by: cgod

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cgod  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Absence of Olive Gardens

Just a brief aside on the chain restaurant business model.

They buy nothing from Sysco. There is one business that owns the restaurant side and another that owns the distribution side. They are owned by the same guys. For all I know there might be a third that manufactures the slop.

Sysco can't provide the the consistency or the product that these stores need at a price they will pay. All the sauces come in jugs, cans or in frozen packets, the sauces are only for that chain. The cooks might need to rehydrate them.

The meat products are easy to handle and perfectly uniform having no variance in size or shape. Sysco dumps garbage on its customers with regularity, changes distributors or what ever it can to make an extra dime, wider variation in size of proteins or a different precooked burger than before. Sysco tells you that you are wrong and their shit is great, deal with it or call FSA.

Chains get exactly what they want at a competive price. The sauce is always the same because it's in the same 200 gallon batch by the same guy every time.

When a chain wants to expand they lower distribution prices and a franchise looks great profit wise. When a chain wants to boost it's stock price it tightens up costs on the distribution side and buys back a few of the franchises that it's stressed out with higher prices.

The chain sets the price on the menu and it sets the price of distribution. It makes all the profit on wholly owned stores, it makes all the money on distribution, it makes it's franchise fee.

A chain can raise distribution fees to lower store profits so that managers can't make their performance goals if they think too much money is going out in bounuses.

I've worked for franchises that were buying higher quality ingredients for a lower price to boost product quality and profits. Mixing three bags of franchise cheese with one bag of better cheese and making sure that the good shit was hard to find in the walk in just in case there was a cooperate inspection. It's the stuff lawsuits were made for.

He makes that point by the end of the essay.

I'm not joking and I don't think my views are dumb.

I'm comfortable with you not agreeing with me, you have your own belifes and values, doesn't make you right or me wrong to value and worry about different things.

Nice knee jerk, doesn't agree with me so it's dumb.

I keep trying to put out a decent response but Portland is snowed in and the shop is busy. I'll be brief.

There are no triumphs in foreign policy and many dissatisfaction.

We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and now have troops in a few new countries. The Arab spring made nothing better. Pivot to Asia doesn't seem to have even happened. Rapprochement with Russia, well...lolz. Israel is...a fucking mess, we really couldn't be getting along with them worse. Relations with Cuba is a nice thing but pretty underwhelming. There have been some improvements in relations with regional economic and governance groups around the world. He killed Osama!

Health care costs jumped more this year than they have in decades. Health care is supposed to be Obama's big thing. Personally I don't feel like the health care reform was done well, it might mostly be because I've paid more for less care every year since it's been passed and I lack any objectivity about all the good it's done. I'm paying significantly more for significantly less care as are most other people I know.

He 'saved the economy.' I think most presidents would have done about the same thing he did. Lots of people lost their homes but the 1% did pretty well as he bailed out the banks.

Some decent work on the environment and workers rights. Don't call it a legacy because much of it will be gutted in the next two years. Gays can openly serve in the military and LGBT rights have been advanced, that's cool but not really big impact stuff that wasn't coming down the pipes in the next decade Obama or not.

The main reason I think he should live in infamy. Government has become opaque and the citizens transparent. Bush got things started but the Obama administration really ran with it. Massive surveillance technology has been brought to bear against citizens while Freedom of Information requests are being denied at a record rate. NSL letters, prosecution of whistle blowers, Sneak and Peek warrants, suspicionless stops of American citizens at internal US checkpoints by the boarder patrol, prosecutions that are based on the fruit of knowledge obtained by technology's like stingrays where the defendant never gets to challenge the initial search or even know that it existed (who knows what else they are using). I could go on but this is a fair collection of the things his administration has been up to that trouble me.

The people get to see less and less of how the sausage is made while they have lost most of the protections that used to be assumed to be protected under the 4th amendment against getting ground up by government. I think that the relationship between government and the governed has been profoundly changed and there will be terrible consequences down the line when the new powers and protections available to government fall into the wrong hands. I think people we will look back and say that this was the time things really went off the tracks. Bush II was the inflection point in relationship and Obama was the guy who pushed things over the edge needlessly.

I could be getting crazy. I sound a lot like people I've known who were survailed and assailed by the FBI in the 60's. They sounded a little crazy to me until I heard some of the dirty tricks that the government put on them. There are people I love and respect who think I'm a little wacky but I still think that our society is in deep trouble and that Obama has done things that are undermining our basic constitutional protections and enhancing government power by degrading constitutional freedoms and the liberal democracy.

On an up note I just found out that a coffee shop three blocks from me is closing down. Huzzah! The opened after me and there is plenty of space to put a coffee shop without being that close to another one in this part of town. It was kind of a dick move. Their coffee wasn't as good as mine but they had some nice pastries that they made on site. I think what killed them was not being open 7 days a week and changing their hours too much. If they had been open seven days a week and had better brewing equipment they probably wouldn't have closed up shop. I don't know that I'll see a lot of business from them closing but I'll see a bit. They were very new Portland with natural wood edge counters and shiny and slick, my old building shop has a lot of character. I'm sure they played a lot of very comfortable music, I play all kinds of weird shit that is delightful if you don't want the standard Portland playlist. It's a lifestyle guig. I'm very old Portland... WTE, things might get better but they aren't going to change. I'd rather jump off a bridge than look at a natural edge counter all cut from the same tree for the rest of my days. Huzzah! Huzzah! I've outlasted the competition! I'm busier this winter than last! Huzzah! Seriously I just found out about this and want to crow but don't want to come off as a dick to my customers so this is my outlet.