Case Study (1) In chapter Balzar Wars of his book Paris to Moon, Adam Gopnik discuses the commercialization of restaurant business as such that has a negative affect the public image of Paris and France, as a whole. In 1998, the Balzar restaurant, which used to be owned by representatives of the same family since 1894, was being purchased by French restaurant tycoon Jean-Claude Bucher, for the purpose of giving it a chain-operated status. Gopnik complains that the change of restaurants ownership deprived Balzar of its spirit of authenticity: But even the good places have a processed, overwrought quality, and the food at one is pretty much like the food at the others. They lack all the things that the Balzar possesses so effortlessly: distinctiveness, eccentricity, and a sense of community(Gopnik, p. 231).
Apparently, author confuses Balzar, as the place where people come to eat with the place where they should be socializing, in order to be referred to as very sophisticated, simply because Balzar restaurant is associated with the spirit of old France. This reveals Gopnic as typical American tourist, whose arrogance allows him to talk about complicated business matters, without understanding their very essence.
Author appears to be so concerned over insignificant changes to the way restaurant operates that he is willing to organize and to participate in customers boycott, which was meant to force the new restaurants owner to reconsider Balzars freshly designed business strategy. However, the public protest did not have even a slightest effect, because it did not correspond to the objective reality: There was, I sensed, a flaw in our strategy: If you take over a restaurant as an act of protest and then order dinner at the restaurant, what you have actually done is gone to the restaurant and had dinner, since a restaurant is, by definition, always occupied, by its dinners (Gopnik, p. 234).
Explain why the boycott of Jewish businesses took place in April 1933. [12 marks] In April 1933, only 1 week after the Enabling Act was passed, a boycott against Jewish businesses took place, which targeted mainly Jewish shops and businesses but also Jewish professionals such as doctors and lawyers. There are many reasons as to why this event took place. The most important reason, in my opinion ...
This is the brightest of all Gopniks thoughts that are contained in the book. Operating restaurant has no other purpose than allowing its owner to make profits. All other considerations are secondary. Balzar is located in Paris and is meant to appeal to Parisians more than to anybody else, because they represent the bulk of Balzars customers. However, one does not have to be overly smart to notice that, even in the middle of Paris, there can rarely be seen people who would be able to appreciate Balzars traditional sophistication, which Gopnik values so much.
Therefore, it would be much better if he participated in demonstrations against illegal immigrants that continue to flood France than being a part of pathetic sit-in, organized by decadents like himself, if he was really concerned about preserving the spirit of good old France. (2) The differences between independent and chain ownerships are being often exaggerated. The most important of them is the fact that independent ownership implies a greater executive flexibility, on the part of owners. Independent owners are at liberty to adjust restaurants business strategy at any time, for as long as they feel that it is necessary to maintain restaurants competitive edge. For example, in his book, Gopnik mentions that Balzars menu has undergone numerous changes, before it assumed contemporary form. However, the fact that Balzars menu remained the same over the course of last 20 years does not imply that it is petrified.
Independent owners have no higher authority over them, which is one of the reasons why they continuously strive to improve restaurants interior, while also trying to preserve its original spirit. By going to independently owned restaurant, customer does simply get his stomach filled with food, but he also receives an emotional satisfaction, because he associates its visit to restaurant with becoming a part of tradition. In its turn, it increases his value as individual, in customers own eyes. For example, Gopnik seriously thinks that his allegiance to good French cuisine qualifies him to be buried among French national heroes: The plaques, we decided, should read A Faithful Client or, better, should repeat the words of those inscriptions you see all over Paris: Here, fallen for France (Gopnik, p. 230).
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Thus, we can say that, whereas customers who go to chain owned restaurants only get the objective value for their money, customers at independently owned restaurants also get a perceived value, along with objective one. The perceived value has largely an illusionary nature.
Nevertheless, practice shows that people in Western countries are willing to pay for it, because they are capable of operating with abstract matters. They appreciate metaphysical values, as if they were real, in true sense of this word. This is the reason why White people were able to advance culturally and scientifically to such a great extent, while some natives tribes around the world were not able to advance even beyond the Stone Age. However, given the fact that France is gradually turning into a Third World country, it is perfectly natural for the independent restaurants owners to consider franchising their businesses, because in multicultural societies, such concepts as tradition, good taste or restaurant manners simply have no meaning. People who celebrate diversity by dumping garbage onto the street, right in front of their houses, are not likely to enjoy the aura of sophistication at Balzar, while paying 30-40 Euros for an entree. The more racially diverse any particular society becomes, the less citizens are inclined to pay for the perceived value. This is the reason why, it is only the matter of time, before independently owned restaurants will be franchised.
