Baja Fresh Meeting


I'm sitting here in the internet cafe, and am eavesdropping on a fascinating conversation between a regional manager of Baja Fresh and 6 (hispanic) franchisees of different stores. They are discussing how executives are flying in to examine the stores and personnel in the Northern VA area over the next few days. Here are some details of the conversation:

Be well dressed and prepared.

Sales: Clarendon dropped down, after July 4th, for some unknown reason. Rosllyn had a good week. A $1700 and $1300 dollar day...

It seems that sales of $31K or $32K a month is very good.

Why is it that one store can run with far smaller paper costs than other stores?

Now they're talking about the misuse of wrappings of fajitas and avocados... the want to let customers ask for bags, since the costs of automatically providing them are high... do not keep them out! inventory of paper goods appears cyclical, which means inventory is not being kept low.

Forecasts of monthly sales must be in by Tuesday? Redo the projections including the most recent historical information.

Now they're looking at montly sales per hour of manpower. The store in Pentagon City is doing very well; not so in Manassas... Clarendon had $22.5K of sales in 533 manhours...

P&L: Will be emailed to everybody. He's now teaching them how to read a P&L!

Rent was $41K in Pentagon Row over 10 months, contingent on sales...

Food Safety: You are the general manager of the business. It's my responsibility to support you; call me if and when you need it. I trust your judgement.

I'm not sure how baja was run before, but now...

(The regional executive keeps looking at me suspicously, so I should go...)

My take: These details of running a profitable business are so mundane but essential. How did we ever think central planning would work?

UPDATE:If your food and labor is over 50% of sales, you're in trouble. Most restaurants run 50%-60% direct labor. Where the executive came from, everything is frozen and premade (14% labor + 27% food). Baja can't get those numbers, but must work at it. The Baja numbers for Virginia--61%--without management costs.

Baja lost $50K in Virginia last month. Clarendon lost money last month. In fact, a lot of them lost money... Whose store made money? One guy--$2600 last month.

Why are there no female franchisees at this meeting?


i would like no more about barter if you you cane call me at (361)5483535

Of course they're losing money, everyone knows Chipotle is where it's at ;)

I always liked Baja Fresh better than Chipotle, but since I moved to San Diego, I've patronized Rubio's -- much, much better than BF.


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on July 13, 2004 3:47 PM.

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