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March 17, 2024

Fletchers Case Study

Fletchers Case Study

Fletchers is an Irish sandwich shop chain referred to simply as “Fletch”. Founded in 1983, Fletch currently has over 23 shops in throughout Ireland.


First ‘Fletchers’ retail outlet

Sean O’Malley founded the first Fletch in Dublin on 21st June 1983 and was located opposite Tara Street Dart Station. It had its own kitchen and offered ready-to-eat freshly made natural food, filled baguettes, Croque-monsieur, coffees/teas and other ready-to-go convenience foods.

Opening in June 1983, the company traded at Tara Street Station for eighteen months at which time takings had continued to grow. In its second year of operation O’Malley noticed a continued demand for take-away food and the growth of the ‘to-go’ culture. It was at this point he decided to open another outlet within Connally Train Station. The success of these two outlets led to further outlets opening within Hueston Station, Bus Aras and Dublin Airport.

Fletchers Case Study

Fletchers Case Study

Fletchers, 1986 – 2023

The company emphasizes the use of natural ingredients and advertises that its sandwiches are made on the day of purchase in a kitchen at each location (with the stated exception of a few small outlets). Food left unsold at the end of the day is collected by charities. Sandwiches are packaged in paperboard rather than sealed plastic. In terms of revenue 68% of its trade is in Dublin City, where approximately 37% of its stores are located. Locations include:

  • Dublin: Tara, Connolly and Hueston Train Stations, Bus Aras, Dublin Airport, St Stephens Green Shopping Centre, ILAC Center, Irish Life Mall, Omni Center, Stillorgan Shopping Center, Dundrum Shopping Center.
  • Cork Airport, Douglas Shopping Center, Merchants Quay Shopping Center, Mahon Point Shopping Center, Wilton Shopping Center, Bus Eireann Station, Cork City train Station.
  • Waterford City Main Street,
  • Limerick – three outlets, Galway – three outlets, Athlone – two outlets, Donegal – one outlet.

Fletchers Case Study


As Fletchers grew O’Malley structured the organization where each retail outlet was an independent entity. That is, each outlet was registered as an individual company. As technology developed all of the outlets shared the same platform for monitoring income, expenses, stock etc. Eventually, O’Malley established a Head Office (in Dublin City) where all outlets reported to. O’Malley controlled everything from Head Office. Over the years Head Office developed a Finance function, Marketing function, Research and Development and finally a kitchen where new ideas were developed and tested.

All retail outlets were approximately the same size and had the same staff compliment:

  • Store Manager;
  • 4 X Supervisors:
  • 20 Sales Assistants.

and operated the same hours:

  • Monday to Saturday: 7am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 8am – 6pm

All staff were trained in all aspects of work within each store and were frequently asked to work in other stores when necessary.

Fletchers Case Study

Issue: 2024

As Fletchers has grown O’Malley has adopted an autocratic approach to his management style. All decisions are made by him. Even when the retail managers are saying some of the decisions are affecting business.

Each retail outlet is managed as a ‘stand-alone’ entity with managers adopting different approaches in terms of layout and styling of the outlet which leads to confusion when one manager substitutes for another in a different location. There is essentially no unified approach to doing things. This also leads to confusion for staff who may have to work in various locations.

As each retail unit is a stand-alone entity there is no standard approach to doing things. Sandwiches etc are all made different ways even though they have the same name for example a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich would be made differently in each of the retail outlets in Dublin when compared to other locations. This has led to confusion with customers who expect a standardized approach.

When retail Managers have a problem, they don’t know who to report to as there is no clear structure especially when dealing with finance issues. Also, there are no clear procedures in place for dealing with disciplinary issues, applying to get paid, paying for stock etc. This has led to considerable disruption among staff which has led to very high levels of staff turnover. Overall, the culture in the organization is at an all time low.

Fletchers Case Study

The National Employment Rights Authority have, following a complaint, requested a meeting with O’Malley to discuss the complaint. During the meeting it became apparent that ‘Fletchers’ has no personnel department, which for a company that employes 725 staff in its retail network and 25 in Head Office, the Authority found shocking.

Following the investigation, the Authority found that none of the staff have job descriptions or contracts of employment. There’s no formal grievance, disciplinary procedures in place nor are there any policies relating to staff performance, conduct etc. Staff doing similar work are all being paid different rates. In fact, the Authority are of the opinion that, not only are staff being treated as disposable items, Fletchers, are in breach of numerous pieces of employment legislation.

They have issued Fletchers with a warning that if the highlighted issues are not rectified criminal proceedings will commence. The Authority have recommended that Fletchers employ an external consultant to assist in overseeing the necessary changes.

O’Malley has objected to the findings of the Authority and is unwilling to address the issues as he feels it would be a waste of money and he cannot see the benefit of employing a HR Manager. Use APA referencing style.

Fletchers Case Study

Current Situation

You are a firm of Management Consultants and have been contacted by O’Malley to discuss the current situation and advise:

You are required to:

  1. Conduct research into various organizational structures and design a structure that you feel would be most suitable to create a more effective and efficient operating environment.
  2. Draft job descriptions and person specifications for the positions of Manager, Supervisors and Sales Assistants.
  3. Outline to O’Malley the benefits of creating a good organizational culture and his role in maintaining a good culture.
  4. You must make recommendations as to the policies and procedures that O’Malley should implement to improve performance.