Case Study – Pentangelli’s (P’s)

Pentangelli’s is a chain of restaurants within the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire specialising in Anglo-Italian Cuisine. Frankie Pentangelli, the original founder, set up his first restaurant in 1954 utilising a vacant village pub in Elloughton, East Yorkshire. He rapidly built an excellent reputation by providing innovative menus from locally sourced produce. This resulted in mention by Egon Ronay as ‘an oasis within a gastronomic desert!’

This sound foundation led to the opening up of a further 3 restaurants run by other family members including Frankie’s wife Jean, who had considerable experience in the hotel trade, and their daughter Tina, who had previously worked in public relations and developed some notoriety as the food critic of the local paper.

Luca, Frankie’s eldest son who had completed his training as a Sous Chef at the Savoy, ran the new prestigious restaurant within a five star hotel on the outskirts of York. This restaurant gained both rave reviews and a select clientele who would travel great distances to sample the food. The provision of catering at a couple of local society weddings had ensured that Luca’s restaurant had reservations 6 months in advance.

In 2002 Frankie retired from the business and Luca took the helm supported by his wife, Kathleen. Tina, with part time help from Jean, continued to run the original Elloughton restaurant and a manager, Sean, who had worked with Luca at The Savoy, was appointed to take on the other restaurant.

Luca saw this as an opportunity to exploit the brand of ‘Pentangelli’s whilst expanding the business rapidly. He decided to divide the business into 3 separate strands. The hotel restaurant was to remain exclusive and, although he appeared as ‘guest chef’ on special nights, Luca appointed a new chef to run the kitchens whilst maintaining creative control of the menus. The restaurant at Elloughton became a ‘gastro pub’ and Luca opened up a further 5 in village settings. The final restaurant which was situated in Beverley town centre became a Bistro known as ‘Take 5’ serving a lunchtime menu of light meals and a set menu in the evening. Another 2 Bistros were opened in York and Harrogate catering to the tourist and shopper trade. Luca announced that Tina would manage the Bistros and Jean was to take on the gastro pub’s.

This approach was opposed by Tina and Jean who felt that this strategy could result in the brand name being affected. In a heated exchange with her brother, Tina was heard to exclaim ‘we are likely to blacken both our family name and that of the restaurant if quality declines in any part of this business’. Shortly following these changes Jean decided to retire as the differences in the family were causing her distress.

Luca subsequently prompted Sean to run the 6 restaurants. Sean found the transition to this promotion problematical in that he appeared to have difficulty in organising both his own time and the managers he appointed to each restaurant. Sean, known for his attention to detail, was often frustrating to work with as he would prevent managers from making decisions without his approval. A well documented example was a meeting taking 2 hours to determine the shade of the napkins.

Recently, Sean was involved in a car accident as he rushed down country lanes from one gastro pub to another. He is likely to be off sick for at least two months and has been attempting to ‘manage’ the gastro pubs remotely.

Luca, has had to step in and close one of the gastro pub’s temporarily due to the Chef leaving following a visit from Environmental Health. Further complications have arisen in the local supply of meat products due to the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

Take 5, however, has gone from strength to strength and has become very profitable. Under Tina’s management there have been a number of high profile newspaper articles praising the quality of food and service. Tine has achieved greater brand awareness through over-subscribed theme evenings including wine tastings and gastronomic events such as ‘taste the food of the Tudors’ and ‘Meet the big cheese’.

Luca, is now under pressure to ensure the brand of ‘Pentangellis’ does not suffer; he has therefore contracted you as a management consultant to advise him.

1.Critically evaluate how 2 key elements of the reward and development practices used either explicitly or implicitly in the case study organisation could contribute to the overall performance of the organisation (approx. 1000 words)

2.Outline, comment on and evaluate the challenges that the case study organisation has faced or could face when formulating a reward and development strategy. (approx. 1000 words)

You should consider the following when constructing this piece of work;

What are the reward and development practices that are used or could be used?

What are the good and bad pints about these practices?

What is the impact of these practices?

What gest in the way when the organisation is