Gopnik does not seem to understand this simple fact, which is why his arguments in favor of allowing Balzar to operate independently sound childish at best. (3) Chain operated restaurants have unified menus, which do not list many items. This significantly increases restaurants operational efficiency, because customers already have a very good idea what they are going to be ordering, even before they get seated. It also reduces the time every particular customer spends at the restaurant. In his book, Gopnik mentions that, after Balzar was being acquired by Bucher, waiters were told that the new principles of treating customers will be put in place: It is a Balzar tradition that you can nurse a cup of coffee and a plate of cold cuts for as long as you like. Now, it was said, after seventy minutes the waiters were forced to put the check on the table.
To understand the customer, a company must identify the needs of the customer segment being served. Let us compare 7-Eleven Japan and a discounter such as Sam’s Club (a part ofWal-Mart). When customers go to 7-Eleven to purchase detergent, they go there for the convenience of a nearby store and are not necessarily looking for the lowest price. In contrast, a low price is very important to a ...
This was-well, there was no other word for it so American (Gopnik, p. 232).
Apart from pointing out to Gopniks unpatriotic attitudes, this quotation provides us with the insight on the essence of chain-operated restaurants business philosophy. Such restaurants owners cannot afford having their waiters to be on overly friendly terms with customers, as it hurts the business. The process of running chain-operated restaurant is based on viewing customers as the expendable element. There is no need to insure customers loyalty by treating them as members of family, because people who attend franchised places of eating are not likely to spend more than a fixed amount of money at the restaurant, no matter how well they are being treated. This practice might sound as being immoral, but it makes a perfectly good sense.
The owners of chain-operated restaurants understand that their customers rarely expect to get any other kind of satisfaction from visiting restaurant then a physical one. People who go to this type of restaurants usually consist of professionals on tight schedule, who simply do not have time to chitchat with waiters about the injustices of the world, as customers like Gopnik love to do. For as long as the quality of food, served at the restaurant of their choice, is higher than a quality of hot dogs, they can buy on the street, they are going to be happy with it. This is also the reason why chain entrees are not being excessively decorated, as Gopnik rightly points out at, in his book. Nevertheless, this does not mean that these entrees are associated with low quality they simply cannot be referred to as unique. This might serve as a good enough reason for rich Americans to avoid visiting chain restaurants, but majority of French customers could not care less about the fact that these restaurants do not allow them to fully enjoy foods authenticity. In fact, foods authenticity cannot always be thought of as equivalent of foods quality.
There are many advantages and disadvantages when owning your own business. When you own you own business, it’s known as a sole proprietorship. But with any type of business, there will always be advantages and disadvantages. Five advantages for owning your own business are: 1) The owner receives all profits, meaning that all earnings go to the sole proprietor, or the owner, and isn’t ...
Very often it is other way around. For example, before customers in Japanese restaurants get to order Fugu fish, they are required to sign legal papers, stating that they will be eating this fish on their own risk, as it contains deadly poison, which can kill them, if Fugu fish is prepared improperly. Therefore, it is inappropriate to associate commercialization of food industry with evil, as Gopnik does in his book. The main fallacy of his conclusions is the fact that he considers them universally applicable. However, Gopniks point of view only has a value within a context of cultural tradition he belongs too. Being a typical Liberal, Gopnik strives for nothing less than teaching French businesspersons how to operate their own restaurants.
Therefore, Bucher is making a very good point when he says: I think he has nothing to teach us about how to run a brasserie. I am trying to defend Franco-Francais tradition (Gopnik, p. 232).
(4) The most important conclusion, which derives naturally out of Gopniks line of argumentation, is that chain operated and individually operated restaurants are meant to address the unique needs of different categories of customers. It is customers personal problem if he strives to adjust the surrounding reality to its ideological agenda, while trying to force everybody else to adopt his point of view. Apparently, many Americans have a hard time trying to cope with the ways of the world. Gopnik seems to be one of them. He is quite incapable of accepting the fact that restaurants are the places of business and not simply hangout joints, where people like him indulge in bellyful idling, when they visit foreign countries.
