Dissertation Proposal – Nando’s Marketing Strategy

What Elements in the Surveys at Nandos Make it Stand Out As a Popular Fast Food Provider for Students in the UK?

Part I: Purpose of the Research

1.1  Background to the Study

Recession led to a reduction of disposable incomes across the globe. According to Wallop (2012), families were encouraged to cut down on luxurious spending with particular reference to eating meals in restaurants. The total amounts of money spend on first foods across the UK make up almost half the total amounts spend on foods outside homes. NPD as sited by Wallop (2012) asserts that 50.4 percent of all meals eaten outside homes were at quick service restaurants. The lower costs associated with eating at fast food chains relative to the costs linked with getting meals from restaurants and pubs explains the trend in the movement of people in favor of the former.

Nando’s profits significantly went up in the year ending in February 2012 when compared to the group returns during the 2010-11 financial year. According to Quinn (2012), the chain realized an annual profit of £14.7 million a growth from a loss of £7 million from its 313 outlets that include fast food and restaurants across the UK. Quinn (2012) asserts that the chain has become a popular venue for families in spite of the hard economic times following a longer recession period between 2007 and 2012.

The recent times have experienced the growth in the popularity of fast foods across the country. Quinn (2012) asserts that the demand for fast food products has been on the rise following the a decline in the disposable incomes of most households across the UK. The rise in the demand of foods offered by fast food chains across the country has resulted in the realization of high returns for some firms whereas some barely break even. Some fast food chains such as Nando’s have had to develop specialization strategies that entail focusing on their strengths with a view to growing their profitability levels both in the short term as well as in the long term periods. Nando’s has concentrated on the chicken which is its main competitive strength and an improvement in the quality of service to reap higher returns.

1.2  Rationale of the Study

Collis and Hussey (2009) argue that researchers are expected to make a careful decision with regard to the selection of a research topic. The aims and objectives that are expected to be realized at the end of a study need to be taken into consideration so as to ensure that the initial goal of the research in question is met. The research topic selected for any given study should be important in view of achieving long term results through the creation of a good understanding of the dependent and independent variables of research.

This research will be useful in two major ways; addition of new information to the existing body of knowledge and creation of a better understanding of specific elements that have gotten Nando’s profits and popularity on the up. The study will offer additional information on the performance of fast food restaurants in the UK with specific reference to Nando’s. The research will address specific elements that have helped boost the profits of Nando’s and how other firms can learn from these issues to enhance their growth in the industry. This research will therefore provide a foundation for future research in the same or related areas. This research will also act as a guideline to firms within the UK’s fast food restaurant industry on how to attract and retain customers with a view to growing their profits and popularity.

1.3  The Problem Statement

Fast food restaurants have become a global business that is preferred by most people all over the world. According to Finkelstein (1989), the preference of fast food restaurants by a greater percentage of people stems from the excitement and pleasure that they derive from them. Food consumers all over the world prefer going out to eating places that offer convenience and affordable prices. Fast food restaurants offer both convenience and affordability for people who enjoy eating out explaining their rapid growth and popularity across the globe. According to Quinn (2012), fast food restaurants are relatively cheaper when compared to other restaurants and pubs making them preferable all over the globe.

Waiting time plays an important role in improving the quality of services that is offered by players within the fast food restaurant industry. Nando’s has been working on improving the level of customer experience by improving on their waiting time. Other critical issues need to be addressed in order to sustain profitability and popularity in the long run. According to Smith and Zook (2011), proper communication mechanisms should be utilized by players within the fast food restaurant industry so as to ensure that customer feedback is incorporated in making long term customer retention policies of the concerned business entities. There is growing concern about the need to clearly address factors that have put top fast food restaurants in the UK above other participants in the same market.

1.4  Research Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this research will be to assess elements at surveys make Nando’s the most preferred fast food provider to students within the UK. The objectives that this study will want to achieve are;

(i).  To evaluate particular elements that make Nando’s the most preferred fast food provider for students in the UK.

(ii). To assess the impact of each of these elements in shaping the demand of Nando’s fast foods in the UK.

Part II: Introductory Literature Review

2.1  Introduction

MWEB (2013) argues that Nando’s is considered one of South Africa’s greatest international stories. Upon its acquisition in 1987 by Robert Brozin and Fenando Duarte and the subsequent change of name from Chickenland in Rosettenville, the chain had three outlets in Johannesburg within the first two years of its operation. Today, Nando’s runs over 1000 restaurants in over 30 countries across the globe with the first two British branches having been started in 1992 in Ealing and Earl’s Court in West London. According to MWEB (2013), the first two British branches mainly concentrated in takeaway foods, although a mixed service model was adopted to save the chain from collapsing.

