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View Diary: Dear Food Service Employers, (239 comments)

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  •  if, and that's a BIG if.. (33+ / 0-)

    were papa john, I would have raises my prices the .06-.08 per pizza (that's right, he lied). no one would have been the wiser or as you're suggesting, publicize the fact you give a shit about your employees!!

    mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

    by wewantthetruth on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:12:59 PM PST

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    •  So true. I would try to frequent businessest (35+ / 0-)

      that advertise they provide health insurance. Now I will go out of my way to avoid Denny's, Papa John's, Applebee's, etc.

      Since when is the party that embraces all the top tenets of Satan allowed to call the God shots?--wyvern

      by voracious on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:30:11 PM PST

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      •  Note on Denny's (5+ / 0-)

        It is one franchisee who is making hay about things. No need to punish other franchisees for his actions.

      •  what galls me (29+ / 0-)

        what galls me is that this is the kind of crap most chains do anyway...i've worked plenty of jobs where you were always scheduled just under the cusp of getting benefits, but just enough hours that you would have a hard time getting a second job somewhere. it's a scam. they may feel better about themselves since they aren't locking folks inside sweatshops, but it's the same drive to subjugate fellow humans for profit.

        look at bob's red mill. that's how you care about your employees. papa johns? applebees? not so much.

        especially places with waitstaff, or anyone making tips on an adjusted wage-rate...those people may be noticed as good/bad employees to the immediate shift manager because the shifty has to deal with the situation on the floor, but to the management removed from serving? their staff are just equipment that gets sick and whines, as far as they're concerned.

        If only Michael Phelps hadn't smoked that pot...imagine what he could have accomplished with motivation and good lung capacity.

        by papa monzano on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:30:25 PM PST

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        •  I worked at Pizza Hut (11+ / 0-)

          when it still had tables you could sit at. Typical shift was me, all of 23 years old, a high-school dishwasher and a post high-school "shift manager." We were all paid crap, and we had no feelings of responsibility to either the store or the parent firm.  When then President Clinton was trying to get health care reform passed, the Overlord company sent out a memo telling us all that we should oppose such reform.
          About a year after I left that miserable, degrading job, the franchise I used to work at burned down in the night. Well, you get what you pay for.

          "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

          by Reepicheep on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:53:33 PM PST

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        •  Bob's Red Mill (8+ / 0-)

          is an amazing place to eat at and work for, and I am going there this weekend for breakfast to show my support for a company that cares about its employees.

          Fuck you Applebee's, Denny's, Jimmy Johns and especially Papa Johns. You have permanently lost my business, and I am in the process of writing letters to all corporate offices stating as such.

        •  yep, retail too (4+ / 0-)

          I have a dear friend who has worked retail for several years now.  She is a great worker, but is a little older (61) and no college degree, so she has to put up with a lot.  For years, she has told me about the 'classic' if you work over the threshhold to be full time (36 hours? 40? I'm not sure the # she has told me), then they push the hours to the next pay period.  Never getting to be full-time, though she has a terrific attitude.  Usually her immediate boss is good to her, but the ones that make the hiring/promotion / money/full-time status decisions are one higher and they give lip service only.
          She gets so disappointed; she knows their game, but she needs the job, so she tolerates it.  So, I know from my friend that all of these restaurant/retail places already play these full-time status games; now they are getting some attention due to Obamacare...but this crap has actually been going on for years!  
          Obamacare just lets them 'go public' with it - and blame their miserable policies that are firmly entrenched in retail on the President.  

          •  precisely! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Obamacare just lets them 'go public' with it
            yep. opportunistic. i was already doing this, but now i have a reason i can say in public.

            very similar to GOP opposition to socialist unamerican obama, me thinks...

