1. What steps can the Fosters take to increase sales at the Circle R Ranch? Should they enter the wedding market? What are the advantages and the disadvantages of entering this market?
2. Where should the Fosters look for new employees who are passionate about providing superior customer service? What steps should they take before they begin the employee selection process? What hiring criteria should they establish?
3. How should the Fosters motivate their staff to continue to provide the stellar service that sets the ranch apart from its competitors?
4. Visit the Circle R Ranch’s Web site. How effective is the site? Develop a set of at least six recommendations for improving the site.
Steven and Wendy Foster purchased the Circle R Ranch, located 10 miles north of Dallas, Texas, as newlyweds in 1997. The ranch specializes in hosting corporate meetings, conventions, and events in an authentic Western-style setting, complete with barbecues, steers, hayrides, country music, and almost anything else a corporate event planner requests. The ranch is known for its stellar customer service. Friendly cowboys and cowgirls greet arriving guests and guide them to the appropriate venues, which include the Western Pavilion, an enclosed 28,000-square-foot structure that features a performance stage, a dance floor, a game arcade, and adjacent recreation area, or the smaller Chisolm Ranch House and Conference Center, which overlooks a pond and can accommodate between 20 and 200 guests. In addition to barbecues and picnics, the Circle R Ranch offers guests a multitude of options for their events, including fireworks shows, a huge swimming pool, a biker bar (complete with airbrushed “tattoos”), and team-building activities with its reality television-based “Survivor Rodeo Team Challenge.” Companies can even order steaks branded with their logos.