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SABABA MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE ANALYSIS

Group 1 Members:
Zarah Barkatullah, Brandon Long, Farhana Haque, Garrison Withers, and Kristina Kieu
OBHR.3310.002
Dr. Edgington
8 April 2015

Mission Statement
Their mission statement is At Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine, we take pride in keeping their
restaurant clean, making fresh, affordable food, and providing our customers with a friendly
atmosphere in which they can enjoy lunch or dinner. Here, at Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine we
believe in delighting the palate and pleasing the eye. We will be more than happy to serve you.
The restaurants mission is to keep their customers happy with great food at affordable prices.
The owners want to ensure that Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine is not primarily about making
money, but also about creating a relationship with the customer and giving them great food. They

enjoy receiving feedback from the customers as well as the employees on how to improve the
quality of their restaurant.
History
According to one of the owners of the restaurant who also operates as the manager, the history of
their restaurant dates back over twenty two years. The owner, Khalil Jabari, grew up working in
a kitchen and had always enjoying cooking as well as eating food. He was passionate about
cooking even at young age and did not want it to stop. Khalil Jabari and his partner originally
started off with a Hookah Bar that included food and remained in that business for nine years.
However, after having many pleased customers enjoy the food, Jabari and his partner eventually
decided to open up their own restaurant. The first Sababa opened up over twenty two years ago
off of Highway 635 and was a smaller building compared to the current building. Soon after they
decided the restaurant was too small for what they had envisioned, they ended selling the
restaurant. Later on, the restaurants location relocated to Brick Row in Richardson off Highway
75 and Spring Valley which is now the current location of Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine in a
new building with much more space. Khali Jabari highly values quality food, providing good
hospitality to the customers, and ensuring the customer is happy. He models his restaurant after
his values and he tries to interact with the customers as much as possible and get their feedback
about the restaurant and the food so he can improve his restaurant.
Organizational Structure
The typical hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, communications, rights and duties of
an organization depends upon its objectives and strategy. For a mechanistic organization like
Sababa Mediterranean Restaurant, it is important to have employees dedicated to one job in each
section of the operation in order to be efficient. There are two owners, Khalil Jabari and Akram
Ghazal, who run the business. They are both in charge of all the decision making processes and
take responsibility for anything that happens as a result of those decisions. The overall structure

of Sababa can be broken down into two basic categories, which are the back of house or the
kitchen and the front of house or dining room. The dining room consists of servers, general
manager and a supervisor. The kitchen consists of the head chef, food prep associates and the
dishwashers. Mr. Jabari acts as the general manager of the business whose responsibilities
include overseeing day-to-day operations of the business along with hiring, firing, training,
dealing with customer complaints and queries when the need arises. Mr. Ghazal takes on the role
of the executive chef and is responsible for all the back-of-house operations and staff. Mr.
Jabaris younger brother, Saeed Jabari, acts as an informal assistant manager and supervisor who
is in charge of totaling up the daily receipts, handling paychecks, dividing up tips at the end of
the day and scheduling staff according to the restaurants needs. He also fills in for servers if they
ever call in sick. The servers are responsible to greeting and seating customers, taking orders,
interacting with the kitchen staff and ensuring the customers receive good service and leave the
restaurant satisfied. Dishwashers and food prep associates take orders from the head chef and
have the lowest level of authority.
Stress
What is stress? Stress is an individuals psychological response to demands when
something is at stake and that tax the persons capability. The definition of stress varies from
individual to individual as stress depends on the demand and the person who confronts it.
Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to say that the employees in Sababa Mediterranean
Cuisine experience different levels of stress and have different methods of coping with the stress
that they experience. In fact, the transactional theory of stress is important to consider as it
explains how the stressors are perceived, appraised, and people's response to these appraisals and
perceptions. For Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant, the owners strive for an environment
that is very personable and friendly in which the customers not only enjoy quality food, but also

