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Pic Nic Pak’s Challenge

Pic Nic Pak is a family-owned cafe looking to gain a competitive advantage over other restaurants in the local area.
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Pic Nic Pak is a family-owned cafe located in suburban Melbourne, Australia. The business, established in the late 1990s, is renowned for its value-for-money food, good service, pleasant dining atmosphere, and of course, its great coffee. In the hospitality sector, margins are low, so business profitability comes from higher customer turnover. Pic Nic Pak can seat up to 60 people across 20 tables. Pic Nic Pak has an extensive food and beverage menu, including handmade pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. The business employs about 30 wait staff. Their roles range from hosts that greet and take customer orders, beverage staff that prepare drinks, and others that serve food and drink to the tables. The cafe is always a busy place.
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Currently, the hosts write down an order on their order pad at each table. Orders for drinks and food can be taken at the same time or drinks ordered first and food later. The hosts deliver the orders to the appropriate preparation section of the cafe, that is the kitchen, drinks bar, or the pizza area. Copies of the orders are also taken to the central cash register area. Once customers’ orders are ready, a bell is rung. Servers respond and deliver the order to the appropriate table. The preparation staff mark the physical copy of the relevant order as complete. During their meal, customers often add items to their order.
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When a customer is ready to leave, they ask for their bill to be finalised. This is done by adding together all of their orders from each preparation area, and the total bill is taken to the customer. The entire order payment process is complex, but it has been working for Pic Nic Pak since the business opened. Is there any need to change the process?
Pic Nic Pak is a family-owned cafe looking to gain a competitive advantage over other restaurants in the local area.
It has invested in technology with the aims of
  • providing better service to its customers
  • functioning more efficiently
  • improving return on investment.
Throughout this course, the Pic Nic Pak scenario will be used to help you develop either an understanding of the concepts introduced or to discuss application of the concepts.

Your task

Consider the Pic Nic Pak scenario described in the video. If you were the owner of Pic Nic Pak cafe, discuss how you might use information technology to make the running of this business more efficient.
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Competitive Advantage: Using Information to Build Business Success

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