As owner of the White Dog Cafe, Judy Wicks must decide how she can improve her restaurants growth in the short, medium, and long term while continuing the restaurants social programs and maintaining its current ethical position. After an analysis of the current situation, we will present viable alternatives to ensure the White Dog Cafe continues its commitment in the long term to social responsibility in a manner that allows Judy Wicks to step down as owner of the Cafe. We will prove to Judy Wicks that her restaurant can maintain its growth without her at the helm.
We will provide a two-year strategy on how to implement these changes to make sure the restructuring process allows the restaurant to continue its educational and humanitarian practices. Judy Wicks has developed a business strategy that has allowed her restaurant to become very profitable and socially responsible. Since 1983 she has worked with a philosophy that her restaurant can make money and “do the right thing”. This responsibility first philosophy has enabled the restaurant to turn into much more of a community making a difference. Ms.
Wicks has shouldered the load on both the financial side of running a restaurant, and the socially responsible side of running White Dog Cafe Enterprises and its many projects and programs. For 25 years, Ms. Wicks has been the Cafe’s leader and she can no longer carry the burden on her own. Ms. Wicks must find and appoint a successor ensure her restaurant sustains its growth, and maintains its long-term commitment to social responsibility. The White Dog Cafe was not the only successful example of companies starting in the early 80s with a goal of benefitting the community.
Both Ben and Jerry’s and The Body Shop started at a similar time with a similar initiative, but both have recently had to deal with significant growing pains. Ben and Jerry’s sold to Unilever while The Body Shop was bought out by L’Oreal. Both companies were very profitable, but have veered away from their socially responsible philosophies. Judy Wicks must find a way to step down and ensure her company is left with strong leadership. If not, the restaurant will not be able to maintain its many great programs and initiatives that have made it both so loved and successful.
The decisions Judy Wicks makes will have an impact on many stakeholders. These criteria must be analyzed when coming up with the ideal solution. The White Dog Cafe’s many programs and projects have allowed the restaurant to help many people across a wide variety of fields. The Cafe has an obligation to keep true to its philosophy. That philosophy is a four-part strategy. To Benefit the Customers (provide quality service, food, all while in a friendly and educational atmosphere. )
The Community (encouraging volunteer projects, making charitable donations, mentor programs, etc.) Serving Each Other (creating a workplace where employees are a team) Serving Earth (using American grown produce, doing the compan’s part to support the environmental initiative. ) The Cafe must ensure that any major changes do not interfere with this strong core ideology. Ms. Wicks must take into consideration that a change in leadership could cause corporate disruption or “shake ups”. She must mitigate this risk by putting in place a strategy that promotes a transparency and all stakeholders are updated as to the changes occurring.
The White Dog Cafe has positioned itself extremely well within the community and has promoted very strong initiatives, but Ms. Wicks feels as though the Cafe could still do more to promote educational and socially responsible global environment. Ms. Wicks has a duty to continue her work as a role model. Up until recently she has not advertized The Cafe’s initiatives, or its 4-part philosophy. She must begin to do so in order to promote the ideology and increase the overall impact of the restaurant on the community. Ms. Wicks has established an above average financial position for a restaurant such as hers.
This is because she provides a product that is high quality that customers feel a sense of attachment too. She must ensure that changes in the future do not affect this core competency. It may not only hurt the bottom line, but also break a major component of her 4-part philosophy. Judy Wicks must consider these factors when making a final decision going forward. Ms. Wicks’ first decision is whether or not to leave the company. As she created the White Dog Cafe as well as the 4-part philosophy it is based upon, Ms.
Wicks should stay with the company, all though she does not want to deal with the stress of operating the business, she should look towards an alternative that lets her solely focus on the social programs and let a different manager focus on the company’s growth. 1 Her first alternative would be to promote a current employee to take over her position once she decides to leave. By remaining on as the owner but not the manager, Ms. Wicks will be able to oversee the company and ensure the company continues to respect its core values and continue developing the social programs it has become synonymous with.
