Why any Georgie Pie return will flop

As a former Georgie Pie employee in the mid-90’s, I thought it wise that I lay down a few truths regarding any “come back” that may or may not happen.

Recipe

For a start, while McDonald’s presumably holds the intellectual property for the pie recipes, the original plant is gone and they would be stuck trying to recreate a flavour profile without any of the original staff that ran that plant. So right off the bat, I would be shocked if the product tasted the same.

Hurdle #1: “This doesn’t taste like Georgie Pie!”

Price

Georgie Pie was beloved for the value menu pricing they introduced – everything was $1/$2/$3/$4 etc. A whole pie for only ONE dollar? Madness! Wildly popular.

I started working at Georgie Pie when this was in full flight, and ours was a popular store. (Kelston, the first drive thru in New Zealand!). On Friday nights, the store would be fully staffed (store manager, shift manager, dedicated bake station, fry station, 2 or 3 on drive thru, and staff for as many registers as we had, plus a floater who would switch between restaurant clean up and backing up front counter), and we would still have queues out the door. Literally, out the door. On more than one occasion, while I was working the drive thru register, my till would be completely filled with cash. I couldn’t fit any more in and would have to dump some in a take-out bag under the till just to keep up.

But after the value menu pricing became unsustainable, prices went up. For the most part, this meant hardly any change. A $1 pie became $1.10, that sort of thing. Not a big change, but the customer backlash was HUGE. Those queues out the door? Never once saw them again. Customers, who for the last 15 years have been harping on about how much the loved Georgie Pie and how much they missed it, just stopped coming. That was the beginning of the end.

Hurdle #2: “How much? Georgie Pie is supposed to cost a dollar!”

Waste

This was the elephant in the room that truely doomed Georgie Pie. At it’s heart, it was an incredibly wasteful business, not because of any failings in the business processes, but simply by the very nature of the business. Pies aren’t like burgers or pizzas than can be cooked in minutes – while Georgie Pie used the same commercial conveyor ovens you’ll find at any pizza chain, the pies (which arrived frozen, with a pre-cooked filling but raw pastry) took 22 minutes to cook. With only limited space for these ovens (they’re BIG), you can only cook a certain amount of pies at once, so to prepare for a lunch or dinner rush, baking would start 2 hours in advance.

How would we know how much to bake? Crystal ball, magic runes, the way the wind was blowing? Nope, even back then in the dark ages of the 90’s, the computer told us. It was some kind of mainframe type system, where the PC in the store office connected to head office and printed out a daily bake sheet. This was based on months and years worth of sales data, and the bake sheet was individual for each store. It told us how many of each pie variety we should put on to bake at what time of the day, for the entire day. Most of the time, this worked fine. But often, it would go badly wrong, either leaving us with too many pies if it was a dead day, or not enough if it was busy. And because of that 22 minute bake time, it was very hard to ramp up quickly if we were running low. This annoyed customers obviously, but, because of dwindling sales figures, managers were reluctant to increase bake numbers, because more and more frequently, we’d be left with massive overage.

Georgie Pie was always a fairly wasteful business. Pies had a 3 hour lifespan from the time they came out of the oven. Once they hit that time, they would be written off and chucked out. If you ever paid attention to the packet your pie came in, it had a time code written on it – on EVERY pie. So on a quiet day, we’d be throwing out piles of pies. Ideally, 30 to 50 per day would be a reasonable number.

As someone who often worked close shifts (late night), I would often be doing these write-off sheets. If your close shift had a decent manager, they’d let staff take some pies home after they’d been written off. It was against company policy, but fuck it, they were only going in the rubbish compactor anyway right? Well let me describe the scale of the waste – on one night alone, I once took home over 300 cooked pies. THREE HUNDRED. I wasn’t the only staff member who took home pies that night. You better believe the boys were stoked when I turned up to their place after work and feed their stoned munchies with entire boxes of hot pies! The deep freeze at home was stocked with pies for over a 18 months after I stopped working there.

Hurdle #3: “Holy fuck this business is costing us a FORTUNE”

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Breast Cancer Month

Breast cancer is something that has affected many of us, some in more personal ways to others, but regardless, just about everyone knows someone who has either suffered from it, lost someone to it, or even had a scare.

Myself, I lost my mother to breast cancer. In less than 18 months she went from being perfectly healthy, to first having a lump removed, then the entire breast, then finally passing while on the waiting list to have the second breast removed.

She led a busy life raising two kids mostly on her own, teaching, being the first one to volunteer for whatever task needed completing at whatever activity us kids were doing, getting up at 5am to take me to training, work all day, drive in to Auckland hospital for her radiotherapy, drive back out west to take me training again, then get home and cook dinner. IF she didn’t have a meeting to go to about something or other first.

