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Luby's, Inc. Message Board

  • bravhart_78705 bravhart_78705 Jan 22, 2000 9:51 AM Flag

    Serious Talk

    How about some serious talk about LUB? If the coming demographic bulge is the aging boomers, how will the new loud hybrids appeal to them?

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    • And the Klingon People responded with a mighty voice:



      WWWWAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      The only thing klingon warriors care about are portion size, taste and price.

    • All Birds of Prey are ordered to power up their baine maries and prepare for combat.

      All units are ordered to seek out, engage, and destroy pseudo foods targets.

      EOM

    • Glad I helped light the fire, Klingon we've
      been dissed. Rock on Luby's.

    • Where have you been, Hoots? I have been patiently
      waiting for some time now (2 years) for someone to make
      some of the observations that you have made to date.
      The bantor here is simply the difference between
      Democrat and Republican, Ford and Chevy, likes and
      dislikes. Those on this board who believe in this company
      back the company. Those who have been burned beyond
      their tolerance level have nothing good to say about
      anything. Shortcuts? Bahh! the average customer that has
      the money to spend at Luby's or one of their
      competitors doesn't know what good food is supposed to taste
      like, let alone know the difference between
      'pre-prepped' or 'scratch'. Good point about the taste tests,
      Hoots. Every problem that Luby's has is the same that
      one or more of their competitors has had at some
      point in recent years. For all of you 'armchair
      Quarterbacks' on this board, change the channel! You're bound
      to find a game more to your liking! (For those
      Trekkies, you'll have to settle for re-runs.) I drive a
      Chevy and hold more closely to the Republican views
      than Democrats. However, I don't ram it down someone
      else's throats just to make myself feel
      better!
      Luby's has problems. On this point we all can concur.
      Unfortunately, none of us can solve all of them. The horse owner
      cannot ride the horse. The horse owner cannot ride the
      jockey, either. (How many know of a jockey that owns his
      own horse?) My last comment is this. The public will,
      as they have in the past, decide who stays in
      business and who does not buy the spending of their money.
      I hope that we have not turned away potential
      customers from Luby's by our pointing the finger,
      misquotes, one-ups-man-ship and meaningless babble. EOM

    • Don't give an inch, Rockhead. I have resisted the
      shortcuts every step of the way and I'm still doing it.
      It's a losing battle, but by holding on to every scrap
      of traditional cooking we maintain a place at the
      forward edge of quality. It's also good for production
      people to know that what they do is recognized and
      appreciated.
      There is a similar leadership attitude that
      applies to discharging people: We can choose to use our
      power to fire people as a maul, threatening
      subordinates into submission, or instead give the more
      sympathetic impression that terminating someone is a last
      resort and something that we hate doing as the most
      painful duty of management (which it is). The results are
      the same for the person who gets fired, but the
      impact upon the people who remain is quite
      different.
      ******
      Mr.Strategy, I'm sorry to have misled you. I have no idea what
      Luby's is doing because I have never been in a Luby's
      Cafeteria and have no connection with the company. I work
      for Piccadilly and visit the board because it is more
      lively than the Yahoo board for Piccadilly. Also, we are
      in the same line of work and I have heard nothing
      but good things about Luby's over the years.
      Your
      messages remind me of the owner of a horse talking down to
      a jockey who can't get the animal to do as the
      owner wants. Those of us who feed the family as well as
      the public are not as carelessly and willfully stupid
      as you might imagine. Your condescension is pretty
      transparent. I invite you to visit the PIC board and read my
      Post #389; I don't care to repeat it here.
      I am not
      sure what constitutes "authoritative data" but I will
      always remember a blind tasting that compared processed
      turkey with the product butchered and cooked the old
      fashioned way. I was grieved to learn that by a margin of
      three to one (or five to one, depending on who was
      doing the test) the public preferred the processed
      stuff over what we had been doing the hard way! It was
      like children choosing oleo over butter.
      I wish
      that running a cafeteria were as mechanical and
      controlable as your two cut and dried "options" infer, but
      I'm afraid it's not that straightforward.

    • Thanks for your edifying post, Hoots.

