Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2011

Porcini's Pronto: "Great Italian cuisine without the wait!"

by James L. Heskett and Richard Luecke


Porcini's Inc. operates a chain of 23 full-service restaurants located near shopping malls and downtown areas in the northeastern United States. Known for providing excellent service, Porcini's serves high-quality Italian cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Looking for expansion opportunities, management considers launching a new chain of lower-cost, limited-menu restaurants called Porcini Pronto. The new outlets will be located along busy interstate highway exits in the region and will serve outstanding Italian food at reasonable prices to both travelers and local residents. Management is concerned that a poor customer experience at Porcini Pronto could tarnish the company's well-established and successful restaurant brand. The management team asks the vice president of marketing to develop the concept and to create an operating strategy for the new outlets. The VP must also analyze three alternative expansion strategies before management will make any commitments to the project. If Porcini's builds and operates the new restaurants, the company will maintain complete control of operations and the customer experience but expansion will take a very long time. Franchising and syndication are two other options which provide faster expansion but introduce the risk of losing control of the brand. The VP must analyze the options and make his final recommendation.

Keywords: Franchising; Syndication; Quantitative analysis; performance measurement; human resource management; incentives; motivation; consumer behavior; Measurement and Metrics; Quality; Customer Value and Value Chain; Selection and Staffing; Expansion; Business Growth and Maturation; Service Delivery; Franchise Ownership; Customer Focus and Relationships; Product Marketing; Food and Beverage Industry; Service Industry; Northeastern United States;


Heskett, James L., and Richard Luecke. Porcini's Pronto: "Great Italian cuisine without the wait!". Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-277, April 2011.