restaurants. There are several issues that Jay Morgan faces, which needs to be tackled and eliminated for smooth HR functioning. Following are the issues that the HR manager faces:
- Scheduling: Since most of the workers at Castle’s Family Restaurants are part timers, the restaurant chain follows a cross-functional style of working. Because of this cross functional way of working, it is a challenge for the HR manager to manually schedule the job responsibilities for every individual worker on a weekly basis. The process of scheduling needs to be automated in order to save time and improve productivity.
- Recruiting: Recruiting and hiring the candidates by posting advertisement on newspapers can be a costly proposition for a restaurant chain which is the size of Castle’s Family Restaurants. Moreover, a considerable amount of man-hours that is being spent on recruitment can be spent somewhere else. Therefore, it is important the Jay Morgan makes some sweeping changes in the way of recruitment of employees. One of the best ways of recruiting the workers is by referrals. The HR manager can take at least two referrals from every worker. In this way, when there is any urgent need of workers, these referrals can be utilized for interviews and unnecessary recruitment costs can be eliminated.
- Employee grievances and queries: The process of individually visiting employees and solving their queries is definitely effective, but it is also tedious and time consuming. There must be a proper system that can be adopted which would eliminate the necessity to visit the restaurant branches for solving worker queries and issues. Jay Morgan can fix one day and time in a week, on which workers, who have any queries can come and visit him in his office. These workers need to make prior appointments with Jay Morgan’s secretary.
- Employee payroll: Employee payroll needs to be automated in order to save time and overall productivity of the restaurant and the HR manager.
Scheduling of job responsibilities it the biggest concern for the restaurant, as most of its 300 odd employees are part timers, it is a challenge for the HR manager to maintain an exhaustive record for all these employees and their job schedules. In order to solve the main issue of scheduling of job responsibilities, Castle’s Family Restaurant requires integrating all of its HR functions into a single Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
IMPORTANCE AND APPLICAITON OF HRIS
Castle’s Family Restaurants need to automate their HR functions in order to solve the main issue of work scheduling, and require an HRIS system for this purpose. The HRIS system would cost them around $5000. But the long term savings and efficiency would easily bypass this initial cost. Following are the reasons to install a central HRIS System:
- HRIS would improve the overall efficiency of Jay Morgan, as the process of scheduling would be automated based on the worker data and job responsibilities. Moreover, the system would generate a weekly report- mail that would be circulated to all the eight restaurant chains. This circular would contain all the information pertaining to job schedules, work timings and other useful information.
- HRIS would cut several thousands of dollars from the restaurant budget in the long run. Costs associated with transportation (gasoline costs), scheduling and recruitment can be substantially reduced by implementation of a HRIS system.
- HRIS would make it possible for the restaurant chain to create multiple reports from a single system. It would be possible for the HR manager to create payroll reports without using an excel spreadsheet, thereby resulting in increased productivity.
Jay Morgan needs to incorporate a HRIS system across all its HR functions, in this way he can make his life easier, increase his productivity and operate from the comfort of his office. Also, by implementing an integrated HRIS system, issues relating to work scheduling and payroll can be effectively addressed.