Week 7 – essay to be submitted by Friday 20th March 2015. Note that the deadline for full-time students is 16.00hrs and for registered part-time students it is 19.00hrs (local UK time).This assignment should be submitted electronically as a PDF file only via UCB Online. Access the module site in UCB Online and visit the ‘Assignments’ section. Here you will find the submission link you will need to use in order to submit your assignment (see ‘View Assignment’ link in the example below).

Week 7 – essay to be submitted by Friday 20th March 2015. Note that the deadline for full-time students is 16.00hrs and for registered part-time students it is 19.00hrs (local UK time).This assignment should be submitted electronically as a PDF file only via UCB Online.  Access the module site in UCB Online and visit the ‘Assignments’ section.  Here you will find the submission link you will need to use in order to submit your assignment (see ‘View Assignment’ link in the example below).

IMPORTANT!  It is your responsibility to ensure you submit the correct piece of work as a PDF file only and that you submit it to the correct submission point.  You can identify the correct submission point by the period in which you are required to submit it and by assessment.  As an example only, the submission point for Semester 1 Coursework 1 would appear as S1 CW1 as in the example below.

You should aim to submit your assignment 24 hours before the deadline. Work submitted via alternative methods e.g email will NOT be accepted. You are strongly advised to take advantage of the ability to submit multiple times before the deadline.  This will enable you to test and familiarise yourself with the submission procedure so that you can resolve any problems before the actual assignment Due Date.

Once the Due date has passed, you can only submit your assignment if you have not already made a submission.  Each subsequent submission will overwrite a previous submission and therefore the most recent file submitted will be the one that is marked.

Post Date

Feedback for your essay will be posted on or before Friday 22nd May 2015 – this takes into account both the Amsterdam residential visit and the Easter holiday period of the 30thMarch – 17th April which are not included in the 25 working days allowed for feedback to be produced.

Extenuating Circumstances Frontispiece Assignment Key
If you have experienced genuine issues impacting your ability to submit your assessment then you must complete an Extenuating Circumstances application through ATS. The following key will identify the exact piece of assessment that relate to the issues you have experienced.

–    (ZERO4)

Extenuating Circumstances need to be supported by evidence. This should be taken to the UCB Registry. In order to access the correct frontispiece you will need to access the Assignment Tracking System (ATS) via UCB Online or directly by typing in http://ats.ucb.ac.uk

Learning Outcomes
2.    Critically evaluate and apply key concepts and theory in a food and beverage operational context
4.    Assess ways in which operational performance and efficiency can be improved while considering the impacts of changing operational environment

Assignment Rationale

Dining out remains among consumers’ top spending priorities after paying bills, therefore the market looks well placed to benefit from a more positive economic outlook and rising consumer confidence. However, lessons learnt during the recession such as scrutinising where their money goes mean that consumers have a cautious mindset and are now more demanding than ever.

Novel concepts such as Korean burgers, hybrid baking products, flavoured fries and accessible wine flights offer a platform for operators to stimulate consumers’ ‘want to buy’ mentality. The demand for newness is evident in the finding that 35% of diners are always looking to try dishes they haven’t had before.

Whilst there is little demand for healthy dishes such as ones labelled as low fat/low calorie from UK diners in foodservice, there is evidence of selected operators in the market leveraging the wider concept of health to drive growth. Their positioning tends to be focused on real and fresh food instead of calories. For example, ethnic product specialists such as grab-and-go sushi, pho and ramen operators have leveraged cues such as fresh food imagery and natural food/drink products in order to tap into wider consumer demands for fresh, real fast food. This can help to add a sense of added value to operators’ propositions, while low-fat and low-calorie claims can be associated with taking something away (eg taste). For example, 17% of diners think that ‘light’ dishes (eg low fat, low calorie) are often less satisfying.

Meanwhile, the ‘addition’ model of offering diners healthy eating ‘bolt-ons’ to meals such as added protein salad/pizza toppings, or healthier sides such as superfood salads or corn on the cob, could offer a wide number of operators the opportunity to tap into these healthy eating trends as well as providing an upselling opportunity.(Mintel Eating Out Review – June 2014)

Assignment Remit

With specific reference to United Kingdom (UK) food and beverage operations, discuss and critically evaluate one issue that has recently come to prominence and is now impacting on the sector and how an understanding of it may be used to build business and gain competitive advantage.

Format & Length

You are required to write an essay of approximately 3000 words (please state your word count at the end of your essay) that deals effectively with the topic presented above. Please note that you must submit your work through ‘Turnitin’ as a PDF file only and as outlined in the guide for submission.

Guidance on essay writing is available under ‘Academic Matters’ in your Student Handbook. In addition note the presentation standards specified in the Student Handbook concerning margins, font and layout.

When dealing with this essay topic, it is suggested that you:

•    Provide a context for your essay through a discussion of the extract taken from the Mintel report in relation to the issues and trends being experienced in the UK’s restaurant sector
•    Use a range of academic reference sources to evaluate the concept of competitive advantage and how this may be achieved in the sector
•    Identify, discuss and critically evaluate how a current issue being experienced in the sector may be positively dealt with by food and beverage businesses, and particularly in the context of gaining competitive advantage. Please consult the module team if you are unsure about the suitability of the issue you are intending to discuss.

Grading Criteria

The University’s Generic Grading Criteria for HE work at Level 7 (Master’s Degree) level will apply to this assignment.

Plagiarism

note that this assignment is an individual piece of work and should represent your own individual effort. University policy in case of plagiarism/cheating will apply.

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