1. What are the key success factors of Gordon Biersch’s success? Do you have any concerns for the company looking ahead? Gordon Biersch’s competitive advantage is product differentiation of both its beer and restaurants.
Brand identity of beer: premium, high-quality (and fresh) beer; restaurants serve only their beers
Trendy, high quality, luxurious cuisine
Ambiance of restaurants and customer experiences
Repeat business and core clientele
Organizational culture and low staff turnover
Should GB pursue the type and level of growth it is considering, it is certain to suffer from brand dilution due to variety of factors -- such as reduction in quality, loss of trend, loss of personalized customer experience, higher staff turnover -- which is of great concern. 2. What should Dan and Dean do regarding the organizational alternatives? Maintaining the status quo is not a viable alternative. The GB brand hinges on the quality of the beer and Dan’s energies need to be devoted strictly to brewing activities. The culture will already be influenced by a new CEO and CFO, so it is naïve to think that not investing in talent will maintain organizational culture. It is possible that GB could bring in a full new management team incrementally, on an as-needed basis. However, if they are unable to prioritize key positions this will be an ineffective strategy resulting in wasted time, effort and organizational conflict. It is recommended that GB build out a management team that is experienced both in food and beverage and expansion activities. It is critical that managers be carefully selected to ensure that they facilitate the decentralized and positive atmosphere that GB has already created. Also key to this success is a well-thought out and executed orientation and incentive plan that is centered around organizational culture. Although this strategy would require a considerable initial investment, the long-term benefits, gains in efficiencies, and...
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