Restaurant Manager Scenario

Taking people out of their comfort zone to help them learn

Experience Objective

To take participants out of their comfort zone and place in the unfamiliar world of planning a “start-up restaurant” from scratch, in order to challenge them and enhance their learning.

Experience Outline

The Restaurant Manager scenario is an ‘adventure experience’ where teams of participants are tasked with putting together a plan to set up a restaurant, market it and make it ready for one full evening of service. This one evening is the grand opening within the story and the restaurant must be fully organised, on paper, to include a full dinner menu with multiple courses and be fully stocked in order to be able to deliver everything customers expect from a restaurant.

The participants will need to do research, develop strategy plans, create visual collages and mood boards to present their finalised project ideas to their peers and facilitators at the end of the experience.

Clients

Business Schools and companies looking to improve their employees soft skills and team skills.

Target Audience

This experience is primarily aimed at individuals and teams in managerial positions or levels. It can also be used for team development and group learning exercises outside of managerial positions.

Academic institutions and corporate entities are therefore similarly well suited for this experience.

Desired Behaviour

To experiment, apply, fail, learn and be successful in using the knowledge, tools and interpersonal skills that they will gain from the experience.

Outcome

Improving participants current cooperation and communication skills to be more effective in their roles and with each other.

Discovery

The goal of the Restaurant Manager scenario is to promote and improve teamwork, the ability to work under pressure and data gathering and analysis skills for your participants.

Whether as a standalone or part of a larger programme, the experience should be a complete surprise for the participants. The addition of curiosity and surprise surrounding the scenario will allow them to become more engaged with it when revealed.

As such your participants will only really discover what the scenario is about when they enter the opening briefing of the experience.

During this ‘player discovery phase’ the participants will be briefed on what the purpose of the experience is and the desired outcome. Within the briefing the participants will also be taken through what the overall learning objectives are, what the collective learning objectives are for them as a group, as well as determine what they want to gain from this collaborative challenge for their own personal learning objectives.

All of these objectives will be revisited at the end of the experience in a group and peer-to-peer feedback session, designed to allow for reflection and embedding of learning.

14 Tools for Discovery
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Design & Customisation

All our scenario’s and experiences are flexible and can be fully customised to your needs and your participants learning needs.

Our customization process begins with a company exploration session with you. This includes a series of discussions and interviews with key users and stakeholders. The purpose of these is to determine the answers to the questions around business objectives, learning objectives for the participants, resource availability and branding.

From there we use the information gathered to further define and refine the goals of the experience for you. Prioritizing what is truly essential for your participants and connecting the experience to their goals.

Having established these parameters we can work more effectively with you to tailor the scenario to your needs.

The scenario can be delivered with a minimum of a month’s preparation.

This minimum time period is required to sufficiently prepare the scenario for any customisations or any specific prerequisites or additions you may have, as well as organising any logistics for delivering the scenario.

The scenario can be delivered as a standalone experience or it can be integrated into and modified for an already existing workshop or programme. The month prior will allow for a minimum alignment between the scenario’s inherent learning objectives and any additional learning objectives of the said workshop or programme.

An example of such an alignment is if you’re currently running a long-term programme that utilises psychometric questionnaires for participants, then the results of these can be incorporated to alter for example the narrative difficulty augmentations and tailor them even more towards challenging your participants.

Branding Design

The branding aspects of the scenario can be related to your own or their own company branding strategies. This can be invaluable if you wish your participants to think about their own brands and how the knowledge and skills they gain from the experience can be used beyond it in their daily roles.

Theme Design

The overall theme of the experience is that of participants being restaurant managers, however if you wish to use a different theme that better suits your own L&D purposes then we can explore these possibilties together.

Learning Design

The scenario has a number of learning objectives hard-baked into its design. Nevertheless it is flexibile and versatile enough to have any removed or added to it in order to allow for a better fit with what your participants may require in their L&D journey.

9 Tools for Design & Customisation​

Onboarding Phase

During the ‘player onboarding phase’, your participants will be presented with the various tasks and objectives that are inherent to becoming successful restaurateur entrepreneurs within the food industry. Here they will be able to explore all the facets that they must put together and are required to set up and run a restaurant for one full evening of service.

Your participants will have the relative freedom to pursue the main objective as they see fit, within the inherent limitations that the scenario presents them. Visual aids, tutorials and signposting will initially support them, upon which they must fend for themselves.

Some of the the freedom of choice they have is to name and brand their restaurants as they wish, as well make choices around cuisine and layout for example.

They are made aware that at the end of the experience, all participants will need to present their plans, as a group, to their peers and the facilitator. The win-state is having worked together to organize a successful strategy for their restaurant. The fail-state is not achieving this, or not achieving it within the allotted time, which for the base experience is around four hours.

Gameplay, mechanics and elements

The aim of the gameplay, game mechanics and game elements within the experience are to create a situational framework in which your participants will organically start to work together and improve on the skill sets that the experience is designed to develop.

Your participants must therefore be creative in their approach and through the challenges presented to them, they will be forced to work on their communication and collaboration skills.

And through the simple fact that they need to deliver within a strict time frame, this will give them more experience in working under pressure while making decisions with limited knowledge and resources.

# Tools for Onboarding

Scaffolding Phase

The experience is designed to be flexible and allow for alterations and additions in it’s delivery.

When determining sizes for the experience, the optimum conditions for it are with at least three groups of around 5-7 people in each group. However, it is deliverable if you have only one group or if you have five or more groups. The main requirement is always that each group has around 5-7 people in it.

