Archive for February, 2008

Sabotaged – The Reveal

First off, the attack perpetuated against the site and survey was the equivalent of being beaten with a wet noodle. It’s amazing they even got here in the first place. I guess the Internet came pre-installed on their computer. Perhaps Snidely needs to find a 15 year old versed in computers for the next go round.

But I digress…

I managed to grab the survey data and remove all the junk entries. I will admit these figures are tainted and now contain a certain margin of error, but I believe they are still pretty useful for what they are. The numbers you see listed on the survey results are the correct values, but here is a break down of them.

For the first question – “How many customers “come through the door” each month?” we have the following figures:

Less than 50 – 4 (7 bogus entries entered)

50-100 – 4 (21 invalid entries entered)

100-200 – 22 (62 invalid entries entered)

200-300 – 7 (7 invalid entries entered)

300-400 – 2 (8 invalid entries)

400+ – 3 (1 invalid entry)

The real number of votes is 42 (106 invalid entries)

For the question – Where are you in the ownership process?

Researching – 12 (no changes)

In business- successful – 13 (81 invalid entries entered)

In business- hopeful – 39 (4 invalid entries)

In business- on the way out the door – 20 (no changes)

Out of business – 19 (3 invalid entries)

Number of real votes: 103 (88 invalid entries)

It looks like a majority of people are hopeful, with the same number getting ready to close the doors or have closed them.

The average number of guests seems to be somewhere between 100-200 a month. That is actually higher than I would have thought. I had expected it to be slightly lower than 100 a month, so that is actually good news. There are a couple people out there with great number; I would love to hear their stories and see if we can get some information passed down to the other stores to help them out.

We also have a good handful of people who are successful so maybe between these two groups we can gather up some useful information.

I was hoping we could have gathered more data for another couple of weeks, but I guess we have to make due with what we have.

Behold the power of Sabotage!

It seems Snidely Whiplash has taken our survey hostage, tied it to the railroad tracks and mercilessly clicked the Vote button.

Oh no! And there’s a train coming!

Last night in the wee hours of the morn, someone who thought that the truth was too painful a pill to swallow has decided to save us all from ourselves and adjust the survey results so that a more favorable outcome could be achieved. As such the results of the survey are no longer rooted in reality and while we can all feel good about ourselves and the work we have done to turn this industry around overnight, I fear this jubilation will be short lived and in the light of sobriety we will feel that something is strangely amiss.

I personally believe this is the result of some political entity since they are known for vote manipulation, tampering and stuffing (at least that’s what I read) and since we are in an election year the evil forces of the hanging chad must be out in force practicing their wicked ways and preparing themselves for the task ahead.

Either that or some delusional and inebriated youth was trying to log into World of Warcraft and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.

But I digress…

At any rate, someone has deliberately altered the polling results so they are null and void. I do not have what the results were before being changes, but it was done last night in the early hours of the morning. While this is obviously disappointing and annoying since this may have been one of the first times we actually had real data on how stores were doing, it is also amusing that someone out there is so scared and distressed over the results that they would go to such lengths to change them.

It would seem the saboteur was dedicated to the cause and spent quite a bit of time clicking since the votes are nearly double what they were previously (probably an extra 80 or so votes for each). Both polls have been affected so unfortunately we have lost the results. I have been tracking the results to make sure the survey was working but not what the individual votes were. Of course both polls are now closed so please accept my apologies on that. I was truly hoping we could gather some real data store owners could use in their research and for our own education and benefit.

Should I take this as a sign that some people are becoming scared of this site? :)

I will do what I can to salvage the data, I know a few tricks of my own Mes Amis!

And thanks to “Former Kool-aid Drinker” for spotting this bit of conspiracy.

Nobody Wants a Cooled-Off Hot Trend

Wow, it looks like even Entrepreneur is starting to change their mind on this industry. Maybe they will finally take it off their list of hot trends…?

What? What was that sound? A hot trend cooling. The fatal flaw. Damn.

This is what bothers me with the idea that there are types of businesses that can be hot or cold, good opportunities or bad. I think it’s about what you want to do, what your market needs, who you are and so on, as in my mirror post a couple of weeks ago. But people keep asking what’s a good business to start. They keep looking for lists of hot businesses. I worry about that.

– Link to NY Times article on meal assembly removed –

Choosing a business isn’t a matter of selecting from random business offerings, franchises and models that are out in front as hot trends. It’s about you and what you do. And note that some people got into the meal-assembly shops because they wanted to, they genuinely liked the idea, and they were good at it. Do you want to bet that those are the ones doing fine? It’s the trend spotters and list makers who get in too late. Usually.

Nobody Wants a Cooled-Off Hot Trend

Expect food prices to keep rising, industry says


WASHINGTON — Americans who dug deeper into their pockets for groceries last year will face sticker shock again this year when shopping for food, experts said Thursday.

Consumer food prices are expected to rise 3.0% to 4.0% this year after a 4.0% gain in 2007, said USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber at the U.S. Agriculture Department’s annual outlook conference.

RELATED: Global demand lifts grain prices, gobbles supplies

He added that “overall retail food prices for 2008 to 2010 are expected to rise faster than the general inflation rate.”

“There’s going to be real food inflation in this country,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive of U.S. beef processor Smithfield Foods (SFD).

Expect food prices to keep rising, industry says –

How many customers "come through the door" each month?

The response to the first Poll has been fantastic! 85 people let us know where they are in the ownership process of meal assembly. I hope you will indulge me with another question.

This time:

How many customers “come through the door” each month?

Less than 50






Hopefully this will give a better understanding of how customers are still using meal assembly per month.

I hope you’ll take a moment and participate!

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