Strategy tools, courses & learning materials for individuals, universities and business
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Beefeater Restaurants

Some initial questions you may have...

If you have other questions that you would like to see answered on this page please contact us.

What time period is needed in class?

This simulation can easily be accommodated in a three hour class although more extensive use is also possible. See our Sample schedule below for possible class outlines

Can I afford it?

Our pricing system is on a per head basis so if you have 20 students in your class you need 20 student licences. For academic use the Beefeater simulation is charged at £10.00 per student so a class of 20 would cost £200.00. Academic licences are subject to a minimum charge of £60.00.

For executive programs the cost is £25.00 per participant on the course.

Can students have this on their own PC?

The online version (White Label Restaurants) is accessible in any browser.

How is Beefeater different from White Label?

The games are identical except for White Label being "unbranded". However the White Label documentation has been updated to help it fit better with standard strategy texts as it has been selected to complement "Foundations of Strategy" by Robert Grant and Judith Jordan.

Getting started - the interface

When you first open the game you are first asked to select your language and currency. You can save this setting.

You may then be asked to select a "run" option A or B - this selects whether the player will see our graphical "Resource Map" report or just see normal reports, graphs and tables - Select B to see the report and continue.

Then there is a short introduction about your business starting a chain of restaurants. At this point you can either "Open a challenge" or "start new". In the evaluation version the selections available for challenges are restricted.

If you selected "start new" next there is the option for there to be a competitor in the market. You can select the strength of the competitor, the number of restaurants they start with or when they enter the market.

On the left there is a decision box: apart from the decisions about competitors these are the only decisions that can be changed. As you can see we keep to a few decisions only.

There are a number of reports available to help the you see how you are doing: take a look at the summary report to start with and note the other reports, graphs and tables that are available.

If you selected Option B on opening the game you will also see "Resource Map" near the bottom of the reports list: this is a simple representation of the business system and helps you see how the parts of the business interact. The decisions being made are highlighted in red. The boxes are "Stocks" or "Resources" that are affected by our decisions - for example the amount spent on labour affects the numbers of staff joining or leaving employment, leaving us with a Stock of staff currently employed.

There is also an "End of Game Summary" that may be useful - you can add comments and this can be printed directly from the game.

Getting Started -Playing the game:

Teams of players (we suggest 3-4 people per team) enter their decisions and then select Run.

They use the reports etc to see how their decisions are affecting business performance and they also get some feedback from head office: part of the challenge is to meet profit targets and this can be tricky! If Head office is happy they will make more money available for developing new restaurants: (shown on the Targets and Capital report) and the team builds the restaurant chain by requesting capital.

The default period that the game runs forward is 3 months, players can select to change this to 1 year, 2.5 years or 10 years (Menu | Simulation | Time step). They can elect to Go Back one step (Menu | Simulation | Go Back) or restart the game, at which time the competitor choice is available again.

What documentation is provided?

Teachers are provided with:

  • Teachers Guide
  • Slides full size
  • Challenges Notes
  • Challenge suggested solutions

Materials that may be reproduced for student use are:

  • User Guide
  • Handouts - PDF format two per page
  • Challenges - introduction
  • Challenges - suggested solutions
  • Case Studies

An inspection copy of the documentation is available on request.

Assessing student performance, general guidance when using Microworlds

  1. Students, individually or in groups, can be asked to plan their response to a challenge prior to seeing how that response plays out in the simulation. The original plan can then be compared to the resulting performance outcomes delivered and students asked to report on the reasons for differences between the plan and the result.
  2. Using any of the challenges provided set an objective to be achieved (typically a target for earnings, within constraints of the your choice). Request individuals or groups to experiment with alternative policies, and report on their recommended solution, including quantitative statement of policy and time-path of results.
  3. Request individuals or groups to seek comparable situations where business growth depends on building both physical resources (in this case, sites) and service delivery capacity (here, waiting staff), and report on:
    • the time-path of the key variables,
    • other important resources, the performance challenge that management faces, and
    • suggested solutions, including scale, timing and outcomes.
    Typical examples:
    • airlines (aircraft and service-staff – plus take-off slots…)
    • banking (transaction-processing capacity and call-centre staff - plus a financial service product range, equivalent to a restaurant menu)
    • telecoms (network capacity and service support staff – plus retail outlets or other channels for supplying handsets and selling contracts).
  4. Request individuals or groups to seek comparable situations where building and maintaining investor support is critical, and report on:
    • why this support is particularly essential in their chosen case (in Beefeater’s case, to ensure continuing availability of expansion capital)
    • the mechanisms by which this support affects the management (in this case, via capital allocation and profit targets)
    • means by which the business manages this support (in this case, for example, by not delivering such high profit growth that HQ comes to hold high expectations)
    Important examples will include new venture start-ups, where:
    • the entrepreneur must sustain the confidence of direct investors
    • this confidence is manifest in their support for the next round of funding
    • management sustains this support by maintaining an expectation of a high valuation for the business on disposal or flotation.

Sample teaching schedules:

The timings shown assume that all sessions take place within scheduled class time. The small group break out sessions shown shaded, may take place between classes, reducing the amount of scheduled time required.

(1 hour)
(2½ hours)
(3½ hours)

Plenary session
Beefeater Restaurants support slide-set (performance dependence on resource system architecture, managing build up of intangible customer perceptions and investor expectations)
30 min.
(selected slides only)
45 min.
(all or most slides)
45 min.
(all or most slides)

In-class demonstration
Open the simulation with one of the Challenges (pre-saved results, examples are provided with the simulation) to have class propose and evaluate policies (e.g. a rapid start-up, over-aggressive expansion, or sustaining a mature business).
15 min. 15 min. 20 min.

Small group break-out
with PCs — groups work through one or more defined strategy challenges — e.g. maximising sustainable earnings by a defined time, starting from a small, high-growth base.
  1 hr. 1.5 hr.

Debrief group exercise emphasising key principles and seeking groups' approach to the challenges covered
  15 min. 25 min.

Plenary - summarise key concepts
15 min. 15 min. 15 min.

Explore parallels, differences and implications of comparable structures in situations familiar to participants.
  15 min.

Optional Challenge: Managing shareholder value in maturity

    15 min.

Small group break-out – explore, recommend and deliver increased shareholder value, when the business in reaching market limits. 60 min.

15 min.

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