2.2  Key Concepts and Themes

The expansion and growth of Nando’s in over 30 countries of its operation in general and the UK market in particular has been due to the high quality of service and better quality foods that are offered to the target customers. Quality foods and services have for a long time been a challenge to Nando’s and a turnaround strategy was necessary in attracting and retaining customers thereby growing the firm’s profits over time.

The quality of services that accompany food that is sold is an important issue that should be emphasized over time. Wallop (2012) states that the survival of a firm in an industry that is characterized by high competition requires prioritization of the needs and demands of the current and potential customers. In addition to food quality, a variety of options should also be availed to ensure that most customer needs are met profitably. Provision of a variety of food products by fast food restaurants coupled with superior services is the way to go for entities that want to grow their returns over time.

Communication is an important tool to consider in the course of operations of fast food restaurants across the UK. According to Wallop 2012 and Quinn (2012) state that firms within the fast food industry should utilize all communication platforms to ensure that a wider market is created through product awareness. Fast food restaurants not only in the UK but also in other parts of the world should also work on ensuring that customer care approaches are periodically improved with a view to attracting and retaining customers.

2.3  Key Empirical Studies

The Telegraph has continually continued to update its readers on the performance of the UK’s fast food industry players over the years. Comprehensive analysis of fast food restaurants across the country has not been without the mention of the top performers such as the Nandos. Some important issues that have continued to be analyzed include customer care management, food quality and service delivery. Studies today majorly concentrate on customer satisfaction and the effects on the overall performance of firms dealing in fast food industry business with more research work being expected to be conducted in the same field in the long run.

2.4  Comparing and Contrasting Existing Literature

Existing literatures on the operations of the Nandos fast food restaurant in the UK reveal a firm that has over the years been unable to break even its returns. The recent times have however witnessed a turnaround in the returns from losses to very high profit margins. According to Brown (2012),

[U1] an average meal consisting of a quarter chicken with chips and a soft drink costs £9.30 in Nandos across the UK. Students have continued to frequent Nandos fast food restaurants despite arguments that the quality of services as well as food quality served does not meet the expectations of customers.

Nandos has been able to attract and serve people from all walks of life across the UK. In the words of Brown (2012), [U2] Nandos does not offer a celebratory dinning but continues to attract individuals with hefty pay that include football personalities, singers as well as teenagers of all colours and religious orientation. Poor performance recorded by Nandos in the years coming before 2010 contradicts statements of the existence of high demand for fast food restaurants across the UK. The retention of the original culture during the expansion process of Nandos made it take longer to attract customers with different cultural orientation when compared to the South African orientation.

2.5  Missing Gap

Studies on the fame and popularity of the Nandos fast food restaurant in the UK and the possible reasons have been conducted since its first entry into Britain in 1992 five years after its acquisition in South Africa. Different aspects have been covered including but not limited to challenges that Nandos faces in the course of its operation all over the UK and the recent success stories that have been realized amid the growing concerns on the effects of recession on individual disposable incomes and spending habits. Inadequate information is therefore available on the performance of Nandos in the UK with specific reference to its UK student customers across the country.

This research paper will address issues relating to elements that make Nandos the most preferred among students in the UK. Discussions relating to the preference of Nandos by the general population of the UK have been covered by scholars and researchers. There therefore exists a gap in knowledge in relation to specific elements that make Nandos the UK students’ most preferred fast food restaurant all over the country. Specific aspects that endear students to all the 313 branches of Nandos fast food restaurant that are spread throughout the country shall be discussed in this research paper.

2.6  Conceptual Framework

A number of elements have over time continued to be linked to the growth of firms within the fast firm business with the industry being reported to be growing at a very fast rate. The growth and expansion of players within the industry is associated with a number of elements that make a significant contribution. These elements serve to attract and retain customers to the concerned organizations making them realize an overall net growth over a short duration of time. Some important elements that particularly shape the expansion and growth of the UK’s fast food industry in general and the Nandos restaurant in particular are provision of a variety of foods, an overall rise in the quality services to customers and the growth in customer care skills throughout the country. These elements have made food cheaper in fast food restaurants across the country when compared to other restaurants and pubs.

