In this model text, a student writer analyses a case study of a small business. Since this is a decision analysis, the writer must determine the decision options, the criteria that play into this decision, and the relevant evidence. In the righthand column, we’ve annotated the key moves in each paragraph.
Decision Case Analysis
Anita Murano owns a pizza restaurant in San Francisco. The past year, her restaurant made $50,000 more in profits than expected, and her investors have asked her to choose from three options on how to use the money. She has to make this decision in the next three days, and she has to weigh these options against her most important priorities, which include maintaining the restaurant’s familial atmosphere and strong customer service, making a profit, maintaining control over the quality of the restaurant’s food, increasing the restaurant’s brand recognition, and keeping up with current industry trends. Since this last criterion of keeping up with industry trends is met by all three options, it does not need to be considered in final analysis.
Section 1: (Introduction)
← Summarize the main facts of the case: the protagonist, the company, etc. Identify the main dilemma the protagonist faces.
← Additionally, introduce any details relevant to the type of case/dilemma (in a decision case, present the decision criteria that the protagonist must weigh.). Usually this opening section is one paragraph long.
Anita should choose to introduce a salad menu because it meets the criteria that are most important to her. This option would not impact the familial environment that Anita highly values and which is one of the primary reasons she initially opened the restaurant. The appliances and prep space for the new salad menu items will be integrated into the existing restaurant. The salads will be served by the existing wait staff; the restaurant’s strong customer service, therefore, will not be disrupted. The salad menu will also not deter existing customers as the current menu of pizza will still be available. Additionally, adding a new food could potentially bring in new customers. Though the salad menu isn’t projected to make as high of a profit as the other two options, it will still increase the restaurant’s overall profits. Additionally, these are projected profits, and we don’t yet know how likely any of these options are to be successful; therefore, these numbers can only be viewed as estimates. Adding a salad menu is the best option for continuing to grow the restaurant, while meeting Anita’s most important criteria.
Section 2: (Body)
← Present the option that you have determined is best. Use authoritative, firm language to introduce your recommendation. Cite evidence from the case to justify why this solution is optimal, given the criteria and given the range of available options. The section in which you present your solution is usually the longest.
Anita should not choose to automate service because this would significantly impact her highest priority of upholding the restaurant’s familial, communal atmosphere. Automating service would also mean eliminating employees, which would jeopardize the strong customer service component of her restaurant that has brought in so many regulars over the years. While this option could potentially make more profit than the other two options, it’s unclear what the risk and impact will be of eliminating the existing customer service component. This option is the most likely to negatively impact customer satisfaction and turn existing customers away.
Anita should not choose to open up a second location of her restaurant because this would make it difficult to maintain control over the quality of her restaurant’s product. Not being at the second location would make it hard to oversee its day-to-day operations, and splitting her time between two locations would affect her ability to maintain control over the original location’s product. While making a profit and expanding the restaurant’s brand are appealing to Anita, these are not her most important priorities. Therefore she should not choose this option.
Section 3: (Body)
← Rule out alternatives. Address only the most viable alternatives. Use authoritative, firm language to explain why each of these options is not as optimal as the option selected above. Cite evidence from the text to support your reasoning. Keeping in mind your audience, address any potential counter-arguments in favor of other options.
Anita should choose the option of adding a salad menu to her restaurant, as this will support her main priorities of maintaining strong customer service and the warm, familial atmosphere of the restaurant she opened up to honor her grandmother’s cooking. While there are merits to the other two options, neither meets Anita’s most important priorities to the same extent that the salad menu option does, nor does either alternative option meet as many decision criteria as the salad menu. In the future, Anita should continue to invest in those aspects of her restaurant that make it uniquely its own and that have made it successful in the past, working in particular to uphold its familia atmosphere and strong customer service.
Section 4: (Conclusion)
← Restate your recommendation—why the protagonist should select the option that you have recommended, and why this option is more optimal than the alternatives. When applicable, add reflection as to how this situation/decision might be applied to future situations in which the manager or company finds themselves.
This resource from the Baruch College Writing Center is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to share, adapt, transform, or otherwise use this material in any medium, with attribution.