Subway Company: Operational Audit

Executive Summary

The current operational audit report is prepared to observe deficiencies noted during the audit of Subway restaurant. There are problems with safety, cleanness, food handling, and parking. The recommendations are also presented in the report that could help in bringing changes and improvements in various operations of the restaurant. However, operational activities that adhere to business requirements are not considered in the findings and recommendations sections. The primary concern of the operational audit is to identify and review weak points and suggest suitable solutions to improve them. The recommendations are based on the evidence collected. They are related to adopting techniques that could help the restaurant to mitigate operational management issues. Moreover, operational deficiencies that contradict the nature of the brand such as limited options on the menu are not considered as weaknesses of its operation.

The objective of the Audit

The core objective of the audit is to perform an operational audit by emphasizing on the customer service of Subway and recommend changes for improvement to overcome deficiencies identified in the audit.

Scope of the Audit (with date and time)

The focus of the audit report is on customer services of Subway. The selected location for audit is Subway restaurant located at Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn, OH. Therefore, the internal audit of the restaurant was conducted to review its different operational activities. The audit was conducted by preparing simple questions that were answered after the completion of the audit. The visit to Subway restaurant was made on January 21, 2017, at 8 p.m. The reason for choosing this time was to perform the audit of operations during peak business hours.

Background of Subway

Subway is an American fast-food restaurant chain that is headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, US. The restaurant chain was established by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965 (“Subway Business Overview” 3). Currently, it has 44,882 restaurants operated by franchise companies in 112 countries. Subway is the largest restaurant operator and single-brand restaurant chain in the world. The main products of Subway are Submarine Sandwiches and Pizzas. However, Subway also offers salad, wraps, cookies, doughnuts, and muffins, etc. Customer satisfaction and loyalty are priorities of Subway and the business operations of the restaurant focus on preparing great sandwiches.

Findings and Recommendations

The results of the operational audit are summarized in Table 1 by sorting them into different categories and procedures. There were three options including strong, medium, and weak for each category and procedure to identify the level of success.

Table 1. Operational Audit results of Subway for each category and Procedure.

Category and Procedures Strong Medium Weak
Safety Procedures
Do sprinklers cover the entire restaurant? x
Is there a fire extinguisher in the restaurant? x
Restaurant Quality Procedures
Are the tables clean? x
Is the seating comfortable? x
Is there heating/air-conditioning? x
Does the restaurant have clean restrooms? x
The decoration, paint, carpet, furniture condition x
Food Quality Procedures:
Is the food preparation area clean? x
The temperature of food x
Does the food taste, look good? x
Does the restaurant have different menu options? x
Does the restaurant show the number of calories in the food or healthy options? x
Quality of the Menu:
Is the menu organized and easy to read? x
Is the price clear on the menu? x
Quality of Service:
Do employees greet customers? x
Do the employees practice good food handling safety? x
Do the employees serve customers quickly? x
Is parking convenient for customers? x

The audit results in Table 1 highlight a few deficiencies of Subway that need improvement and/or changes. The finding and recommendations related to each deficiency are discussed separately for clarity of discussion.

Finding 1: Safety Procedure

The safety procedure of the Subway restaurant is inadequate as there is no fire extinguisher in the restaurant. The safety and security of staff and customer are essential in the restaurant business. The operational management of the restaurant lacks precautionary and safety plans to evacuate in the case of an emergency (see Table 1). Also, the internal environment of the restaurant is closed that does not have sufficient ventilation and freshness. Moreover, the use of sprinklers is common in restaurants. Although Subway provides this service, there is a need for improvement.

