Catherine Horton was an expert cook, and she immensely enjoyed the creative freedom of developing new dishes. Her specialty was desserts. For years, her friends had raved about her creations, and many had suggested that she go into business for herself. About seven years ago, Catherine took the plunge. At first, she worked out of her home, generating sales through word of mouth and a small advertisement in the Yellow Pages. Most of her initial sales were for special occasions, such as weddings and banquets. Catherine would plan with the customer, usually weeks in advance. This gave her plenty of time to order the ingredients and prepare the desserts beforehand. 1. What are the three major types of customers Catherine serves? How do they differ from one another? What do you think the order winners are for each group? 2. Consider Catherine s decision to lease the restaurant space (a structural decision). Was this decision consistent with the needs of her different customers? Why or why not? How did this decision change Catherine s business? 3. Consider Catherine s initial decision to hire unskilled labor to help with the walk-in business (an infrastructural decision). Was this decision consistent with the needs of her different customers? Why or why not? 4. Catherine is clearly unhappy with the way things are going right now. What would you suggest she do? What information would you like to have before making a decision?
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