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MNG01222 Risk Management for Hospitality Operations

Unit Name:	   Facility & Risk Management for Hospitality Operations
Unit Code:	   MNG01222
Assignment No.:	   2
Assignment Title:  Report
SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY

Facility and Risk Management Report for the Lane Sydney Restaurant

Executive Summary

The aim of the report is to analyze the design and condition of The Lane Sydney restaurant based on the venue design analysis (VDA) and venue condition assessment (VCA). After discussing how important the design of a venue is, the report is going to examine The Lane, based on proper design principles to see if the intended purpose of venue design and the objectives of stakeholders have been achieved. Some changes about the design are given which should have been done. As important as venue design analysis, venue condition assessment is a process predicting potential issues in terms of venue’s capital assets. VCA is meant for particular purposes and has some benefits, but still some limitations as well which are mentioned in the second part of the report. A venue condition analysis form is also included along with some succinct recommendations raised from VCA assessment.

Introduction

The analysis of a venue based on its design, working condition along with facilities is always important to the owner or the manager boards since it directly impacts the success and sustainable growth of that business. That is why venue design analysis (VDA) and venue condition assessment (VCA) serve as effective tools for identifying issues, thereby implementing refurbishments if needed. The report aims to provide insightful viewpoints of these two types of analysis applied to a real case – The Lane Sydney restaurant and the ideas about necessary resources that would be used to help the restaurant function better.

1) Venue Design Analysis (VDA)

1.1. The importance of ‘Venue Design Analysis’

There have always been debates on hospitality establishments being designed to look good but having many flaws when they are undergone venue design analysis for feasibility in practical work (Peter 2018). Examples could be lack of office space for administration departments’ staff or lack of storage space for equipment. However, by applying proper design principles to balance among elements: image, operating efficiency, and guest comfort, the problems can probably be improved (Peter 2018). Some criteria need to be considered when it comes to the importance of venue design analysis (VDA). First, a venue should be determined to be built with either a single-use structure or an incorporate structure (which allows the venue to be redeveloped if needed). The flexibility of use (internally and externally) is also important, even for a single-use building, in case the owner wants some immediate changes: adding capacity from indoors to outdoor areas for conference or buffet function and for the sake of all stakeholders – guests, staff, and the general public. Secondly, lighting, color, sound, smell and soft furnishing or in other words, 'sensory design' has a significant effect on customers’ perception of the venue. Incorrect lighting or music at a restaurant or sour smell of unwashed linen in hotels are things that could make customers turn away and influence employees as well. And last but not least, venue design analysis based on proper design principles are meant to keep maintenance issues like the quality and duration of equipment as minimal as possible (Peter 2018).

1.2. Analysis of the design principles which have been applied to the chosen venue

Design of any establishment is very important that helps venues look more gorgeous and attractive, add more values for stakeholders (guests, organizations, staff) and impact directly those venues’ success and profits (Achala & Shantha 2016). Although In the case of The Lane, only the front of house – the dining and bar area – are discussed. One of the design principles applied to The Lane after the modification in 2010 is the restaurant being more sustainable. The owner decided to replace the side walls with large glass panels used as windows to bring more natural lights for the restaurant and help save costs. Sustainability is defined as satisfying the needs of the present generation by using resources in a way to not compromise those which future generations also need for their lives (Desbiolles 2018). Sustainability principles are meant for the sake of environment but in ‘venue design’ context, it indirectly leads The Lane to the ‘operating efficiency’ principle which associates the venue’s design with impacts on the use of natural resources to make right decisions not only for the neighbourhood, the planet but for their own business by saving money in the long run.

Additionally, the ‘safe venue design’ principle is about the arrangement of fixed amenities and making decisions in order to optimize safely movements, maximize the use of space and eliminate risks or hazards. Among many aspects in ‘safe venue design’ principles, two criteria which could be easily observed at The Lane are clear signage and accessibility of location for different types of guests: pedestrian guests, guests with car and guests using public transportation. As a centrally located venue with two frontages on two streets: Curtin Pl and Hamilton St (opposite of Australian Square and near Wynyard Station), any customers can easily head to The Lane by whatever means of transport. There are adequate walkways and lanes around the restaurant for pedestrians and parking lot for guests’ cars. Signage as a communication tool for guests and staff is also very important for emergency situations and crowd control. They could be signs external to the venue (giving direction of parking lot, ‘entrance’ sign), hazard warning signs (‘wet floor’ sign), information signs (prices, venue rules)… At The Lane, signs are designed in an easily visible, uncluttered way and sited at necessary points according to each sign’s purpose.