can enjoy their time at the restaurant; however, the restaurant itself is small and has about four
servers which causes stressful situations.
The restaurant generally has two waiters and the manager's brother whose job to
supervise the waiters and assist the waiters if necessary, but the maximum number of waiters is
four so there are a small number of servers. The servers' priority is to get the customers' food as
soon as it is ready then take the order and everything else comes next; however, sometimes
during Fridays and the weekends, the number of customers pick up and it becomes difficult to
serve all the customers at once as well as complete other tasks that need their attention too. These
rush hours the employees experience causes the servers to regard their job demand to be
appraised as stressful. Work hindrance stressors which the Sababa restaurant employees face
during rush hours hinder their progress in serving the customers efficiently and effectively. Also,
the work hindrance stressors that accompanies rush hour causes employees to either exhibit
anxiety. The restaurant would be busy with customers over the weekends and the restaurant
would be understaffed. There would be various number of tasks that require the servers' attention
at the same time, but it would be difficult to complete all the tasks at once. The servers
experienced role overload since the number of demanding roles was so high that the servers
could not complete some or all of the roles at once.
For the Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine waiters, they have to appraise the stressful
situation and deal with the situation. For the waiters, coping is the behaviors and thoughts that
people use and the emotions associated with the demand and each employee at the restaurant has
a different method of coping with the situation. One employee would experience anxiety during
these rush hours and would seek support from the manager on what to do which the manager
informs the employee to prioritize; this example exhibits behavioral emotion-focused coping
when she seeks support since emotion-focused coping are the various ways in which the

employee managed their emotional reaction to the situation. Another server stated that he tries to
keep calm and to get everything together in his mind, but sometimes it is harder to cope
(personal communication, March 28, 2015). This server exhibits cognitive emotion-focused
coping in which he reappraised the situation as well as distancing himself emotionally from the
situation in order to avoid negative emotions such as anxiety. The servers also have to deal with
rude customers that are difficult to handle which can be stressful. One waiter tries to be polite
and considers owners reputations as it is not his business and because the owners consider the
customers to be always right so he apologizes to the customers and direct the customers to the
owners for complaints the customers have. For some employees, the servers would seek
additional assistance in dealing with the customer which is behavioral problem-focused coping
and ask the manager's assistance in dealing with the customer's complaints. Other waiters are not
as polite when dealing with rude customers and vent their anger which is behavioral emotionfocused coping. The owner claims that he handles stress regarding lunch hour by being patient,
figuring out what he wants to do during busy hours, managing himself, and controlling himself
because if it overwhelms him then he will not be able to solve anything. The owner calms
himself down and thinks about what he is going to do then he does what he has to do (personal
communication, March 28, 2015). If the customers complain about the food or are rude, the
owner goes and talks to the customer in order to get the customers input on how to improve their
food and basically try to make the customer happy since the customers is always right even if
they are wrong. Furthermore, the owners approach to coping to stress is both behavioral and
cognitive problem-focused coping where he manages the stressful situation itself by processing
his thoughts and doing a set of physical activities to handle the stressful situation.
Motivation

At the restaurant, one of the motivation for employees that is similar to employees in
other companies is money; however, something that sets them apart from other companies and
restaurants is that many employees are motivated to ensure that the customers are happy as well
as provide quality service at an affordable price. At an organizational standpoint, motivation is
known as a force that originates from both within employee as well as beyond, initiating work
related effort and determining its direction, intensity and persistence. The employees at the
restaurant are very engaged in their work methods and it would be apt to assume that the
employees exhibit the expectancy theory. This theory shows that the cognitive processes that
employees go through to make choices among different voluntary responses that can depend on
their beliefs and experience in expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. Expectancy plays an
important role in waiting tables because expectancy represents the belief that by exerting high
levels of effort, it will result in successful performance of task and therefore will result in
successful pay and experiences for both the server and the customer. The process of setting
expectations and goals can be very important for any job but in serving having well thought out
SMART goals is something that the employees can find will greatly help them see their
processes and maximize their outcome both financially and mentally. These goals link rewards
directly to goal achievement and SMART stands for specific, measureable, achievable, resultsbased, and time-sensitivity. This means the employees goal as servers should meet each of these
aspects of specifics, knowing the details of how to create a friendly environment for customers
trying to eat and enjoy their meal. Also, it must be realistic with measure to know what their limit
is to how many people they can successfully wait on and see the results from it also known as
how many and how well their tips are. The measure of work they put in compared to the benefit
they receive from knowing that they have successfully created a new relationship with their

