Essay topics: 4. The following memorandum is from the business manager of Happy Pancake House restaurants.
"Recently, butter has been replaced by margarine in Happy Pancake House restaurants throughout the southwestern United States. This change, however, has had little impact on our customers. In fact, only about 2 percent of customers have complained, indicating that an average of 98 people out of 100 are happy with the change. Furthermore, many servers have reported that a number of customers who ask for butter do not complain when they are given margarine instead. Clearly, either these customers do not distinguish butter from margarine or they use the term 'butter' to refer to either butter or margarine."
Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.
The business manager of Happy Pancake House restaurants positively appraises the recent change of Happy Pancake House restaurants in the Southwestern region of United States. The business manager assumes the alternation that providing margarine instead of butter does not negatively affect the business because only infinitesimal portion of customers are negative towards the change. The manager goes even further and concludes that the majority of customers think butter and margarine are identical. However, this conclusion needs three more explanations to make it sustainable.
First, customers might not officially complain about the change, even if they are not satisfied with it. Clearly, only 2 percent of customers represent their dissatisfaction. However, it is too presumptuous to interpret the rest of 98 percent of customers are happy with margarine when they ask for butter. Because the report in the memo only includes the direct complain from the customers. In order to precisely measure customer responses, the manager needs to conduct a survey and summarize the reliable result before he or she judges the result of the change.
Second, even though only a small minority of customers is unhappy with the change, they can be the major customers who should be remained as patrons. If these royal customers consider the recent change is not acceptable, they simply can stop patronizing Happy Pancake House restaurants. The change from butter to margarine may be slight to most of the customers, however, this slight difference of taste can be taken seriously by the ardent patrons who would change their favorite restaurants for it.
Third, to conclude that customers do not discern butter from margarine can be the fallacy of hasty generalization. Both butter and margarine have multiple usages as basic ingredients of food. Some of the usages of them can be identical under the certain circumstances. For example, butter can be replaced by margarine when people need it to raise taste of toasts. On the contrary, when people bake a buttered sponge cake or fry a turkey waxed by butter, they clearly do not use margarine for these purposes. Therefore, to generalize that customers consider butter and margarine are same only based on the report from pancake restaurants is not reliable.
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