            If only Michael Phelps hadn't smoked that pot...imagine what he could have accomplished with motivation and good lung capacity.

            by papa monzano on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:59:27 PM PST

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      •  He said he can't afford it (1+ / 0-)
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        He apparently owns 43 Denny's restaurants and said if he doesn't make changes, that each restaurant will consume $175k in additional revenue. He said most of his restaurants currently don't even profit $175k in a year.

        No doubt other franchisees are in similar situations, they're probably just relying on him, as a large franchise owner, to speak out.

        •  ummm if he has 43 (10+ / 0-)

          restaurants that cannot clear $175 k in profit I am starting to wonder where his money goes.

          •  Many restaurants can't even turn a profit (2+ / 0-)
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            Sherri in TX, kyril

            Check out the Grub Street blog on NYMag. So many restaurants can't even turn a profit so making $175k profit a year is at least making some money on top of expenses.

            •  I know it's hard to turn profits on restaurants (4+ / 0-)

              for the small restaurant owner. However this is a franchisee of a major chain, if he has that many that are not turning a profit but can continue to own them, that is where I am confused.

            •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

              but then why do these people get multimillion dollar salaries?

              •  It's their business (1+ / 0-)
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                They took the risk and did the work to put together a plan, gather funds through loans and investors and devoted their lives to building a business that provides a service or a product that people want.

                Why shouldn't the person who created the business have $2M a year?

                If you divide that $2M across the wait and kitchen staff (considering that his 40 restaurants provide him $2M in profit), he'll have no profit with such thin margins, and have no incentive to open more restaurants.

                That's probably the reason he owns 40 restaurants to give him more profit that he desires, realizing that each restaurant has such thin margins of profit.

                With 40 restaurants, he hires 40 more times the people than a single franchisee does.

                You can start your own franchise restaurant, too. But you have to take a risk of losing everything like he did.

                •  That may be true of Denny's since (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  they have crappy food but no way is it true of Applebee's. Their staff is well trained to push drinks, desserts and additional items to increase the ticket. I have been to Applebee's in several states and they were always busy, any time of day. Restaurants have also been raising prices due to rising food costs but if they can't make a go of it without paying a living wage to their employees, I'd rather they go out of business.

                  •  So no one should work? (1+ / 0-)
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                    So instead of hiring 80 people and paying them a wage they can accept, you would rather they hire just a few so just a handful can make more to live on?

                    A business can't pull out more money than it brings in. Restaurants and other food-based businesses have very thin margins.  To pay staff a wage where they can have full benefits and raise a family is impossible.

                    Raising prices is also impossible. Restaurants are already suffering decreasing visitors because they had to raise prices when food became more expensive -- and it's not possible to raise prices enough to give workers owner-sized salaries.

                    Consider this: labor costs for Darden restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Lone Star Steakhouse) as a percentage of sales were 31 percent during the last quarter. This is not miniscule.

                    For every item you buy at one of those restaurants, 31 percent of each one of your dollars goes into labor costs. That's just a minimum wage job!

                    You can imagine the food, land and property take even more of the percentage of every dollar. When you look at it this way, you can clearly see the razor-thin margins. In fact, investors never know if Darden will make money or not, quarter by quarter and always seem surprised when they do.

                    To prefer a business shut down because they can't afford to pay every employee a wage that keeps them working the same job for the rest of their lives isn't fair to Americans who want the experience and knowledge of working in a restaurant.

                    •  Bullseye (0+ / 0-)