From there, radiotherapy and chemo took a massive toll on her. Cancer is an awful way to die. She lost about 40% of her bodyweight. She could barely eat, yet she continued to run around after us. In the month or two before she died, she was practically bedridden. She was utterly heartbroken that her 13 year old son had to empty her bedpan for her. And yet, throughout all this, she kept a positive attitude. She refused to believe she was going to die, to the point of refusing to sign her updated will. A week before she died she contacted her boss to say that whilst she was too ill to return to work for Term 1, she was confident that she would in Term 2.

She died suddenly in bed at home at 7am on Jan 14th 1993. She was 42. A few years later, her sister also was taken by breast cancer at a similar age. Make no mistake, it is a terrible, drawn out way to die.

One of the main goals of mine is to increase awareness amongst all my female friends and acquaintances of the importance of regular self examinations. Early detection and diagnosis gives the best chance of total recovery in the worst case scenario of a malignant tumour. If my mum had discovered her lump even 6 months earlier, she most likely would still be here today, let alone had it happened today with improved medical treatments.

It’s not something that is hard to do and takes no time at all. I urge you to please, just do it. Those of you close to me know how I’m still affected by her death even today. Barely a day goes by where I don’t miss her.

Donate to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation here.

Health System Woes

So some of you have probably noticed the articles in the Herald over the last few days about poor service at North Shore Hospital:

‘Shoddy’ hospital accused over death
How the hospital failed my daughter

And a few other bits and pieces:
‘Critical’ doctor shortage at Starship Hospital
Hospitals fearful of doctors’ strikes

And I can add to this my own observations from recent weeks – my stepmother went in for hip surgery after a fall, and the day after surgery suffered 2 blood clots causing a pulmonary embolism and a major stroke, stopping her heart. She spent 6 days in ICU, the first 24 hours of that of life support, then was moved to the stroke ward. ICU staff and care level was nothing short of brilliant. Seriously amazing care, so much so that Dad is arranging a fairly substantial donation to the unit. All well and good so far.

Once in the ward where she stayed fro another week and a half, the care level dropped dramatically. Despite spending as much of the day there as he could, Dad never ONCE saw a doctor. Sure, the patient did – but they felt all they needed to do was explain things to her – the women who just had a major stroke, has suffered major permanent brain damage, is doped up, confused, and has no short term memory. He asked for a meeting with them several times, even waited hours and hours for someone to show up, and nothing. Alarms on the machines she was still hooked up to were left ignored (the one pumping blood thinners to avoid further stroke being one), and they couldn’t even get food orders right – because of the stroke-induced paralysis, she had to have soft, moist food – mush basically. Instead, they send up dry, cold, chicken drumsticks.

After a week and a half of this, she was deemed medically stable enough to move to a bed that opened up in the Waitakere Stroke ward. Even though it’s a hospital run by the same DHB, the level of care was immediately a hundred times better. Within TWO hours of being there, she had been assigned a primary care nurse, met the physiotherapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist, and had an assessment by the head doctor. TWO HOURS. All these staff made a point to introduce themselves to the family, explain roughly what they would be doing, and in the case of the head doctor, told us a few things she picked up right away that North Shore missed. Like the reason she was having chest pains? They weren’t sitting her totally upright to eat, so she was getting heart burn. Severe enough heartburn to cut through the morphine and oxycontin she was on. How simple is that? Oh, and North Shore also failed to send though her complete notes also, just a summary sheet. Handy eh? A few other complications from minor to serious were picked up, but even Waitakere staff were dumbfounded, let alone us. Doctor also told us that just the day before, she was the only doctor covering both Waitakere and North Shore. Smart huh?

So, after that story, you’ll be glad to know the government is on top of the situation, right? They are going to get it ALL sorted out!

The Health Ministry’s new chief believes it is possible to cut doctor and nurse positions without compromising health services.

Kevin Woods, head of Scotland’s National Health Service, will take over as New Zealand’s Director-General of Health in early 2011, the State Services Commission announced today.

Dr Woods has headed the NHS in Scotland since 2005.

Earlier this year, he oversaw the axing of 1500 nurse positions in Scotland.

At the time, he was asked by a Government committee whether it was possible to still provide quality health services with “significantly fewer” doctors and nurses.

“Yes, we believe we can,” Dr Woods said.

“We see our pursuit of quality also linked to our policy to improve efficiency. We’ve invested considerable amounts in equipping the health service with the tools to do that and yes, we do believe we can continue to make progress.”

Yerp, that’s the way to improve health services, slash the number of health professionals. Useless parasites that they are!  (Hat tip to MojoBob for that line)

Mix: Danny Byrd Essential Mix

Shit is TIGHT. 66 tunes in two hours, and a bit of everything, even some breakbeat hardcore.