customer and by ensuring that the customer enjoys their time it increases the odds that they will
make more money in their tip as well as knowing that the customer will come back to eat at the
restaurant and hopefully request them to help them creating the term of having regulars.
Another motivation that is commonly used by employees is that they do enjoy whom they work
with including the management. According to the employee, he stated that even though
sometimes the employees and the management have opinions that differ from one another, but
the employees trust their management to know what is in the restaurants best interest. The
employees are very friendly with managers and even when there is confrontation the employees
can take it as constructive criticism due to the fact that they trust the owners to know what is best
for the company. Furthermore, the owners attempt to communicate with their employees and are
open to employees opinions. Therefore, the employees view coworkers and bosses more like
family than they do as just an employee or employer since it is informal environment partially
due to the small size of the store, but it is also their friendly culture that they show with pride and
represent so well.
Organizational Culture
The meaning of organizational culture is the shared understanding contained within an
organization concerning the rules, norms and values that mold the mindsets and actions of the
employees. The analysis of the organization culture could be considered problematic as well as
well-applied items in the components of Sababas organizational culture. The components of
culture are observable artifacts, espoused values and basic underlying assumptions. The general
type of culture within Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine and its type of cultural industry the
business operated could be determined by an analysis of the restaurant.
First of all, the observable artifacts which are physical objects that are found inside the
organizations workspace were examined at the restaurant. The most obvious symbols that can be
observed are plants, forks on the walls, and paintings that is displayed in the restaurant. Physical

structures were the building itself with large windows near the front of the restaurant. The large
windows balanced the dim lighting, which was coming off the chandeliers. There were also
mirrors over the as well as a TV in the back of the restaurant. The music playing in the
background gave off a feeling of a more authentic atmosphere where customers could conversed
and enjoy the food.
Next to be evaluated is the espoused values, these being principles that the company itself
explicitly states. The companys website openly says, We (Sababa) take pride in keeping our
restaurant clean, making fresh, affordable food, and providing our customers with a friendly
atmosphere in which they can enjoy lunch or dinner. As the observation revealed, Sababa does
live up to this mission statement. The restaurant appeared to be particularly sanitary with waiters
doing a very noticeable job on always looking to see if there was a table that needed to be
cleaned. Furthermore, the food seemed to be fairly fresh and of high quality, this only added to
their valid espoused values and practicing what they preach. Another interesting observation is
how some of employees interacted with the customers; some conversations more looked like old
friends talking rather than just giving an order. Such observation only confirms the part of the
statement about a friendly atmosphere found on their website.
The last layer of organizational culture deals with basic underlying assumptions, which
are taken-for-granted views that are embedded inside of the employees that they act on them no
matter the situation. The interviews with the owner and the employee revealed two major basic
underlying assumptions ingrained within Sababas culture. The first one being hospitality which
the owner kept mentioning in interview. The other one is the customer is always right view,
which the employee says he practices. Obviously these two principles are very important to the
restaurant industry because it is a business based more on customer service rather than just
selling a product itself.

