By on Jul 10, 2010 with Comments 1
Working for a nightclub or bar franchise can be one of the most exasperating things you will ever do. It will probably be one of the memories in your life you will never forget, and not good ones for the most part. This of course is just my opinion.
We all contribute to the wealth of franchises. It’s just a fact. The days of mom and pop businesses (privately owned) are just about gone in this country. I predicted about fifteen years ago that in twenty years, there would be virtually no more mom and pop places left to frequent, and I think I hit the nail on the head on this one.
Privately owned businesses can’t survive in the new climate of life anymore. They don’t have the money, or the buying power, to compete with wealthy franchises. Therefore, little by little, the dwindle away. As there are franchises in many different area’s for the consumer, I will just speak of the food and beverage industry.
Working for franchises and understanding how they operate is absurd. Like the collapse of our financial system in this country, the operate strictly on the premise of GREED! Although they can spend a fortune a some fancy commercials, they would have you believe what a great company they are.
Ask anyone who has been working for a franchise if you want to know the truth. They under pay their employees, could care less about their employees, and customer service is not relevant unless it happens purely by accident.
They could offer their employees a good work environment, good pay, and excellent customer service, but choose to cut their operating expenses, so they can make more money of course. What ever happened to being socially responsible too. Hey, they are in business to make money, and there is nothing wrong with that. But the way they go about it to suck every dime out of their business by abusing their employees is terrible.
If you have ever worked for a privately owned company, you will see what customer service is all about. A sincere family with a passion to serve. People who treat their employees with respect, and not like robots.
Do you think franchises care? The answer is NO! They already know that the life of employment expectancy is very low. People will not stay for any length of time generally, and that is the cost of doing business they say.
Scott Hume, Editor-In-Chief, of Restaurants and Institutions Magazine, in the December 2007 issue, was quoted as saying
“If food-service jobs aren’t seen as desirable, they won’t be filled by the people needed for the industry to prosper”.
He goes on to say in his last paragraph of the article,
“The danger is that the long term need for investments in training and in meaningful benefit programs will go unmet while foodservice operators focus on near term needs to boost sales and customer traffic. If that happens, it would be deeply unfortunate, because the adage “our people are our greatest asset” is more true of the hospitality industry than of any other”.
Although working for a franchise may seem great on the outside with all the latest equipment and being nicely decorated, you can’t tell a book by it’s cover.
For instance, working for a franchise does not allow you provide customer service as it should be provided. They all use formulas that say that with x amount of sales, you can only employ x amount of people. This sounds financially responsible, right? Well, yes and no. If your sales are not what is expected and they are working on a fifteen to seventeen percent labor cost, you will find that there will be literally not enough people to operate efficiently and to take of the customers too. Do they care? NO!
Instead of providing a nice atmosphere, great food and great customer service to build their business, they cut everything to the bone, and then some. The management and staff of these places get all the grief and complaints while the powers that be are off having fun somewhere. Now if they were the ones there that had to operate this business this way, things would surely change. But they don’t have to face it themselves. The powers that be working for a franchise, don’t have the intelligence, training, common sense, or the nerve.
Another aspect is the upkeep, training, and hours lost by employees. You don’t really see what is happening behind the scenes. Because they try to operate on labor costs that are unreasonable, they don’t allow for proper training for new staff members. You will find that some places are very clean as they will not add employees to do these jobs, and expect someone in another position to do their job and much much more.
Also, if you are working for a franchise, they will only keep you when they have business. Sounds responsible, right? No it’s not. Yes, you have to be financially responsible but your staff needs to catch up, get things put away in the correct places, staff needs trained, and the place needs cleaned.
And you are a staff member, after they are done with you for the rush, they send you home. So, now these people not only don’t get trained properly, and perform duties they should, now they don’t have enough money to keep their home. Which now leads to them getting another job or two just to get forty hours!
Where is the social responsibility? I told a District Manager for a franchise once, that by they way they figure their labor costs, they leave no allowance for getting unexpectedly busy, training, catching up, or the fact that someone calls off work. His answer was they will have to figure it out and insure everything goes right. What kind of answer is that? The working for a franchise mentality!
I saw that same man on a Saturday afternoon, with the restaurant packed as they usually were. He had just walked in the door with the manager slammed, not enough staff, customers upset and complaining, and I told him, “now do you see what I mean”. His insistence that he was right was because he was an idiot, the franchise tells him their expectations and he is to enforce it, the franchise powers that be are idiots, or all of the above!!How can anyone with any customer service cares, believe this is right? They just want to keep their jobs, and are like robots. Whatever you say boss. Grow some balls and explain to your superiors that this formula don’t work!
They try and build on greed instead of on quality of product and real customer service. Who trained any of these people? Were any of the owners ever in the bar or restaurant business? Including the corporate suits? Do they have the balls to work in the setting that they control? NO! C’mon folks, just for a week?? NO! They don’t want to see what they control doesn’t work! If that should happen, they may not keep their job!
Then, if you are a manage working for a franchise, you have just sacrificed your life as you know it. Period! Many lure you into a position with a promise of a five day, fifty hour week only to realize that it’s a seventy hour work week, which does not account for commute time.
Then I love the ones who put help wanted ads in the media, especially Craigslist, who come right out and tell you that it’s a six day work week with a minimum of ten hours a day, nights, holidays, and weekends. And they are serious! What life is their left for a human being? I guess it could work if you have no lover, no wife, no doctors appointments, no friends, no family, no kids, no life, no interests, no car repairs, no laundry to pick up, and so on. And they are serious!!!! Yep, that’s what I would do, start working for a franchise!
Working for a franchise is the worst thing you can ever do to yourself. If you look in the help wanted ads you will always see them advertising. Why? Because they cannot keep a staff member. Go figure? They herd them in like cattle, treat then badly, don’t train them properly, don’t provide the hours they promised and no benefits.
Are they all like this? Hopefully not. But I researched some major names in this industry and unless you are starving, you don’t want to be working for a franchise. Once they get rid of the suits that are yes men, and get in someone that can talk to corporate realistically and change things, this industry will stay in trouble.
The funny thing is, they actually believe they are right? I really love it when they run ads looking for help now, in this economy, looking for people with no more then two jobs in five years. That sounds reasonable, right? Under normal conditions it would be. After all, who wants a job hopper?
But since they can’t seem to run their business correctly, and treat their staff badly, no one stays that long. One day, and it is coming slow but sure, no one will be applying for their jobs, or put up with such disrespect, and they will be forced to change. Little by little they are having a harder time attracting staff. Look at all the employment sites. These people are in it day after day.
And since many of the youth today look for jobs in computer related fields, there are less and less of them to take advantage of. Take heed franchises, provide a good product, with great customer service, in a pleasant environment, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and people will be lined up to come in and spend their money.
That’s how you grow a business. It may cost you a little more, but you will make a whole lot more then you are making now, with a whole lot less headaches, and a happy crew. Common sense folks.
Working for a franchise? My advice to you in the food and beverage industry, work for an independent owner, or choose another profession! You then might get the quality of life, and realistic working conditions they promised you, but you never got.
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