                       You've pretty much hit right on the real meat and potatoes of this issue (if you'll excuse the pun). The labor cost paid by a restaurant is the single most important factor that determines it's profitability and it's continued existence, and also largely determines how it's perceived by the consumer market at large, for better or for worse.    
                        This is an issue that affects all restaurants, whether they're part of a franchise chain or not, and no matter what kind of food they serve, or where they're located. No restaurant owner can jeopardize the very existence of his own business by paying wages that are so high that they make it almost impossible for the business to clear a profit, but they also can't pay wages that don't attract decent employees who really want to contribute to the business and keep customers coming back to it on a daily basis. It's a very tricky balance, and people today, for whatever reason, just cannot seem to get a realistic grasp on simple business economics without introducing all sorts of inappropriate expectations or conflating socioeconomic issues that aren't necessarily as closely related as they would appear through the haze of the consumer transaction process.
                        Do we want our restaurant employees to have a decent standard of living? Of course we do. But do we want them to work in the same industry forever because there's no economic incentive for them to ever look beyond the next horizon? No, hardly.
                        Personally, I think the real reason Americans pile so many unrealistic expectations on the restaurant industry is simply because we love to eat, and we expect that our fascination with food will be reciprocated by high wages, which is not necessarily appropriate. We love the whole restaurant experience so much, because it feels like the reward we've earned by being good obedient worker bees, that all sense of economic proportion regarding the transaction as a whole just goes right out the window. And this is all symptomatic of the whole 'carrot on the end of the stick' mentality that we as Americans have adopted through many decades of capitalist conditioning.
                        Anyway, I could go on all day about this issue, because I've worked in the foodservice industry for many years, at all points on the ladder, from dishwashing up to management, and I've gotten a pretty thorough education on the whole restaurant customer mindset.  The point I'd just like people to take away here is simply this: take your food seriously, but don't expect too much from the restaurant industry. Cook your own food, and treat it with respect. And don't expect any one industry to assuage your concerns about the whole state of the world today, because that's never going to happen.

                •  nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                  if the business is barely breaking even it is an incredibly stupid idea to be giving yourself millions of dollars by screwing over your employees. Who do you think handles the food? Has the day to day interactions with your potential customers? Without employees you have nothing

      •  Though their business strategy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has been predatory, at least in the past, Starbuck's provides health insurance even to part-time employees because the CEO feels strongly about it.

        When he was growing up, his father was injured and didn't have insurance. It almost destroyed the family.

        Now, what I don't know is what kind of policy is offered. If it's junk insurance that doesn't cover anything, then it's a gimmick. If it's half-decent coverage, it's a responsible business. They were doing this before ACA came about.

        So you can't get much of a meal there, but I'll toss it out there anyway.

        If businesses feel so persecuted about providing health insurance to employees, why are they not supporting single-payer????

    •  These people complaining about having to (8+ / 0-)

      pay for healthcare will find that they will have a hard time keeping good employees, as they will go to work for the guy down the street providing healthcare and more hours.

      This is just a bunch of baloney. Raise prices or eat the $.06. I'm tired of all the bitchin' these guys are doing. It doesn't make me want to frequent their establishments.

      I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't see sales go down from all this. My hope is they do go down.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:55:49 PM PST

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    •  I used to buy Papa John Pizza at least twice/mon (0+ / 0-)

      I have not bought any since he shot off his mouth about the ACA and how it was going to drive him out of business.

      Well I don't buy Papa John any more. I probably never will again. I don't eat Papa John Pizza, even if somebody else buys it. I tell people why I won't buy it or eat it. Some approve and some think I'm nuts.

      I feel bad sometimes because I know that I'm not hurting the hateful, lying SOB who owns the company - I'm just hurting the employees. But I can't help myself. I can't buy from that company!

    •  Owers=little babies (0+ / 0-)

      Many business owners turn into little cry babies whenever someone like the government adds a new regualtion or even better when customers demand that they clean up their act. "Wha, I'll just have to charge you more, stupid customer!" Well dumbass business owner, we as consumers have long ago excepted the fact that prices will just keep going up (we have to pay for your new private jet and yacht after all) and if it means your workers are better taken care of so be it.

      My take on government regualtions are as follows;

      A) yes there are a lot of them and many probably could be taken off the books. Funny, many of the politicians that complain about excessive regulation and government over reach are guilty themselves of introducing unecessary legislation.
      B) Rules are usually made because either someone did something stupid that they shouldn't have or didn't do something responsible that they should have.

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