A successful coffee stand that serves the workers in a large office building plans to increase its profits by adding oatmeal—a hot cereal popular among the workers—to its menu. The manager says that oatmeal is “the ultimate convenience food” because it can be served by the cup, as coffee is; further, offering oatmeal will enable the stand to get into the breakfast business without making a large investment, because it does not require elaborate cooking equipment.
Which of the following would, if true, most strengthen the likelihood that the manager's plan will achieve its goal?
A. Some of the office building's businesses have recently begun providing free coffee to their employees.
B. The ingredients needed to make oatmeal are inexpensive and do not spoil easily the way many fresh breakfast foods typically sold at coffee stands do.
C. In order to offer more flexible schedules to their workers, several businesses in the office building will soon be expanding their hours.
D. Supermarket sales of oatmeal and other cereals slowed this year following large gains last year.
E. Oatmeal manufacturers have recently reduced their oatmeal offerings, which had included oatmeal in microwaveable cups and convenient cereal bars made with rolled oats.
Evaluation of a Plan
Situation Hoping to increase profits, a successful coffee stand plans to add hot cereal, specifically oatmeal, to its menu. Oatmeal can be added without making a large investment, and it is convenient because it can be served by the cup.
Reasoning What statement would most support the claim that the coffee stand's plan will achieve its goal? We are told that the initial investment involved in offering oatmeal would not be large, but it would be helpful to know whether the regular costs of offering oatmeal are low. If the ingredients are not expensive, and they are unlikely to spoil before they can be sold to a customer,then there is a greater chance that the coffee stand can sell oatmeal profitably.
Correct. Although the information given provides some reason to think that the cost of offering hot cereal will not be prohibitive to profitability, the fact that the ingredients needed to make oatmeal are inexpensive and do not spoil easily lends even more support to the belief that offering hot cereal could increase profits.