Wow. Double Wow. Tim tendered his resignation. Things have to be bad. And Eric being promoted back to SVP? He was supposed to be that before and failed miserably both with and without Smokey. They sent him back to DO to get some more experience, let's hope it worked. But with Tim gone? Darius had better be the second coming or the company is in deep doo-doo.
This has all been hashed out already. They were significantly under capitalized, and the delays in raising money led to a delay in store openings. The wort house needed 25 units to pencil out so the stores had to be built. The last several store openings got bunched together and happened so quickly that they not only had a good enough talent pool to fill all the key positions, but got spread too thin to be able to sufficiently oversee operations. Add on top of that the fact that food and energy prices damn near doubled, and it created a perfect storm for failure.
Had it not been the money scramble issue and high commodity prices, I doubt we would be having this conversation.
At this point it doesn't really matter. They've been tinkering with the concept since day one. Originally it was full breweries. Then it was Fermentus Interruptus. Then it became a focus on the food. (for wall street) At this point they should probably quit building breweries in new stores an brew the beer in ellsworth.
Hey micman, if it's not unit-level mis-management, but upper level mis-management, then maybe Tim and Art were to blame and they choose to leave instead of sticking around and facing the music. Either way you slice it, things will change.
I don't think anyone is angry it is more of a disappointment in the company. I still like to go in and a have a Boch but do I want to work or buy more stock in the company? Ah.... not anymore.
I love reading the posts here just to see what the thoughts are from both investors AND former operators. This last post has to be the most objective I have read in a while. I was also, as Cards once said, "allowed to pursue other employment", but am far from bitter. It allowed me to get the hell out of that god foresaken business once and for all. But I will say this, even though he gave me the "opportunity", as an operator Tim Cary is brilliant. The unfortunate part of GC's destiny is that it's philosophy of long term building of it's consumer base through guest service and quality product doesn't jive with having to produce for an investor base RIGHT NOW. I would wager that anyone who has operated for GC believes that the "idea" is fantastic, but the demands of the company because of who they report too (investors) keeps the axe pretty sharp. I saw it take a toll on several great operators, and it will continue to do so.
I really don't believe there is a short term fix for this company. As long as they continue down their current philosophical road and Wags continues to talk out both sides of his mouth, GC will continue to struggle and they'll run out of operators. Of course this is all my humble opinion. FYI one of the locations has been open for 2 years and is now on it's fourth GM...the first three given "opportunities" even though the unit is a dog. And if I'm not mistaken that unit does not have an original management team member left. Now that's turnover!
I hope you realize that CC's are spun in the most favorable light for the company. I too have listened to the CC's, and let me tell you, the fact that Art and Tim are gone is not a good thing no matter how you spin it.
Store level management got squeezed because of mistakes made at the corporate level, many of which were the result of being under capitalized. They took the brunt of the workload and were not compensated/rewarded for it. I really don't blame them for being disgruntled. Until it happens to you, it's hard to understand.
It's one thing to acknowledge that mismanagement occured. It's another to actually be able to do something about it. As Wags said, "It's a matter of who can best hire and train a large group of 18-22 year olds.
Turnover is not a good thing.
Go read ALL of Cards posts. He is not bitter.
I see it the same way Kahlua. It's unfortunate that Mr. Balls chooses to be insulting and refuse to listen to the voices of experience but that is apparently what he is. I would think that the smart investory would try to learn from the postings on this board and be prepared to ask some good questions at the next conference call like: Why exactly did Tim & Art leave? You probably won't get the truth, but how they stumble through...or not...the answer will tell you about them. What is/can the new corporate management team do that Tim & Art couldn't that will result in the changes they desire? What is management turnover percentage, and how does it compare with the national average in similar concepts? What are future plans if the economy continues to be challenged vs. plans for is the economy improves soon (you can only hope they do have more than one plan). I guess we will see at the next conference call.
I like how your only support to back up your claim of store level mismanagement is a conference call run by the people who are to blame. If they told you the sky was red would you believe that? Do you expect these guys to get in the call and say, "hey, sorry we fucked up"?
I was not a managing partner, only an assistant so everything that I did was based on what my 2 bosses wanted. We constantly had the best food cost and labor in the company, and yet I NEVER received a bonus check. Our store was managed as well as humanly possible and I'm not bitter whatsoever about the time I spent with GC. I learned enough there that I can write my own ticket in any restaurant I choose so to say that mismanagement at the store level is the cause for the failure is ridiculous. The standard and practices that Tim and Art put in place were to be honest basically fool proof. Granite City practically could run itself. The financial mismanagement at the absolute top level is the reason for the failure. Do you think Art and Tim would leave if they thought store level failure was to blame? No, those guys would show up at the store and put the fear of god in everyone until things were done correctly. Until you have been there and done that don't spealk about what was the casuse.
And ... That is exactly what makes you look the fool! We were all there! We've seen this first hand. We could see the writing on the wall! This place has no identity and isn't making money! That - as a manager and my income made me just a little nervous! AND if you believe for a second that it was mismanagement at the store level that is a joke! You are so micromanaged that it is impossible to not follow the upper management lead! Somewhere things went drastically wrong and I firmly believe it was expanding WAY TOO FAST! If they stayed private and didn't have all the pressure to expand to grow revenues this would have been a great concept. Don't get me wrong if this concept had any legs I was on board, but being a pretty logical guy and knowing you can't run stores that lose money month after month after month this is not good. Think what you want but facts are facts. The sad thing is I really liked this company and it is truely a shame what has happened to it.
Once again, a bunch of ex-managers bashing a company that they helped put on life support. I've listened to the conference calls, and it was the mis-management of the business at the unit level that brought Granite City to it's knees. I just hope that Tim and Art got out of the way in time. The new management team has their work cut out for them, but luckily those that could not make their unit profitable (cardsfan, micman, tos, kahlua, and others) are not onboard anymore. I am looking forward to the third quarter conference call. Maybe I'm going out a limb, but I bet things are looking better already. I, like many other long-term stock holders, could use some positive results.