The Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

This case primarily targets students enrolled in management science/quantitative business methods courses. Its intent is two-fold: 1) provide students the opportunity to decide how a real-world entertainment club should assign its bartenders to work stations at its wet bar in order to realize the bar's revenue potential and 2) require students to construct a business context in which to make such a decision.

The bar has six work stations and the expected revenue each of the club's eight bartenders generates varies from work station to work station. Doubling up bartenders at selected work stations does occur. The complexity of this case's assignment requirements and restrictions go beyond what the "assignment" algorithms found in most student software packages can accommodate. Linear programming is not so limited and thus, is this case's methodology of choice.

This case is valuable to students for several reasons. Constructing the business context in which they are to make their decisions, students add a transcendent layer of analysis to their task that can give them valuable first-hand practice at defining problems and developing an appreciation for the relevance of the methods they can employ solving such problems. Furthermore, this case's assignment restrictions and requirements reflect the club's operational reality and are therefore, quite realistic, practical, and worth knowing how to program. Programming many of these assignment restrictions and requirements will also challenge students well beyond what they customarily encounter in most linear programming problems. It will also require them to use their intuition in at least one assignment situation the club faces that should lead them to conclude that the application of a decision-support methodology such as linear programming is not particularly necessary. Finally, students can transfer lessons learned from this case to real-world business settings they will eventually face.

The authors designed this case for use by MBA and upper class undergraduate students to be taught in 2 class hours, with 3-4 hours of student preparation time. The instructor can modify this case for more complexity per suggestions found in the "Instructor's Note."

CASE SYNOPSIS

The Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club is located in downtown Asheville, NC and is the premiere music venue in Western North Carolina. It books music groups from all over the United States and the world and has the reputation of having the best beer selection in town. Patrons travel to the Orange Peel from all over the southeast region of the United States to enjoy their favorite musicians live. The club opened in fall 2002 and has become the most popular night spot in Asheville since that time. The Orange Peel's goal is to provide its customers the best convivial social atmosphere and "pop" music in a 100 mile radius of Asheville.

The club's wet bar is an important revenue center. Opportunities occur for the bar to generate the most revenue on nights when the club has sold-out shows. The club manager has eight bartenders (six of whom are part-time) she can assign to six work stations for such occasions. The revenue performances of each bartender vary from one work station to the next and vary among bartenders for a given work station. Therefore, making assignments that will realize the bar's revenue potential is somewhat complex and therefore, will require some thought by the club manager.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTE

Recommendations for Teaching Approaches

This case requires students to identify, address and organize a range of operations management issues the club manager would most likely put into her report that she intends to submit to the club's owners. Based on her assessment, a logical and useful way to organize these issues might be first to provide the club's owners her critique of the bar's operations (Part 1). …