Oct 22, 2009

Waste Wasting Business!

This revealing quote from another blog I found from a former employee sums up my waste argument:
"Because of the nature of the spades, proportioning is always done wrong. Employees commonly make everything one size bigger. Also, Cold stone makes more of a profit when you buy the medium or larger."

One of Cold Stone's problems is that it is a franchise-based business. There is no way to be able to monitor each and every store or the conduct of its employees, especially when it comes to sizing the ice cream. By having such large sizes, they automatically set themselves up for a large amount of waste when employees mis-proportion already extravagant sizes.

According to a Wall Street Journal article: Many franchisees are selling their stores, disaffected by what they say was too sweet a sales pitch by Cold Stone headquarters."

I experienced this first hand. Near the end of my time at Cold Stone, my boss was trying desperately to sell because profits were declining. She directed a lot of the down turn in profits to wasted ice cream, and I believe that is true. As I showed in the previous post, employees are desensitized to the waste.

At the beginning of each shift, employees are supposed to practice "pulling" ice cream from the stone and then weight the amount to make sure it is the correct size... NO ONE actually follows through with this procedure because it is time consuming and wasteful in itself. Therefore, the cycle of over sizing continues, because it is impossible to correctly eye-ball the amount of ice cream.

Cold Stone even invented an interactive training game to help their employees work on persuasion tactics AND see the effect their over-sizing has on waste and profits. Though, as an example of the disjointed nature of having so many franchises, I had never even heard of this game (which might have been very beneficial) until researching for this blog... so it's obviously not implicated often.

Check out a screen shot of this game!
Notice the tally of wasted ice cream in the left hand corner. (click on the "screen shot" link to get a clearer view)

Obviously, Cold Stone needs to further educate their employees, perhaps making sure that all are aware of this game. BUT, the underlying solution is just to make sizes smaller, undercutting waste over all!

Cold Stone's over proportioning is hurting their business, not just your waist line!

Employee testimonies from the "Behind the Stone" Facebook group:
  • "The two Cold Stone stores I used to work at closed because of low profit :[. Now we only have one and I never go there!"
  • "i use to love my store, but then two new owners bought it and changed everything.. they started making cuts on certain things to save every extra penny (like saving expired waffle cups) and drove all of us to quit."
^ I suppose reusing old waffle products saves waste, but gross! Owners should not be driven to these measures to stay in business!

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