Sunday, March 7, 2010

Idiocy commences in t - 33 hours.

I get to close tonight, and I'm sort of looking forward to it--if only because it will be the last close before Mr. Idiot VP's new "late night" approach kicks in. See, this guy really likes to waste money "build late night business". We've got all sorts of stupidity in the works as we stay open an hour later every night. Stupid shit like bingo, Guitar Hero tournaments, and all sorts of idiotic drink specials. To that end, they've set up sponsorships from beer companies and gotten us a freaking J├Ągermeister tap machine. To imagine how out of place that is, plop it in the middle of a place that has a "kids eat free night". Why? Why?

I've run some (admittedly flawed) calculations on this crap. I don't know how much electricity, gas for the grills, etc. adds to the total, but let's say they keep on a cook, a dishwasher, a server, and a bartender an extra hour every night. That's about another $30 in labor a day. We'll ignore any extra cost, such as the loss on liquor from doing $1 beers, etc.

In my restaurant management class I took a couple of years ago, I learned that the average restaurant makes about ten cents of profit on the dollar. That means that to cover the extra labor for that hour, the restaurant would need to do an extra $300 in sales that hour. We're usually lucky to do $100 in sales per hour after nine! And even if all this gimicky crap pulls in some extra people, it's still not going to work out like the want--especially with $1 beers and $3 appetizer specials.

If a couple of guys come in to play Guitar Hero and nurse two beers each and order some hot wings, that's going to give them a grand total bill of, um, $7. Whoohoo! Seventy cents to the restaurant! And probably, what, a dollar to their server? Bullshit. Do they really think we're going to get forty groups of people in there for this? Or let's get really crazy and say the guys have four beers each and three appetizers, for a bill of $20 (we'll round up). Now the restaurant and the server both get two dollars! Oh yeah! Swimming pools and movie stars, bitches.

CL keeps talking about how she went to a different chain restaurant in the next town over, and how their game night was just a huge success!!! Yeah ... about that? Different chain restaurant atmosphere with a proper bar, in a college town. Then she starts talking about how there's nothing to do in our town after a certain time, yada yada. Even the local bars, real bars, close at the same time we do now. Think there might be a reason for that?

It's not that I don't want this to work. If it doesn't CL gets fired and god knows who they'd bring in--at least I know how she works. And the net effect of this extra hour every night is that I can't work more than five shifts unless I give up some of my closes, which I can't afford to do. So I'd like to make some damn money at it. I just don't see how it'll work.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe "Pin The Tail On The Donkey Thursdays" at Local Chain Restaurant will be the next big thing. Maybe I'll be eating my words in a few months. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Thats interesting. I close as well, now listen to this...So in order to "save labor" (we are open until 10:00) they take me off the floor and have the mgr wait tables for the last hour. I am still there, doing sidework, rolling silver until ten. Its the stupidest most insulting thing I have dealt with in the over ten years of serving I have done in my life. I guess, I wish they would put forth this type of effort, bringing in things that will bring people in, instead of making the restraunt look bad having a mgr that doesn't know how to wait a table to save his life.

Free said...

You know the old phrase those that can't, teach? Well the same is true for managers and executives. Those who can't serve, manage. When you get salary you sign away your common sense.

purplegirl said...

Free, you're so right. I always wonder how somebody sitting in an office across the country can think they're qualified to make decisions on things like this with no individual market research!

purplegirl said...

Anonymous, that's absolutely insane. And weird, since managers usually avoid table waiting at any cost. :)