As we have mentioned earlier, it is up to the restaurants owner to choose in favor of an operational mode, when it comes to managing his or her business. If restaurant relies on attracting young and middle-aged professionals, it would be much better for the owner to adopt a chain mode of operating. The same can be said about the restaurants that are located in the areas where people celebrate diversity particularly hard. For example, the fact that the owners of Red Lobster realized the essence of demographical trends in contemporary America early enough, allowed them to significantly expand the range of its business operations by simply franchising restaurants brand name and unifying the menu. Nowadays, Red Lobster became especially popular with African-Americans, who consider visiting this restaurant as something that emphasizes their high social status, in comparison to brothers who can only afford eating at KFC. This, of course, would not have happened, had restaurants owners decided to stick with the concept of individual ownership. On the other hand, the popularity of New Amsterdam Cafe in Vancouver, for example, directly corresponds to restaurant owners decision to continue operating cafe on individual basis, as it is only the place in North America, where customers are able to legally smoke marihuana, while on restaurants premises.
1) The restaurant Abou Shakra is located in Egypt. It is a chain’s firm. They made their reputation on their delivery of charaocal cooking, and their basic traditional Egyptian food. They focused their policy on proposing a well-known traditional dishes and simple menu. The customer knows that if he order something to the company he will receive a product of quality fool of Egyptian flavors. 2) ...
This is the reason why people from all over the Canada and U.S. come to Vancouver, simply because they want to spend time at New Amsterdam Cafe. This would not be the case if Cafe was deprived of its aura of exquisiteness. Alternatively, it would only be the matter of time, before the former owners of Balzar in Paris would sustain bankruptcy, had they not decided to sell their business to Jean-Claude Bucher, who appears to be pragmatic and realist. He is well aware that marginalization of French society is only going to gain a momentum, as time goes by. Therefore, instead of passively watching his country turning into Northern Algeria, he decided to take advantage of situation. The fact that Balzars loyal customers will probably loose their interest in visiting restaurant has no commercial significance, because they will be replaced by the new ones, who would consider eating at Balzar as the essential part of their integration in French society, without understanding that restaurant had lost its original essence long ago. Therefore, Gopniks whining about Balzars loosing its most loyal customer (himself) sounds pathetic, even though he wanted it to sound tragic: The crucial thing that it was our choice.
We made it. We choose to leave (Gopnik, p. 293).
We can only regret that Gopniks decision not to eat at Balzar will not result in his death from starvation, because it would qualify him (in his own eyes) to be buried among French national heroes at the cemetery, as he used to dream about, during the process of digesting steak au poivre. (5) Gopniks book is the irrational attempt of an American yappy to rationalize the negative aspects of Globalization. Author could not care less about more immediate effects of this process, which represent real danger, because he lives in his own little world and he hates when this imaginative world becomes affected by objective reality.
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As it appears from the context of his book, he had never experienced hunger at first hand, because otherwise, he would not be going on and on, in his book, about the importance of having food items beautifully arranged on the platter. Gopnik speaks on behalf of those who allowed their own country to start descending into savagery and who prefer to travel to Europe, in order to forget the harsh realities of American living. However, in Europe, peoples dining habits start to change as well, which is something author cannot accept. Apparently, his pseudo-intellectual babbling about restaurant business and about other aspects of living in France appeals to many Americans, which explains why From Paris to the Moon became a bestseller. There is no doubt that Gopniks book represents certain literary value, but it would be wrong to refer to it as such that contains practical ideas as to how run a restaurant in most efficient and cost effective manner. In fact, author clearly expresses his professional incompetence in matters that are related to restaurant business. His persistence in trying to preserve Balzar as family owned restaurant reveals author as idealist, who is not being in touch with objective reality.
Regardless of whether we like it or not, individually owned restaurants have no future in Globalized world. There is still a possibility for individual entrepreneurs to come up with income by providing aged White people with emotional comfort, while they dine at independently owned restaurants. However, there is going to be less and less of this type of customers, as time goes by, as death rate among Caucasians is higher then their birth rate. Therefore, it is only natural for the owners of restaurants to consider selling off their businesses to larger companies or to turning it into a franchise. The fact that Gopnik seems to be reluctant to accept this fact only reveals him as person whose conclusions lack academic validity.
Brasseire Balzar. 2007. Brasseriebalzar.Com.
Retrieved March 15, 2008 from http://www.brasseriebalzar.com/ Gopnik, A. From Paris to the Moon. New York: Random House. 2001. Abstract: This paper discus Adam Gopniks book From Paris to the Moon from the perspective of an independent observer. Outline: Introduction Independent and chain ownership Menu and pricing Application of learned concepts Conclusion.