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Red Lobster is an American dining and restaurant chain that is based in Orlando, Florida. The company is owned and operates under another giant restaurant chain, the Darden Restaurants Inc. Red Lobster specializes in the preparation and sale of seafood and other related kinds of food. Its cuisines include certain key foods such as prawns, fish, squid, shrimps and most importantly lobsters.
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There are many stakeholders involved with the Rod Lobster Restaurant chain. Among those who influence the decisions are both the owners and the shareholders of the company, since the parent company of the Darden Restaurant is a publicly traded company. Moreover, the suppliers of the essential seafood to the restaurant chain are some of the stakeholders who are the pillars of the operations of Red Lobster Restaurant. The other key stakeholders are the customers, or more vaguely, the seafood lovers since these are the consumers who eat the seafood products prepared and distributed by Red Lobster Restaurant. Advertising agencies are essential stakeholders too, since good publicity and public relations is needed to improve and expand on the brand offered by Red Lobster Restaurant as a leading seafood dining restaurant chain within the North American Food Market (Jannarone, 2014).
One cannot also overlook the state and the federal government of the U.S as a fundamental part of the stakeholders in the business activities conducted by Red Lobster Restaurant. This is because the U.S. Federal Government plays the role of regulation and other essential roles that enable the Red Lobster Restaurant to operate successfully in its business activities. Subsequently, other important stake holders within this restaurant chain are the communities in which the seafood companies operates, including communities where most of its seafood supplies originate from, such as the Mosquito Coastal community. Most of the divers from the Mosquito Coast community in Honduras are the ones who go deep diving to be able to catch lobsters and other crustacean for sale and distribution. Thus, these communities are definitely essential stakeholders to the business activities of the Red Lobster Restaurant (Hopper, Balani & Figueroa, 2011).
All of the aforementioned stakeholders related to the Red Lobster Restaurant chain have some attributes identifiable with them. These attributes may vary in relation to the importance and the role they have in the restaurant and to what extent they influence the decisions of the seafood company. The most important stakeholders in the Red Lobster Restaurant are the owner and the management of the company. The owner of Red Lobster Restaurant is the Darden Restaurants, Inc. This owner is the one who decides on the way the restaurant chain is operated. It also manages the business and ensures that it expands and becomes profitable. Consequently, Darden Restaurants, Inc. also ensures the decisions of the other key stakeholders of the seafood restaurant are incorporated into the operations of the business. Since Red Lobster Restaurant is a public company, its shareholders are also under the ownership umbrella of the seafood restaurant (Hopper, Balani & Figueroa, 2011).
The restaurant is managed by a board of directors, whose chairman is Clarence Otis Jr. The owner of the restaurant is indeed powerful within the business operations, as it is the one who makes decisions and influences the business policies of the company. The board of directors is also represented by professional appointees who legitimately express the views of the companys shareholders. They are also at hand to provide crucial and urgent business decisions for steering the seafood restaurant chain during crises, such as low sales and other economic meltdowns (Jannarone, 2014).
The employees of the restaurant are also essential stakeholders in the operations and general activities of the seafood chain. This is because they facilitate the services to the customers, and if they operate badly, it could affect the sales and profitability of the seafood company negatively. They are legitimate employees who have been checked and interviewed before getting their jobs in order to ensure they serve the business interests effectively. The employees also wield some power over the business, since by their positive or negative actions, they can cause either profits or losses to the chain. Furthermore, the employees can also paralyze the operations of the seafood company through go slows and strikes, at worst even grounding the companys operations to a halt (Trevizo, 2009).
The suppliers of the seafood produce to the Red Lobster Restaurant are another batch of important stakeholders within the seafood company, perhaps only rivaled in importance and influence by the ownership of the company. This is for the simple fact that they are the ones supplying the produce for which Red Lobster Restaurants exist and operate. Without the seafood provided by the suppliers, the restaurants would be out of operations altogether. All the fish, crabs, shrimps, lobsters and squids that fill the delicacies prepared at the restaurant chains are provided by the companys suppliers. They are considered powerful since they can affect the companys daily activities. Notably, it is because of them that the seafood company is in business. The suppliers are the key link between the company and the source of the seafood produce, the Mosquito Coast. They also ensure that the seafood produce arrives at the companys depots on time, and they can adjust their supplies in emergencies such as increased demand and depleted stocks (Warburton, 2009).
