Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Burger King Dilemma

It's an odd German story brewing over Burger King.

In the recent past.....Burger King in Germany sold off 91 franchises to a group of investors.  This group put one guy in charge of manpower and business decisions..... and he's drawn a bit of negative attention.

What the national news folks (MEX, Germany's business program on the state-run channel) say.....is that several policies have been delivered by the new leadership to employees.  Basically.....by legal discussions....these policies violate bits and pieces of Germany's employee rules.

Examples: pay for holidays, night-time, and over-time was erased.  The five minutes spent dressing at the beginning of the shift and the end....erased.  Union meetings take place after work-hours.

In the US....you'd say that it's a nickel and dime management decision.  You cut a bit here and there....to save a few bucks....and over a year, it's real profit margin.

Sadly, in Germany.....you end up in the work-court, with some lawyer charging you a fair amount per hour.....to define your wisdom and management decisions.  The work-court won't likely see your wisdom as being right within the standard rules, and you end up paying legal fees, and back-pay....along with some stupid fine.

The big company of Burger King?  They can stand and say they have no connection to this business.....it's all the issue of the franchise owner.  In this case, they might be right.  But there's this issue of customers feeling hostile over bad practices, and skipping the BK stop.  Profits over all German BK operations?  I'd make a humble guess if the story continues on and gets more press attention....they'd lose five percent of their yearly profit.

As for the franchise owners?  It'd be curious to know what operations that they've previously owned, and how often they've been in work-court.  But I doubt that MEX would dare investigate that side of the story.

Bottom line?  Your cheap whopper is that cheap....mostly because of cheap labor.  If you're happy with this.....no problem.

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