Business organizations large or small use particular management functions to operate their company. “Management is a process of planning, organizing, staffing motivating and controlling through the use of formal authority” (Rue-Byars) which is implemented by the person in charge of daily operations. The person in charge does not even have to be there physically as long as they follow the manager’s guidance and influences them in achieving the objectives of achieving a successful operation. For the purpose of a more introspective real life viewpoint of the basic functions of a manager the owner of the Buffalo Pizza Company of Buffalo, New York, Charles Middione, was interviewed for this project.
The Buffalo Pizza Company adheres to a functional plan with short range objectives utilizing a stability strategy. The company is primarily profit oriented dedicated to servicing customers in the general locality heeding the needs of its employees and their well-being paying particular attention to community social awareness and responsibility. Buffalo Pizza Company is active in charitable events in the community, the Buffalo Police Benevolent Society, local churches and contributes to the success of the Canisius College basketball program. This short range objective cements the company into the community as an integral active viable resource. (Appendix 1)
Charles Middione, owner of the company has established alliances with other restaurateurs in the geographical customer region. This has helped his company when an unexpected circumstance beyond anyone’s control has resulted in the use of a contingency plan. Automatic slicers have broken down, delivery shipments of food items have been delayed and employees have called in sick. Mr. Middione’s business friends have come through with the loaning of equipment and resources with an agreement that reciprocity is understood. (Appendix 2)
Delegating authority using the parity principle which enables employees to do their jobs presents a challenge for any business organization. Buffalo Pizza Company’s employees have specific tasks that need to be accomplished on a daily basis. The owner usually reminds the employees with a list to ensure that the specific jobs are completed. Employees with experience take on the role as a mentor for new hires. Mentors are empowered with the authority to train new employees for two hours a night and report their progress to the manager on duty. This helps the trainers to be self-motivated to want to be successful. Subordinates are enabled with the knowledge that they are responsible for successfully completing the duties that are assigned to them. The knowledge of knowing what is expected of them creates a trust among employees and between team members and management. (Appendix 3)
Charles Middione is a democratic style manager. His decision making leadership style combined with a self-fulfilling prophesy attitude of positive expectations results in high performance productivity from his employees. Although his management leadership style allows his employees not only to allow but to seek responsibility, the initiating structure of the work environment is geared toward the attainment of the company’s ultimate goal of completing the day’s work. This leadership behavior style works more effectively on the production line where the primary goal is to serve the customers efficiently. Buffalo Pizza Company’s employee motivation factors are based on dedication which is rewarded by raises and flexibility in scheduling with time off from work. (Appendix 4)
A moderate amount of control is exercised at the Buffalo Pizza Company including behavior, output and budgetary. There is a video surveillance system installed at the pizzeria primarily for security purposes but it is also used to monitor employees. Sales receipts are tallied and records kept for sales tax reasons but are also used to track profitability. Budgetary control methods used are audited by an external accountant twice a year to prevent a biased report. (Appendix 5)
Economic considerations in the control of the operation have played a major role in the past few years at the Buffalo Pizza Company. Recently after a monthly sales receipt tally by an internal auditor it had been revealed that total sales receipts had decreased by $5,000. A break even chart revealed that the total cost of operating expenses exceeded total revenue. Budgetary management control methods were revised to reduce the cost of variable expenses and employee hours were cut as a temporary measure in order to break even. For example, flour, luncheon meats, hoagie rolls, pepperoni, beverage drinks, pizza boxes, napkins, and other variable costs were reduced to absorb the profit loss. (Appendix 6)
Performance appraisals are achieved at Buffalo Pizza Company by direct observation. The managers/owners of the company tour the premises and work areas on a daily basis. On most occasions the owners work alongside their employees and through personal observations are able to determine the proficiency of the employee work force. The mutual trusts that exist negate the notion that employees are being micromanaged thereby a credulous relationship is enhanced. The work culture at the pizzeria is based on self-motivation together with a family and friendly atmosphere that is transmitted to their customers. (Appendix 7)
Employee rewards consist of both intrinsic and extrinsic varieties. A sense of achievement is derived from being successfully employed together with a sense of accomplishment. Formal and informal recognition exist between workers and the customers of the pizzeria. A chance for promotion and fringe benefits exist by working at the Buffalo Pizza Company. All employees feel like they are part of a team as they are given hats and t-shirts with the company name on them. Although there is a policy whereby employees pay for their lunches at 50 percent of the cost food is frequently available at no cost when new menu items are introduced. Mr. Middione frequently rewards his workers by setting out food items. Incentive payments are made available to the drivers and counter personnel as tip jars are shared at the end of the night. Many social relationships are made possible throughout the work day and at charitable events. One of Mr. Middione’s workers has been there for 15 years after a brief absence he returned citing the reward benefits as one of his reasons for returning to work there. (Appendix 8)
Employees are encouraged to participate in contributing ideas and suggestions to the Buffalo Pizza Company including menu suggestion items. Recently a popular food item in Buffalo, haddock fish, was included as a menu item not only on Friday but throughout the year. This became a very popular item at the restaurant and increased business substantially and it was all because of an employee suggestion. Employees are encouraged to be a part of the total success of the company as all will benefit and this will promote a team concept. (Appendix 9)
One of the main lessons that can be learned from this interview project is that mangers should plan ahead and have a backup contingency plan in case things do now work out. There are many outside variables that could interfere with the original planning of a company such as a downturn in the economy or a natural disaster. Organizing and leading a work team requires an element of trust between management and employees for an operation to be successful. A moderate form of control management is necessary for a business to succeed. Knowledge of knowing when to implement management controls is also a key element. A good effective manager must know how to communicate with his/her employees and exercise an element of human relation skills to persuade his/her work-team to be productive. Implementing a form of control in business organization requires leadership skills to execute plans. The realization that employees are your most valuable resource is good sound management advice to heed.
1. How is your company active in community events?
2. What is your contingency plan when things go wrong?
3. How much authority do you delegate to your employees?
4. How do you motivate your employees?
5. What type of quality control methods do you use?
6. How have economic conditions played a role in your company?
7. Do you conduct performance evaluations?
8. How do you reward your employees?
9. Do you listen to suggestions from your employees?
Rue-Byars. Management Skills and Applications. 13th Edition. New York : McGraw-Hill Primis , 2009.