Furthermore, this employee will have grown within the White Dog Cafe family and will know the company’s mission and values in order to grow without abandoning the great social programs that have allowed the company to develop on its 4-part philosophy. However, this alternative does not allow the company to increase its funding. By promoting a current employee, Ms. Wicks does not obtain the capital that finding a partner would provide. Although she maintains the controlling ownership, she does not have the capability of growing in size and social influence that an added partner would permit.
2 The company’s ability to generate great revenue margins and remain a model for ethical practices has made the White Dog Cafe an excellent company with great potential. As such, many investors would be interested in working with Ms. Wicks on a partnership basis. Ms. Wicks should focus on choosing a partner that believes in the company’s core values and maintain the current ethical standards. By properly choosing a partner that will have a 51% share in the Cafe, the partner will have the ability to manage the company and oversee day-to-day management of the restaurant.
Furthermore, the company will be able to grow with the additional funds the new partner will invest in the restaurant. By giving up a majority ownership and control, Ms. Wicks will no longer need to care for the restaurants’ operations but can chose to remain to support the restaurant’s social programs. As she will not need to micromanage every area of the company, it gives her the freedom to focus on the community events. It is essential Ms. Wicks keep the employees up to date with the changes to ensure a family atmosphere and increase the company’s transparency.
Moreover, before signing the agreement, she can set up internal policies that would regulate the company to ensure the mission does not change. For example, by getting loyal employees to volunteer to oversee the different social events within the White Dog Cafe organization, the event leaders would have true decision making power that would allow new innovative ideas to help the social programs move forward while the new partner would oversee the restaurant’s growth. By ensuring that a team of employees continues with its social action programs, Ms. Wicks can slowly delegate her different responsibilities and ensure the company keeps on growing in an ethical manner.
Should Ms. Wicks decide to go with a partnership, she should look towards finding a partner that is willing to keep with the values and ideology of the White Dog Cafe. By choosing a smaller investor such as a restaurateur with the knowledge and connections in the food industry, the partner can help the restaurant grow beyond its current size and impact a larger portion of the Philadelphian community. The first thing Ms. Wicks must do is to implement internal policies that would allow her to slowly reduce her workload within the company.
As she wishes to concentrate on her social activities, decreasing the amount of energy she puts in operating her business will allow her to shift her energy to focus on her interests. By implementing regulations and policies on day-to-day procedures, she can focus on innovating ways to support her social responsibility policy. She should start an advertisement campaign focusing on the different social programs that the company is in charge of. This would allow for a greater visibility of the company as a restaurant as well as an important member of the community.
By making the company synonymous with its programs, it will ensure the maintenance and continuation of the programs. Once the different policies have been implemented, she should look towards getting employees to volunteer to organize the different social programs within the White Dog Cafe organization. As such, she would allow the programs to innovate and develop thanks to the employees’ different perspectives and ideas. By giving them the creative freedom and the decision making power, the new event leaders will fully understand all aspects of the events and can constantly develop the projects and programs.
Furthermore, these employees, who are investing time and energy, understand and believe in the company’s philosophy and are therefore willing to volunteer to help build the programs. Ms. Wicks will no longer have to divide her time between a multitude of events but will be able to focus on a couple of activities she prefers or hold the position of a creative head that develops new ideas. Now that the company is more independent and does not require Ms. Wicks to micromanage each element, she can relinquish control of the operations to a restaurateur with a 51% stake in the company.
By carefully choosing a partner keeping with the White Dog Cafe’s policies, the new managing partner can focus on the company’s growth without having to manage the different social programs due to the volunteering system where the employees take charge of organizing the activities. With a 49% stake in the company, Ms. Wicks will have significant decision-making power. She can use her stake to ensure the social programs are kept and the restaurant’s philosophy remains the driving force of the restaurant while leaving the operation management to the new partner with more expertise in this field.