The experience will have a number of limitations and augmentations that can be added to it adjust the level of difficulty of the challenges that the participants will face. The groups therefore may collaborate or compete, this is down to their own choices and how they wish to achieve the objectives of the experience and the learning objectives that you wish them to accomplish. 

The scenario is not location sensitive, however it is beneficial for the participants to have the ability to go out and question people for in-game research purposes that are not part of the overall group.

The reasoning behind the optimal number of groups for the experience being three, with each group containing around 5-7 people, is so that the participants will benefit the most from the experience through the peer and guided feedback sessions at the end when they have finished presenting their concepts. However, though the experience will still work if there is only one group or more than three.

A method to further tailor the experience to your participants learning goals can be done stating the question of what two key learnings are that they want to take away from the experience. Having these two points in the back of their minds can be especially useful as a starting point for the debriefing and feedback session at the end.

Technology

In its base form, the Restaurant Manager scenario is fairly low-tech. To be able to deliver it anywhere, you simply need the scenario outline and the delivery documentation.

To increase the engagement and immersion, the ability to play video is important and accessibility to computers, the internet and possibly printers would be beneficial as well.

If the participants are to physically create aesthetical representations of their restaurants then being able to print images on paper is useful, as well as having flipcharts, pinboards, pens, glue and scissors can make it a more involved and tactile experience.

When the participants do their market research with individuals in a town or city, you can either have them record answers on a pen and paper or have them use their phones as audio recorders. If you wish to add an additional layer, you can provide handheld camera’s with microphones if you wish them to film the answers from their market research.

Beyond these few aspects, there are no extreme technological needs in order to run this scenario effectively and successfully.

# Tools for Scaffolding

Adept Phase

The Restaurant Manager scenario can be used as a straightforward, one-time use, teambuilding experience that focuses only on the base soft skills inherent to communication and collaboration. Or with a level of investment of time and partnering, it can be developed into a tailored experience for you and your participants that fully combines with your institutions L&D roadmap.

The development time will depend on your desired level of customization and augmentation, but the delivery of the experience will always take two-three full days. These include a set-up and preparation day, the delivery day and a post-experience follow-up.

The follow-up will consist of surveys around session feedback, to ascertain the participants mindsets, general feelings, as well as gain valuable feedback on ways to improve the experience for future groups.

Experience breakdown
  • Day 1: Prep location for the experience, this includes gathering documentation, room set-up and prop placement and rehearsal if needed.
  • Day 2: Delivery of experience.
    • The overall session and scenario experience will last at least half a day. This includes the briefing at the start, the experience itself and the feedback and reflection session at the end.
    • The pacing for the day is fairly quick, but appropriate breaks are incorporated into the experience so as not to tire or burn-out the participants.
  • Day 3: Feedback follow-up and metrics evaluation
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Metrics

Every experience that is delivered by æStranger has a metrics system and framework associated with it. Our favoured system for this experience is the HEART framework from Google labs. The framework is flexible and robust enough for us to determine the signals and measure the outcomes and success points of the goals that our scenario sets out. These goals are the engagement of the participants and how successfully their skillsets were improved upon.

We are able to use the information gathered through this framework to better shape post-experience follow-up feedback to help further deepen and embed the learning of the participants. As well as it aids us in improving and iterating the experience.

As a statement of guarantee, for each customised experience the creation of a specific HEART framework is always done in conjunction with you, the client, to ensure that all aspects of the scenario adhere to your wants and needs.

Levels of Adeptness

The lay out of the experience is subject to your requirements but here are a couple example packages that illustrate what can be expected in delivering the experience as detailed in this document:

Level 1
  • One facilitator/game master from æStranger to run and/or support running the session.
  • Collaboration of up to a month prior to delivery to align extra learning objectives from your side.
  • 2-3 day delivery: a day to prep location, a day to deliver and a day for follow-up.
  • Post-experience questionnaires given or sent out to participants.
Level 2

This package incorporates Level 1 with the additions of:

  • Greater collaboration and integration of the experience into a programme or workshop
    • 1-3 months prior to delivery.
  • Providing post-experience follow-ups with the participants, to ensure the learning gained from the experience is still positioned correctly for them in their careers.
    • This can include email correspondence or a one-time online video call with a participant.

Outcome

Game-based learning experiences such as the Restaurant Manager scenario are more holistic collaborative learning experiences than the traditional basic team-building experiences. Due to its strong narrative basis and all-inclusive thematic activities, this experience more fully engages participants, giving them meaningful learning choices and leaving them with a valuable and long-term learning experience.

Simply consider the human-centered return on investment that a truly meaningful collaborative group environment will give your participants. They will have learned more about themselves and each other in an engaging activity, as well as improving essential skillsets to keep refining their abilities to communicate and collaborate effectively.

The benefits of using game-based learning experiences such as this scenario is to create a safe environment, with realistic challenges that engage participants to learn, practice and apply skills, as well as plan and execute strategies relevant to not only the narrative but also their daily work. And doing all of this in a collaborative manner, allowing for inter-communication enabling a meaningful outcome and to embed learning across the entire team as a group experience.

Projected Stats
Communication
Increase of: 85%
Teamwork
Increase of: 89%
Working under pressure
Increase of: 78%
Critical decision making
Increase of: 75%

To book this session for your company or institution, or to discuss a partnership to tailor the experience for you, please either use the form below or send an email to: [email protected]