      To
      be sure I understand: you are telling us that LUB
      has switched from "fresh to canned instant mashed
      potatoes" and "from hand-breaded to factory-made fried
      okra" and:

      1.) NObody noticed, and

      2.)
      Quantitatively per item sales of those items were NOT AT ALL
      affected.

      Please also tell us whether this is just a "feel" or is
      based on authoritative data -- which is what I was
      seeking.

      (For instance in two "anecdotal conversations" I have
      had with unit managers I have been told that fried
      okra sales are DRASTICALLY DOWN since the switch to
      factory food.)

      Your points about labor intensive
      preparation, higher wages, lower unemployment, etc., are well
      taken. OBVIOUSLY these factors provoke a choice by LUB
      top management:

      1.) Cut corners and lower
      quality, increase margin EVERY way possible.

      OR


      2.) Improve operational efficiency (withOUT diluting
      quality) and increase demand.

      Option Two is darned
      hard work and requires great SKILL. Option One is
      relatively easy and helps profits quickly (IF you don't
      consider long-term asset erosion.)

      Since we pay
      them MILLIONS, which direction are we shareholders
      entitled to expect?

      It is increasingly obvious
      which direction we ARE getting. Our decreasing sales in
      boom times, eroding market share and pitiful stock
      price reflect it.

    • Rock on Luby's.

    • In the end no matter what way you slice it, dice
      it, or prep it what you said is true. It
      is a
      constant battle to overcome the daily pressures that
      affect your bottom line without affecting sales growth.
      Sorry I still am passionate about what I stick in my
      craw, that's why pre-made is so hard to swallow.

    • As someone who has been reared to love and take
      pride in made from scratch products I have had to come
      to terms in the last few years with some
      uncomfortable realities. First, food technology is much better
      than it once was. I switched from fresh to canned
      instant mashed potatoes, from hand-breaded to
      factory-made fried okra, from scratch to ready-made bulk
      mayonnaise, from butchered to processed turkey, (and the list
      could continue) and I am sorry to report that nobody
      noticed and sales were not affected.
      [Piccadilly
      turned the beverage line around and under the direction
      of Coca Cola converted to self-serve and we all
      looked at each other and said "Why did this take us so
      long?" How much margin did we have on pre-iced water in
      breakable glasses for all those years?]
      Second, with
      wages marching ever upward, the luxury of cooking from
      scratch is going to have to be reserved for higher price
      points than customers associate with cafeterias. I takes
      no deep thinking to see the connection between wages
      and prices, between skill levels and wages, and
      between low unemployment and skill levels. The federal
      minimum wage is sure to go up in the next year and the
      impact on labor intensive service businesses like ours
      is as predictable as the sunrise.
      Sorry about
      that. Discussions about convenience foods are moot. The
      option is disappearing unless somebody can figure out a
      way to pursuade lots of the public to wait willingly
      in lines to eat what we serve in a crowded dining
      room and pay more for the experience than they have in
      the past...a LOT more.

    • Something similar crossed my mind. When we heard
      that the local old-style Luby's was to be remodeled
      with booths, my wife (early 50's) didn't like the
      idea. Not from a noise standpoint, but she prefers a
      table near the window and doesn't care for booths. So
      if most of the window space is switched to booths,
      it'll be a negative for her. If Luby's spends a lot of
      money remodelling all the locations, they may not
      improve their revenue as much as they hope. None of the
      new-style Luby's have been open more than 18 months (one of
      Luby's statistics is same-store sales of locations open
      over 18 months), so they can't really be sure of the
      long term effect of remodelling.

      The drive-thru
      windows are definitely a plus. And new smaller Luby's in
      medium-sized towns will be too. But I hope Luby's isn't going
      full blast with a cookie-cutter approach to
      remodelling.

      The old-style Austin Luby's I mentioned in a prior
      posting had had a drive-thru window installed but the
      inside wasn't changed, at least not yet.

      Oh, and
      another trivial note, not all Luby's charge $1.09 for
      iced tea, at least one was $0.99 two weeks ago. Maybe
      it was a moving special.

 
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