Recommendation

The safety of staff and customer is the implied responsibility of restaurants. The management of Subway should allocate a sufficient amount of budget to purchase fire extinguishers and safety alarms. The UK Health and Safety Executive provides regulations for the protection of employees that require the management of restaurants to take sufficient precautionary and safety measures to avoid accidents, casualties, and injuries. The ethical and moral responsibility cannot be denied while doing business (“A guide to health and safety regulation in Great Britain”). The strict actions are required to follow by the management of restaurants as they are responsible for any unusual incident within the premises of a restaurant. Precaution is better to reduce the threat of the occurrence of an unusual event. Spending on fire safety should be the priority above all other expenditures including decoration. The safety and security standards mentioned in the Act of Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 should be strictly followed by the operation management of the restaurant.

Finding 2: Weak in Cleanness

Cleanness is the important element that attracts customers towards the restaurant. Cleanness is also the basic right of customers visiting a restaurant. Subway has unclean restrooms that do not suit the brand that is highly popular globally. The restrooms and sitting areas were dirty and smelly (see Table 1). The management mainly focuses on cleaning tables and chairs in the restaurant. The lack of attention to other areas also creates difficulties for customers. The entire internal environment of the restaurant should be cleaned to avoid the spread of diseases.

Recommendation

Environmental protection is a major issue along with food safety. The management of Subway should prepare a schedule for the cleaning staff. The operational manager should regularly check the work of cleaning staff to ensure that the entire area of the restaurant is cleaned and if there is a need to bring change in the existing cleaning plan or strategy then he/she should make it. The change management strategy is required for the franchise to ensure high standards of dining. Subway is a chain of restaurants. Therefore, there should be no issue with a shortage of cleaning staff. The franchise can hire more cleaning staff and prepare a shift schedule for the staff to avoid issues related to cleaning (Motarjemi and Lelieveld 1072).

Finding 3: Food Handling Safety Problem

Food handling is another major deficiency of the staff working in Subway. There is a high risk of wastage of food material in the franchise. Food handling is an art that every restaurant staff should practice while handling ingredients or final food products (see Table 1).

Recommendation

Subway’s staff requires training to handle food items. The problem of Subway can be resolved by providing training to employees with a demo to handle the food. The chances of mishandling increase in the restaurant during peak timings. The management should organize a shift schedule in a way that more staff should be available during peak hours. The evaluation is based on the number of customers visiting the restaurant at a particular time (Baret, Lehndorff, and Sparks 172).

Finding 4: Issue of Parking

Customer satisfaction is the key to success for a restaurant business. Operational management also includes extra services provided to customers. The parking facility is also one of the major issues at Subway (see Table 1). Customers have to wait for a long time to park their vehicles and enter the restaurant. The activity is insufficiently managed as the parking lot is not specifically provided by Subway. The major problem related to parking is the shortage of space that prevents customers to dine in Subway. The parking is not convenient for customers that also need special attention to the management of Subway.

Recommendation

The understood responsibility of a restaurant is to facilitate customers from the time of their arrival to leaving the restaurant. Subway should rent a space outside the restaurant. The extra space should be allocated to parking. Moreover, employees should be assigned to provide services to customers in the parking lot. Valet parking is required to facilitate customers.

The deficiencies noted in the franchise of Subway are not difficult to manage. The problems can be resolved by adopting the changes recommended in this report. The management needs to focus on extra facilities along with the quality of food. The quality and prompt delivery of services are required to manage the overall operations efficiently. Furthermore, teamwork is essential for implementing small changes in operation management. Managers of Subway should take the responsibility to overcome major issues through team management. The framework including staff schedule is significant for implementing the plan prepared for bringing improvements in the restaurant’s operations.

Works Cited

“A guide to health and safety regulation in Great Britain.” Health and Safety Executive, 2013, Web.

Baret, Christophe, Steffen Lehndorff and Leigh Sparks. Flexible Working in Food Retailing: A Comparison Between France, Germany, Great Britain and Japan. Routledge, 2013. Web.

Motarjemi, Yasmine and Huub Lelieveld. Food Safety Management: A Practical Guide for the Food Industry. Academic Press, 2014. Web.

“Subway Business Overview.” Franchising, 2017, Web.