Pure - Naturally Better

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Organizational Behavior
Heather Clement
22 February, 2013

Pure Organic Food & Juice Bar – Naturally Better

Summary
Set in the resort community of Collingwood in Ontario, Pure Organic Food & Juice Bar (PURE) is a restaurant whose mission is to provide organic and vegetarian choices to consumers, encouraging others to commit to a healthier lifestyle, both for themselves and the world they live in. Owned by Jacqueline Graham and her partner Samuel Buob, PURE has limited capital, but recognizes the need to increase its market share.

Statement of Problem
In spite of its limited financial resources, PURE must connect with mainstream consumers and increase its market share.

Challenges
Perhaps the largest barrier in the way of PURE increasing its market share is the company’s limited capital. Graham recognizes the need to promote her business more heavily, yet does not have an abundance of financing to work with.

In addition to this, Collingwood is a seasonal community. This results in brief periods of high sales which give way to slower, much less profitable periods. PURE must grow its local fan base to lessen its dependence on seasonal fluctuations.

Finally, PURE must examine its competition, namely Blue Mountain Resort. It must find a way to either work with the resort, or draw the clientele of the resort away from the mountain and into town – and ultimately into PURE’s own doors.

Strategies
One issue Graham has is that she is stretched too thin. In a world that is increasingly digital, she understands the need to employ the use of social media, but finds herself seriously lacking in time. Using the Participative Theory, as well as Theory Y, Graham should involve her employees in creating an online presence for her business, which will free her up to focus on other things. By placing this communication in the hands of her employees, she will also be able to tap into their individual personalities and use them to attract customers.

This Human Resource frame approach (Bolman and Deal 117) will communicate the owners’ belief in their employees, which will increase employee morale and create a desire within the workers to live up to the faith Graham has placed in them. She should encourage the employees to look to companies that are similar to PURE and get ideas for postings from what those businesses are doing. Graham should stress to the employees that she is always available to answer their questions, but also empower them to make judgment calls about the type of content to post.

Although the Human Resources frame offers a way to get the employees on board with promoting the business, a Structural frame (Bolman and Deal 47) is needed in this case as well. Before releasing control of the social media marketing plan to Graham and Buob should create a social media policy clearly defining what is and is not acceptable when it comes to social media postings on behalf of the business.

Because of the seasonal nature of the economy in Collingwood, PURE must develop a local fan base that will sustain it during the times when tourism is down. While social media will help with this, it won’t be enough to make up the lack in sales during the off-season. Rather than viewing PURE as strictly a business, Graham must adjust her thinking to see the company as a political agent in the ecosystem of her local community (Bolman Deal 235). She should position herself as an expert in the organic food market, and then seek to unite PURE with other establishments that have shown an interest in providing healthful dining alternatives. Using the Relationship Theory, Graham should create an association of partners committed to contributing to the sustainable life: grocers, farmers, health clubs, restaurants offering vegan choices, etc. By joining forces with others who are likeminded, Graham can increase public awareness of the benefits of an organic lifestyle, without the massive expense of having to do it on her own....
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