The customers served by Red Lobster Restaurant are important stakeholders as well since they also rival the suppliers and the owners of the business. They are at the end of the supply chain and a fundamental reason for the existence of the company. The customers have a lot of power over the management of the Red Lobster Restaurant chain. This is simply because of their business chain disposition, as they determine the profitability and sales of the seafood company. They also influence the expansion and growth of the company into new and emerging seafood markets such as the Middle East. An increase in demand of seafood produce by the customers might urgently influence the companys management to increase supplies in order to meet the demands of the consumers (Trevizo, 2009).
The U.S. Federal Government, as well as the other governments where Red Lobster Restaurant has operations in is another group of essential and important stakeholders in its business activities. The governments provide regulations on how different companies ought to operate and conduct business inclusive of the food industry. They are considered powerful since they can deny licenses and operations permits, stifling the growth of the Red Lobster Restaurant; they also engage in taxation issues. To being on good terms with the government, laws are a must for any efficient company that hopes to grow and develop (Warburton, 2009).
Retrospectively, the local communities where Red Lobster Restaurant operates as well as where the seafood supplies come from are important stakeholders of the company. They contain a degree of power since they can improve or tarnish the public image, outlook and reputation of any company. For instance, the local Mosquito Coast community in Honduras, where most of the companys lobsters supplies is sourced, has soiled the public reputation and outlook of the Red Lobster Restaurant chain. This is because of the deaths and sufferings endured by most of the lobster fishermen who ensure seafood supplies for the restaurant are intact (Hopper, Balani & Figueroa, 2011).
To the employees of the company, the local communities and the governments involved, Red Lobster Restaurant has economic, ethical and legal responsibilities to bear. To its employees, the company needs to remunerate them adequately commensurate to the companys profitability and their input, as well as ensuring they do not engage in illegal activities like defrauding customers. This ensures that the employees are not caught up in any legal issues. To the governments involved, the seafood company needs to pay its taxes and levies as required from the economic proceeds it is able to post annually. The company also needs to refrain from illegal activities and business malpractices such as tax evasion that would attract legal intervention by the governments involved. To the local communities where they enjoy stakeholders, the Red Lobster Restaurant chain needs to conserve local environment as well as help in the development of projects around the local communities, such as building schools and roads. They should also avoid paying indirectly for services that risk the lives of people in local communities such as in the case of Mosquito Coast (Trevizo, 2009).
To their esteemed customers, Red Lobster Restaurant chain is required to provide quality services devoid of any malpractices. This also ensures that customers get value for their money. Furthermore, the seafood products should not contain potentially harmful materials that can affect the health of its customers; this will help to avoid lawsuits and legal tussles. To their suppliers, the Red Lobster Restaurant chain is required to pay adequate economic returns for the supplies they avail to the company. In addition, to their shareholders, the restaurant chain should provide truthful and accurate financial reports and other relevant business information at all annual shareholder meetings. This will enable relevant shareholders to make informed decisions regarding the company (Jannarone, 2014).
To resolve the ethical and legal issues surrounding the deaths and sufferings of the lobster fishermen who provide the company with seafood supplies, the Red Lobster Restaurant chain needs to apply some measures. To commence with, the seafood company should collaborate with the local Mosquito Coast community, its suppliers as well as the government in Honduras to find a way of providing the local fishermen with safe diving gears. In this way, a lot of deaths and paralysis of the lobster fishermen will be curtailed altogether (Warburton, 2009).
The company will also be defending the vulnerable lobster fishermen from exploitation and dismal working conditions. The restaurant chain also needs to monitor the way for which the suppliers are procuring their seafood supplies since the lack of such monitoring has left the company in ignorance of the sufferings of local fishermen till recently. In some of their other markets, Red Lobster Restaurant chain needs to involve the local governments in the provision of their dining and restaurant services. This is especially in the companys Middle East markets, where cultural and religious food requirements may vary from the North American seafood market (Warburton, 2009).