IB Business SL
The International School Bangkok high school cafeteria features the
catering service of Epicure, a private limited company in the tertiary sector. Mrs.
Usui acts as a liaison between ISB and Epicure, managing the food and services
provided by the catering service and making sure the needs of ISB students and
community members are met. The coffee shop, located in the back corner of the
cafeteria, is also a part of Epicure’s services and is managed by Mrs. Usui.
Known as The Grind, it sells a variety of drinks and snacks and is open during
As the manager of this operation, Mrs. Usui constantly seeks ways in
which The Grind can attract and satisfy more student customers, The Grind’s
largest group of stakeholders. Market research was conducted in an attempt to
determine a way in which The Grind can meet the wants and needs of its high
school student customers. If The Grind appealed to more high school students,
sales could increase and lead to an increase in revenue and profit. Students from
grades 9 to 12 were surveyed to gain insight into the wants and needs of these
customers. This information was then used to determine a way in which The
Grind can increase revenue.
Methodology and Procedure
Primary research was conducted to gain information about the eating
habits and preferences of ISB’s high school students. A survey of ten questions
was created with both open and close-ended questions. The link for this survey
was made accessible to all high school students via Facebook, a popular
networking website. 90 male and female students from grades 9 to 12 were able
to complete the survey within the time constraint. Of the 90 respondents, 38 were
male and 52 were female. Although female students represent over 50% of the
sample, percentages and statistics concerning the sexes, ages and backgrounds
of all high school students is unknown. Because of this, random sampling was
essential. A snowballing technique was used to encourage as many high school
students as possible to complete the survey. With this method, students were
told to ask their friends to answer survey questions and pass the Survey Monkey
link along. Due to the method of random sampling and snowballing and the the
large size of the sample itself, the sample group is a sufficient representation of
the whole high school student community.
Graph 1: Student Satisfaction Levels with
Food and Drinks Sold at The Grind
Graph 1: This graph shows that the majority of student survey-takers are have
neutral feelings towards the products available at The Grind. The second largest
group rated their satisfaction at a “2”, indicating that they are in between
dissatisfaction and neutrality. The third largest group feels sufficiently satisfied,
rating a “4”. Although the largest percent of surveyed students, at 32%, feels
neutral, the percentages of those rating their satisfaction at 2’s and 4’s are
similarly high at 28% and 20%, respectively.
Graph 2: Frequency of Student Visits per Week
Number of Students
1 to 2 3 to 4 5 to 6 7 to 8 9 to 10 11 to 12
Number of Visits per Week
Graph 2: This graph displays the number of students that visit The Grind to
browse or purchase items with varying frequency. The data is skewed, with the
majority of students visiting The Grind one to six times a week. The average
number of visits to The Grind each week is five
Graph 3: Percentage of Student Visits to The Grind
at Different Time Periods
Betw een Class
Graph 3: This graph shows the percentage of surveyed students that go to The
Grind in the morning before 7:20, between classes, during lunch time or after
dismissal at 2:05. The majority of these students go to The Grind during lunch
time, representing 80% of the sample group. The next largest group, at 35.5%,
visits The Grind between classes. The smallest percentage goes in the morning.
Graph 4: Percentage of Students with Varying
Levels of Health Consciousness
Graph 4: An overwhelming majority of students rated their level of health
consciousness at a “3”, suggesting that they are neither particularly healthy nor
unhealthy in their eating habits. The next largest group, at 28%, considers
themselves in between neutrality and high health consciousness.
Graph 5: Opinions on Whether or Not
The Grind Should Sell New Products
Graph 5: This graph displays the number of students who answered the open-
ended question asking their opinions on whether or not The Grind would benefit
from selling new food and drink products. 60 Students wrote in “yes”, 14 wrote
“no” and 16 students did not specify or were undecided.
Graph 1 suggests that if those students in the 32% (neutral) group moved
up into the 20% (satisfaction rating of 4) group by increased satisfaction with The
Grind’s products, The Grind would have an overwhelming majority of satisfied
customers in the high school. This would likely increase sales revenue and
possibly profits as more satisfied students would purchase more items and with
more frequency. According to Graph 2, high school students visit The Grind to
browse or purchase at an average of 5 times a week. Assuming that this
suggests one visit per school day, The Grind should seek to attract customers to
purchase multiple times a day. A general increase in customer satisfaction might
accomplish this, but other measures can be taken to encourage more students to
purchase products at The Grind several times a week.
Because of The Grind’s hours of service, students can purchase food and
drinks anytime before school begins at 7:20, between classes, during lunch, and
after school dismissal at 2:05. Most students go to The Grind during lunch time. If
The Grind attracted more students during times of decreased popularity, such as
in the morning and after school, the increased frequency of purchases would also
lead to an increase in revenue and possibly profit.
According to Graph 5, an overwhelming majority of students believe that
new products would benefit The Grind and would attract more students. Since
Graph 4 shows that most students aren’t particularly health-conscious, there are
many food and drink options for The Grind to experiment with and sell.
Considering that the sampling method was random and does not
represent the high school students with exact proportions, confidence levels in
the research are not high. Also, because of the snowballing method and the
presentation of the survey online rather than in-person, survey answers may not
be inaccurate if students rushed through questions with little interest or concern.
The collected data suggests that The Grind could increase revenue by increasing
levels of student satisfaction in the products. This could mean the quality,
quantity or variety of products. They might also benefit from focusing on ways to
increase sales during periods when students are less likely to visit The Grind,
such as before and after school. Lastly, it was noticed that most students
suggested that The Grind should introduce new products. In this open-ended
question, many students suggested fruit smoothies and a variety of snacks.
Students also commented on the price, suggesting that prices should be
reduced; however, Epicure may not gain a profit from their sales if they reduce
their prices further. Recommendations are as follows:
• Introduce new products such as fruit smoothies (other than the existing
blueberry smoothie), the popular Bobby’s Lemonade, softer cookies and
other desert treats
• Introduce new products specific to the time period. For example, different
breakfast items, daytime snacks, lunch items and smaller snacks to carry
on the bus.
• Post signs to advertise these new (and existing) products
• Have promotional days (free muffin with coffee, buy one get one)
These suggestions might encourage more students to purchase more from The
Grind and with more frequency, increasing the company’s sales revenue.