1.3. Has the intended purpose of the design been achieved?

The initial purpose of the venue where The Lane is located on now was operating a small to medium sized restaurant. That is why not much renovation was required to put The Lane into operation in 2008. It is vital for designers and the owners to have an effective consultation before planning a venue design to create substantial and appropriate experiences for the venue’s users (Peter 2018). The Lane's owner wondered himself about how The Lane can be not only a normal restaurant but also available for different kinds of functions catering to a variety of group sizes: product launch, fundraising event, part? The approach was to understand two dimensions: why is the venue there? and could we make changes for another particular purpose? (in the case of The Lane, the reason is making more profit). As a result, to save costs, the side walls were replaced and then, the storage room was remodeled and expanded to meet the increased turnover of the restaurant. The assessment has been done on an ongoing schedule to keep the operation on track of the intended purpose.

1.4. Have the objectives of the various stakeholders been met?

The objectives and benefits of stakeholders always play major roles in the venue design analysis (Peter 2018). The first objective is to create an attractive image, a proper style, and substantial dining experience. It was noticeable that the design of the front of house at The Lane focusing on these aspects specifically. From the Vespa model at the entrance, the atmospheric pendant lighting, to dark timber and oval marble tables with patterns, guests feel as if they have stepped into a classic Europe bistro in the heart of Sydney. As Spanu (2013) said, a good restaurant’s layout is designed to minimize the waiting times for guests and to reduce the distance that staff has to walk around to fulfil their tasks but still in a comfortable way. At The Lane as a small restaurant with not quite huge capacity, the dining area is designed in u-line shape and facing an open kitchen and bar, so it doesn’t take too long for waiting staff to deliver the best service (taking orders, serving...).

1.5. Any other considerations that were, or should have, been made in the design of the venue

Based on venue design analysis applied to The Lane Sydney, some recommendations can be proposed. First, according to the ‘safe design’ principles, the fact that The Lane doesn’t have a fire escape and the entrance may be the only way out in case of emergency could be a big risk to the safety of everyone staying there. If an explosion occurs, there would be a huge damage on people because they cannot get out while squeezing each other through a small door. The Lane’s owner should fix this issue by expanding the size of the main door to separate crowd flows or finding another way out as an emergency exit. Second, the main purpose of any restaurants is making profit by maximizing the seating capacity inside the venue. However, sometimes less is more. As seen from the floor plan (in the appendix), the distance between tables is so confined that probably makes difficulty for staff in moving around and guests feel cramped and uncomfortable. It would be better if the owner could remove one or two tables to make more space because at the end of the day, especially in a service industry, it is all about people’s feeling and safety, both staff and customers. A small change could make a big positive difference.

2) Venue Condition Analysis (VCA)

2.1. The rationale behind a Venue Condition Analysis (VCA)

Conducting a venue condition assessment is an important process for any business in order to manage facilities, equipment, and assets proactively and take a proper maintenance for deficiencies if needed (Peter 2018). In addition, facility managers are changing their role as maintenance personnel to be asset managers whose responsibility is monitoring and testing the quality and duration of property’s products. That is why a VCA form based on the venue condition analysis serves as a useful tool to help them fulfil their tasks (Peter 2018). Every function or every department of an establishment has different types of assets for different purposes. By doing venue condition analysis as a central consolidated database form, it is easier to follow, undergo the process according to systematic criteria and take control of important assets from the stage of purchasing to a renovation project, if required, without misinformation among different employees or departments.

2.2. The objectives and benefits of VCA

The purpose of VCA is to provide managers or owners with instructions and recommendations about assets which might be broken-down and need repair or replacement when nearing the end of their life cycle (Peter 2018). To conduct a proper VCA form, data on the physical condition of assets should be collected and analyzed. VCA benefits the management in identifying maintenance needs which could help planning and prioritizing corrective action as well as environmental needs requiring survey effort for funding (Karanja & Mayo 2016). Also, venue condition assessment is beneficial as the starting point for deterioration prediction and repair selection functions. By systematically evaluating the current state of capital assets, managers are able to project replacement needs or estimate costs to correct deficiencies which ensure facilities are in good condition to serve tasks they are assigned (Karanja & Mayo 2016).

2.3. The challenges

There are some challenges existing when it comes to the VCA. The first limitation could be the owners themselves because not all of them have knowledge in this area or resources to conduct the process on their own (Karanja & Mayo 2016). Another limiting factor is the cost involved when implementing the inspection because the bigger the venue, the more extensive the VCA process becomes. Information is either too detailed or insufficient and not subsequently used is wasting resources (Karanja & Mayo 2016).

3) Venue Condition Analysis Form:

MNG01222 Risk Management for Hospitality Operations

(Only the front of house – dining and bar area – are examined)

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important for the owner of any establishment to apply the venue design analysis (VDA) and venue condition analysis (VCA) periodically for the good of stakeholders. While the venue design analysis is more about internal and external design functionally, the venue condition analysis ensure equipment and assets are in a good condition for working or undergo maintenance if needed. Even though some modifications were implemented, there are still some drawbacks, if done, could help everyone -customers and staff - enjoy their best time in The Lane Sydney.

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