When Great Food and Good Teams Go Bad at Café Hip!

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Executive Summary

As a Hospitality Industry Consultant, I have been selected to solve Café Hip’s problems. In this report, I address the problems at Café Hip, power issues between the executive chef Ritchie Gravy and the food and beverage (F & B) manager Michelle Cook and how might playing with the power structures affect Café Hip. Analyzing the information provided by Café Hip, there is a way out suggestion given for neutralize Ritchie’s power without effecting performance, using teamwork, teambuilding, mentoring and coaching solve the continuation of toxic emotions in Café Hip.


This report is about the problems in Café Hip, power issues between the two key persons of the business, neutralization of extensive power of executive chef, toxic emotion between kitchen and floor department and solution of these continuous crises using teamwork, teambuilding, mentoring and coaching without affecting the performance of both individual and business. Before move into the body of the report, there are some key terms we should understand.

Team versus group, this theory carries a big depth to recognize the Café Hips problems. If we think of it in a general way then it means “Team is an organized group of people who determined of a common goal” while in textbook format, “A team can be defined as two or more people psychologically contracted together to achieve a common organizational goal in which all individuals involved share at least some level of responsibility and accountability for the outcome” (Stewart Clegg, Martin Kornberger & Tyrone Pitsis 2008, p. 92). “A group can be defined as two or more people working towards a common goal, but there is no psychological contract between them; the outcomes are less dependent on all the members working together, and there is usually no shared responsibility and accountability for outcomes” (Stewart Clegg, Martin Kornberger & Tyrone Pitsis 2008, p. 92).

Empowerment is the process of transferring decision-making power from influential sectors to poor communities and individuals who have traditionally been excluded from it. To neutralize the empowerment, leadership required, “in its simplest definition, leadership is the process of directing, controlling, motivating, and inspiring staff towards the realization of stated organizational goals” (Stewart Clegg, Martin Kornberger & Tyrone Pitsis 2008, p. 130).

“The case for emotion-induced toxicity: making sense of toxic emotions in the workplace” (Sandra A. Lawrence). Bullying behaviors may cause emotional conflict between two people or a group of people and continuation of these conflicts may result to toxic emotions.

Power neutralizer and toxic handler, these are the two things we need here. A leader with two of these virtues and positive managing power using strong team work, can solve the continuation of Café Hip’s problems


What is the problem at Café Hip?

Twenty nine team members work in Café Hip, fourteen kitchen staffs and fifteen floor staffs. According to Café Hip, kitchen staffs are known as “A-team”. Executive chef Ritchie Gravy leads the A-team. “In-group bias refers to the process by which members of a group favor or treat members of their own group with preference over others” (Stewart Clegg, Martin Kornberger & Tyrone Pitsis 2008, p. 96). In theoretical term, In-group bias is exactly what A-team is. That means Café Hip has twenty nine team members in their team but there is generally two groups, the kitchen group and the floor group. Even though this two groups working as a team but because of In-group bias there is toxic emotion between the two groups.

Australia’s job market clearly shows in hospitality industry there is short of kitchen staff which makes the kitchen staff over confident about themselves. They have a feelings like “we are the best, it’s only us who making the business growing, there is no way that we can lose our job, we can do whatever we want.” In the general...
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