Tracklist
01. Danny Byrd — Tonight (feat. Netsky)
02. Serum — Rat Trap
03. Enei & Engage — Carnage
04. Camo & Krooked — Shoreless
05. Nu:Tone — Shine In (feat Natalie Williams)
06. Brookes Brothers — Paperchase (feat Danny Byrd)
07. Original Sin & Taxman — Casino
08. Cyantific — Anything
09. Danny Byrd — Ill Behaviour (feat I-Kay)
10. Cyantific — 305
11. Sky Ferrari — One (Logistics Remix)
12. Magical Gravity — Best Of Friends
13. Mikal — Saying Nothing
14. Danny Byrd — We Can Have It All (Sigma Remix)
15. Xample & Lomax — Link To The Past
16. Reso — War Machine
17. Manix — Feel Real Good
18. Krome & Time — Sound For Underground
19. Acen — Trip To The Moon Part 2
20. DJ Seduction — Hardcore Heaven
21. The Prodigy — Fire
22. Nookie — Give A Little Love (94 lick)
23. Danny Byrd feat Tomahawk — Hot Fuzz
24. Level 2 — Ghetto Sounds
25. Mikal — New World
26. Subliminal Cuts — Le Voie Le Soleil (L-While Remix)
27. Metrik — T1000
28. Cyantific — Bounce It
29. Muffler — Can You Feel
30. LTJ Bukem — Horizons
31. Metrik — Lightspeed
32. Fred V & Grafix — Long Distance
33. Lauren Pritchard — Not The Drinking (Sigma Remix)
34. Danny Byrd — Judgement Day (feat Cyantific & I-Kay)
35. Q Project — Slowly But Surely
36. Furlonge — Duel
37. Original Sin & Taxman — Penamana
38. Die & Interface — Bright Lights (Netsky Remix)
39. The Prototypes — Cascade
40. Danny Byrd — Red Mist VIP (feat I-Kay) (Alternate Mix)
41. Agent Alvin — Move
42. Unicorn Kid — Wild Life (Nu:Tone Remix)
43. Fresh & Sigma — Lassitude
44. The Upbeats — Hollow Mountain
45. Double 99 — Rip Groove
46. DJ Zinc — Wile Out (feat Ms Dynamite)
47. Sticky — Boo (feat Ms Dynamite)
48. DJ Zinc — 138 Trek
49. Cyantific — Streets Of Rave
50. Friction vs Camo & Krooked feat Dynamite MC — St& Up
51. Fred V & Grafix — Decades
52. Supra — Smash
53. Supra — Smash
54. Supra — Smash
55. Danny Byrd — Sweet Harmony (feat Liquid) (Jungle mix)
56. Nu:Tone — New Technique (feat Logistics)
57. Danny Byrd — Amen Alley
58. Brookes Brothers — War Cry
59. Benny Page — Bad Man 4 War (Remix)
60. Duck Sauce — Barbra Streis& (Sigma Remix)
61. Cyantific & Logistics — Brighter Day (feat Natalie Williams)
62. Taxman — Navigator
63. Camo & Krooked — Can’t Get Enough
64. Shapeshifter — The Touch (Netsky Remix)
65. Mutated Forms feat Jenna G — Last Time
66. Unquote & Molecular Structures — Lubov Moya

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SUPERSTAR DJ WEEKEND

Yerp, dusting off the tunes and playing a few gigs this weekend.

Friday: Liquid Supper
7pm – 3am @ Supper Club, Beresford Square

Resident DJ’s BenQ and Kwrk, plus special guests Kris B and Andy Beck.

Saturday: ASDF
8pm till 3am at Red Bar, 57 Pitt Street

A random night of various sounds from Dalai, Jason George, Kris B, and special guest Heylady (J.E.F., Welly). boh!

Problem > Solution

Scenario: We just got some new Dell Latitude 2110 netbooks, to go with our existing set of 8 2100’s.

Existing 2100.

Problem: The new ones ship with high capacity batteries, which are twice as thick. This means they don’t fit in the expensive trolley we have to store and transport them in.

New 2110

Back to back

The holes they have to fit in

Solution: Brute force and sheer ignorance!

GET SOME!

Grind off the little foot nub thing!

Now it fits! Job well done.

Andy Bukshot Minimix

30 minute minimix from the one like Andy Bukshot!

Tim Healy – Rio (Slyde remix)
Slyde – Move Your Body
Empire of the Sun – Walking on a dream (Krafty Kuts remix)
DJ Zinc – Killa Sound (Heavyfeet Remix)
Nick Thayer – Zombies
Christian J / Dylan Rhymes – Party People (Elite Force re-edit)
Elite Force – The Law of Life (re-edit)
Robyn – Konichiwa Bitches (Trentemoller remix)

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