Part III: Proposed Research Design

Research aims and objectives play a critical role in guiding the entire process. They guide the selection of an appropriate research design thereby ensuring that appropriate steps are undertaken not only in the collection but also in the analysis of the most desirable data. Collis and Hussey (2009) argue that an appropriate selection of research design is desirable to the realization of results that are reliable and valid. An appropriate research design achieves accurate results by ensuring that the required data is collected and analyzed using the right approaches. Creswell (2013) appreciates the use of either qualitative techniques or quantitative techniques or both methods by different researchers in dealing with research topics in different areas.

This research will use a case study research design using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. According to Creswell (2013), a case study research design offers a researcher an opportunity to cover an in depth a given research problem through a detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events. The suitability of the selected research design is also based on its ability to allow a researcher utilize both techniques in dealing with a research problem that they are presented with. Case study research design finds use in dealing with social research issues that are usually addressed by the social scientists.

3.1  How Research Aims and Objectives Will Be Achieved

The researcher will collect both primary and secondary data for analysis. According to Collis and Hussey (2009), quantitative method that is usually objective and formal plays an important role in the collection of numerical data whereas qualitative approaches help build on issues with little known information. The use of both primary and secondary data types together with the application of appropriate analytical techniques of each will make the realization of the research aims and objectives possible. An accurate analysis of all the relevant data collected will help provide answers to the key research questions that are set at the start of the research process.

3.2  The Link between Research Aims and Research Paradigms

The research aims target approving or disapproving the set research paradigms during the entire research process. The set research aims and objectives are designed to achieve both quantitative and qualitative results with respect to the researcher’s research study topic.

3.3  Proposed Research Strategy

Primary data required for this study will be collected through the use questionnaires whereas secondary data will be collected from relevant internet sources, journals and books.  100 questionnaires will be developed and presented to 100 randomly selected adults; 40 employees and 60 customers within Nando’s premises. The data collected will then be analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Primary data is usually quantitative in nature and will therefore require quantitative techniques in its analysis while secondary data will engage qualitative options in its analysis. Semi-structured interviews involving top level managers together with observation methods will also be used by the researcher to achieve the set objectives.

3.4  Quality Issues

Questionnaire preparation and development will take place in stages to ensure that the set aims and objectives are attained at the end of the research process. 10 pilot questionnaires will be drafted and presented to the target respondents. Corrections will then be effected before the final 100 questionnaires are administered.

3.5  Potential Limitations of the Research Design

Case study research design has a number of shortcomings that include difficulties to generalize the findings of a study of a few elements to suit the general population, possibilities of biases in the interpretation of the findings of the study and difficulties to interpret research findings especially where some key information is not collected. Other issues that may challenge the outcome of the research process biases in the selection of respondents by the researcher.

3.6  Ethical Considerations

Gregory (2003) points out that ethics influences the entire research process. According to the author, how the entire research is conducted as well as how the researcher interacts with the piece of research is shaped by ethical concerns. The research will only collect data from respondents with their consent while guaranteeing them their right to anonymity for protection against legal suits. Secondary sources will also be appropriately acknowledged to their owners.

3.7 Presentation of Timescale

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References

Brown, M. (2013). Nando’s Nation: The Chicken That Conquered Britain, Accessed on November 7, 2013 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/9902231/Nandos-nation-the-chicken-that-conquered-Britain.html.

Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2007). Business Research Methods, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Collis, J. & Hussey, R. (2009). Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, London, Sage Publications.

Finkelstein, J. (1989). Dining Out: A Sociology of Modern Manners, Polity, Cambridge.

Gregory, I. (2003). Ethics in Research, London, Continuum.

Hermanowicz, J. (2002). The Interview: 25 Strategies for Studying People in Bed, Qualitative Sociology, 25(4), pp.479-499.

Martin Information (2010). M & C Report, Issues 120-131, Cornell University, Martin Information Limited.

MWEB (2013). Nando’s: The Tale of SA’s Most Successful Restaurant Export, Accessed on November 6, 2013 from http://www.mweb.co.za/Entrepreneur/ViewArticle/tabid/3162/Article/7220/Nandos-The-tale-of-SAs-most-successful-restaurant-export.aspx.

Quinn, J. (2012). Nando’s Profits and Popularity on the Up, Accessed on November 6, 2013 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9731950/Nandos-profits-and-popularity-on-the-up.html.

Smith, P. R. & Zook, Z. (2011). Marketing Communications: Integrating Offline And Online With Social Media, London, Kogan Page Publishers.

Wallop, H. (2012). Fast Food Becomes the UK’s Meal of Choice, Accessed on November 6, 2013 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9016251/Fast-food-becomes-the-UKs-meal-of-choice.html.

Appendices

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