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23 Sep 2012, 11:55
“We should proceed with our plan to open a new Classy Steakhouse restaurant in the busy Downtown Centre mall in the central business district of Hopeville. Although two restaurants in that location have closed in the past year (one a burger joint, the other a Chinese restaurant), their failure does not mean that Downtown Centre is an unsuitable location for our restaurant. After all, the Centre Café has been in business at that location for twenty-five years. Furthermore, national reports from the restaurant industry show that business executives are eating out more frequently than ever. It is therefore likely that we will be very successful at that location.”
In the memo from of Classy Steakhouse, a chain of restaurants the president claims that opening a new Classy Steakhouse restaurant in the busy Downtown Centre mall in the central business district of Hopeville will be very successful. However, his argument may well have merit, the president presents some anecdotal evidences and relies on some questionable assumptions. For example, the president assumes that like the Centre Café, the Classy Steakhouse restaurant is suitable for the location and will be able to attract business executives. As the president in his memo makes some illogical reasoning, we cannot accept this argument as valid.
Firstly, the president illogically compares Classy Steakhouse restaurant to the Centre Cafe. He thinks that because Centre Cafe is making good business for the last 25 years, Classy Steakhouse will also be successful. However, there can be several reasons why the Centre Cafe is in business for the last 25 years. For example, most of the customers of the Centre Cafe take away their orders. As the location of the Cafe is in the busy central business district of Hopeville, the customers may not spend or have enough time for a la carte in restaurants. Evidences that explain some similarity between Classy Steakhouse restaurants and Centre Cafe would somehow strengthen the argument.
Secondly, the president presents a national report from the restaurant industry showing that business executives are eating out more frequently than ever. First of all this report is baseless. The president fails to mention anything that can validate the report. For example, where and when the report was published or does the report cover every business district of the nation. Moreover, the president fails to provide any survey report that can show that business executives of Hopeville district are eating out more frequently than ever.
Thirdly, the president in his memo states that the failure of the burger joint and a Chinese restaurant does not mean that the location is unsuitable for his restaurant. The president fails to mention any supportive evidence to prove his claim. He makes an unproven assumption that people, no matter what, will come eat in his restaurant. What if, the residents of Hopeville don’t like the food of Classy Steakhouse restaurant? Any evidence that can show that a Classy Steakhouse restaurant in some other part of the district is running successfully and that the residents of the district actually like the food of the restaurant would strengthen the conclusion of the president.
In sum, the president's illogical memo is based on unsupported premises and unsubstantiated assumptions that render his conclusion invalid. If the president truly hopes to convince his employees, he would have to largely restructure his argument, fix the logical gaps, and provide evidences to support his premises and assumptions. Without these things, he is likely to convince only few minds.