Showing posts with label Baskin-Robbins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baskin-Robbins. Show all posts

Quart Percentage

I worked at a Baskin-Robbins store in Lancaster back in the late 80’s. The folks at Baskin-Robbins corporate thought that it would be interesting to have a contest to see which store could sell the most pre-pack quarts of ice cream and tied in monetary incentive to ensure that everyone was excited to participate. Our store manager Mike took the bait and set up an in-store contest with all the workers to see who could sell the most quarts.

At the time, I was working about 30-40 hours per week at the store. I would open at 9:00am and work until 5:00pm. I sold a shit load of quarts. Mike kept track of quart sales on a grid and updated it every few days. The entire staff went absolutely out of their way to suggest our customers purchase quarts instead of dipping. It was quite obnoxious.

It was easy to see on the chart that I was way in the lead on quart sales, but Mike had a final column which divided the number of quarts sold by the number of hours worked. When that percentage was factored in, I was in third place. I tried to argue that I worked the slow hours and that quantity should reign, but Mike would have none of that. So I redoubled my efforts and tried to outsell my hours.

In the end, I failed. One of the chicks who worked an average of five hours a week won. There was no prize for second place. Mike said to me, “Sorry, Doug. It’s all about percentages.”

But there was a caramel chocolate crunch lining to the cloud. Mike suggested that if our store won in the region, he would share the wealth. As Mike tallied up the numbers, he saw that we were way ahead in the region. Baskin-Robbins corporate was basing the winner on percentage increase in sales from the previous quarter. By Mike's math, our store was in the lead ahead of all the other stores due to the frenzied sales staff. There was no way we could lose.

Except that we did.

One other Baskin-Robbins store in the region had not sold any pre-packed quarts in the previous quarter. When they finally did sell a few quarts, the fine folks at Baskin-Robbins accounting set their calculators on fire trying to divide by zero. So instead they set the store’s previous quart sales at “1” and you can see that even if they only sold one other quart, their sales would have increased 100%. While our store's sales increased 65% over the quarter, the other store’s sales went up some ungodly percentage because they sold more than one quart. That store was awarded the win and our store was in a distant second place, but there was no prize for second place.

Sorry, Mike. It’s all about percentages.

{Author’s note: Damn right I made up most those numbers. I can’t remember those kind of details from that long ago. The numerical intent is solid. We did get fucked and I did have the most quart sales.}