Strategic management practices applied by fast food franchises in Nairobi City County Kenya to enhance performance
The fast food industry has become an important part of globalization as people spend many hours working or doing business. The franchising market is steadily growing and evolving from single-unit owners to multi-unit operators employing professional staff of field and unit managers, while they focus on strategy and growth. Over the recent years there has been an upsurge of fast food franchises setting shop in Nairobi with the aim of bringing international food quality standards. Strategic management is an on-going process that evaluates and controls the business and the industries in which the company is involved in. Firms that pursue sustainable strategic management base the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of their strategies on an analysis of the business issues they face. The study sought to determine the strategic management practices applied by fast food franchises in Nairobi City County as well as to establish how strategic management practices influence organizational performance. The research design was a cross-sectional survey of the fast food franchises operating in the Nairobi. The population of the study consisted of fast food franchises operating in Nairobi. The fast foods franchises were chosen as they were strategically located in the main streets, with more than one outlet offering the same kind of foods, invested large sums of money in the business, paid goodwill and thus should have well defined strategic plans in order to counter competition and recover what they have invested. The fast food franchises had multiple units globally and had been operating in Kenya for more than a year, making it fairly simple to determine and verify their track record of success in terms of strategic management best practices. The study used primary data which was collected through self-administered questionnaires. Respondents were the directors of the fast food franchises or the supervisors who were situated at the head office, in the case of franchises with several outlets within Nairobi and administration department for franchises with a single outlet. The analysed data was presented in frequency distributions tables and pie charts for ease of understanding and analysis. The data was analysed by the use of descriptive statistics to summarize and relate. The study established that a good number of the respondents indicated that their organizations had articulated a company vision and mission statement to guide their business functions. It also identified that the organizations’ capacity to implement strategies as well as competency of staff to implement them was extremely high. The study established that all of the fast food franchises listed high sales as a key performance indicator for tracking the success of their strategic initiatives. Other KPIs included customer satisfaction, gross profit, order preparation time, employee productivity and daily customer complaints. On strategy evaluation, the level of participation in strategy evaluation by Board of Directors and management staff was high. The study concludes that strategic management has a positive relationship with performance of the fast food franchises and that strategic management practices influenced performance of fast food franchises to a very great extent. This shows that the franchises are committed to applying strategic management practices to steer their operations in the Kenyan market. The study recommends that strategic training should be given to all employees in the fast food franchises and that adoption of strategic management practices in developing economies like Kenya should form part of the fast food franchise’s method of improving organizational performance in order to cope with turbulent business environment and the global economy.