To add on to that, the general type of culture at Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine seemed to
be communal culture with most of the employees coming from the same ethnic group and being
highly friendly with one another and to the customers. Sababa clearly has a customer service
culturewhich is needed in an industry such as food culture. The principles of the customer
service culture were both stressed by the owner and the employee interviews.
Organizational Culture Related Recommendation
In overall, the organizational culture is very strong at Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine, but
there could be room of improvement when dealing with the observable artifacts. The restaurant
could do more with having a different style of symbols that portray the culture of the food they
are serving; the numerous plants and plain decorations including the mirrors and paintings that
were generic gave the atmosphere a bland feeling and does not display the Mediterranean culture
well. Decorating the dining area with more specific paintings and items that described the ethnic
culture would help the restaurant would separate Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine from other
restaurants by giving improved authentic impression that would attract more customers. Even
though Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine had a very diverse customer base as the observations
found, the majority of the customers were more of one specific ethnic culture. It would be
recommended that Sababa display more personalized decorations rather than generic plants and
mirrors.
They could put up photos of well-known being coming to their restaurant or newspaper
articles posted up on the wall describing how good the food is there. Another thing, Sababa could
do is have specific artifacts hung up on the wall that represents the region of the world that the
majority of their clientele is from. Also, the television in the back of the restaurant was turned off
and was just set on the home screen with nothing turned on which was odd. Sababa could try to
show possible television stations or movies from that specific cultures, this is also done at some
Indian restaurants near the University of Texas at Dallas. Furthermore, showing films from the

specific culture of Sababa would let the people of that culture experience and see something that
reminds them of their roots and culture. Being able to actually see the culture of a different
country through film would providean authentic feel of actually eating Mediterranean food and
what the culture is like for its customers. This would also allow an American to experience
something new in his or her day and give this person a sense of what another culture is like.
Even though there are some weak spots in the observable artifacts concerning Sababa
the majority of the components of culture are enormously strong. They follow their espoused
values to the letter and show robust basic underlying assumptions in the business activity.
Stress Related Recommendation
Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine is a small, close- knit restaurant that has a very informal,
relaxed, and friendly environment with both its customers and employees. The restaurants two
owners not only want to ensure the customers enjoy their food, but also that the customers can
enjoy their time there. The Sababa Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant values good hospitality for
its customers as well as quality food; however, the shortage of staff poses a problem for the
restaurant since if the amount of servers are limited then they cannot serve all of the customers at
once as well as complete other tasks that require their attention as well which results in unhappy,
unsatisfied, and impatient customers who is not able to receive good customer service and
hospitality from the restaurant.
During rush hours, the restaurant is filled with customers and the restaurant is busy.
While the servers are prepared to deal with rush hours, the influx of customers coming in to the
restaurant is too sudden for the servers to adapt quickly to when before the number of customers
was small. The amount of servers creates a problem during rush hours since there are so many
customers, but so few waiters to serve the customers. Generally, there are two waiters that serve
the customers, but the managers brother, Saed Jabari, intervened when the two waiters cannot
handle more customers than they already have.

The problem that the restaurant faces is that the restaurant is understaffed in the amount
of servers. With the staffing issue resolved, the customers will receive faster service and the
restaurants customer satisfaction will increase since more servers will be available to attend to
their needs. Understaffing can cause stress for the waiters during rush hours which can led to
decrease in job performance as well as organizational commitment since the servers would feel
dissatisfied and have less of a desire to stay in an organization that makes them feel stressed.
Furthermore, the stress could build to strain and that strain would detract from the employees
effectiveness thus causing a decrease in job performance which would negatively contribute to
the organizational goal accomplishment. On the other hand, if the restaurant employs more
servers then the waiters would not be constantly rushing to complete their tasks and would not
feel as overwhelmed when they would if there were only two waiters. If the problem with
understaffing is resolved, then there will be more waiters to serve the customers thus increasing
customers satisfaction. The waiters would not experience role overload because they are
attempting to complete a number of tasks that require their tasks, but are not able to since the job
is so demanding that it is difficult to complete all or some of the tasks that are assigned to them.
Moreover, the increase of staff will increase job performance as well as organizational
commitment since the servers will be less likely to feel stressed at the amount of tasks they have
to do during rush hours.