Archive for April 24th, 2009
It’s not about how much money is spent, earned, or gained, but who ends up with the value in the end.
Check out this news story. Turns out, in honor of Earth Day (not really sure how this applies, but…) Popeye’s Chicken (which in my mind is far better than KFC!), offered a promotional special on national TV. Eight pieces of their awesome Cajun-cooked goodness, $4.99…in celebration of Earth Day. Again, missing the point here, but hey, I’ll eat Popeye’s and celebrate feel-good environmentalism. Just give me an extra helping of the dirty rice.
Well, it didn’t take long for the lines to go out the door, down the street, with swarms of hungry patrons wanting to take advantage of the deal.
The unfortunate part of this story is that the Minneapolis Popeye’s Chicken on Lake Street, the only one in the entire state of Minnesota, wasn’t participating in the national promotion. Since local proprietors can make the call of whether or not to participate in a national promotion, this Popeye’s declined.
Instead, they had homemade signs on the door that warded customers off, telling them, instead, the special was a nine-piece for $9.99, much to the chagrin of scores of hungry customers, ready to sink their teeth into that awesome Cajun-cooked goodness. (there is a theme developing here, I’m thinking). The customers came from miles around to
celebrate Earth Day feast on what was to be a great deal of yummy chicken priced at 62.5¢ a piece, but instead, were saddened by it being valued at $1.11 per piece. Some people were downright angry, requiring the police to be called in to settle the angry mob down.
Well, I’m not sure what the margins are there at Popeye’s but fast food places watch their margins very carefully. I once met a Taco Bell worker who told me that miniscule variances in how much cheese or beef that goes into your Meximelt or Burrito Supreme can be a big shock to overhead.
Yup, capitalism still works. All that’s required for it to get back on track is to find that price that people will pay because they think they are getting value for their money. What we learn here is that a piece of Popeye’s chicken is worth somewhere between $0.625 and $1.11.
We don’t need the government to keep bailing out companies. Companies just need to learn to make products that people want and will happily unload their wallets to get. It’s not about how much money is spent, earned, or gained, but who ends up with the value in the end. Find the value, and you’ll find the bottom of any recession and the balance point of any economy.
As I write this post, it’s dinner time. And while I’m eating a leftover piece of baked chicken (which is good stuff in its own right) from last night’s supper, I can only lament it’s not Popeye’s. Perhaps if the family goes through a drive-thru, I may have to conduct a night mission of my own.