i reread the posts to this thread today while respondng to another ruth’s chris related thread. and i gotta tell you there are some heartless people out here. i worked in the textile industry during the 80’s and 90’s in a senior executive position. we were a publicly traded company and we employed over 3000 people in five plants in georgia and in the new york offices. i understand how it works. but i also understand that public corporations have a responsibility to the communities that they operate in. When we had to shut down the operations at a plant for a period of time due to slow business caused by imports we took the decision very seriously as to how it would impact the community as well as our workers. Being responsible for the sales i was often asked whether we would have the sales to support the plants or whether we should shut down for a few weeks. let me tell you i took that decision very seriously knowing how it would disrupt the lives of hundreds of people and we did all that was humanly possible to avoid a shut down.
getting back to ruth’s chris, listen they built there business in part on their link to new orleans and the original resturants, they could have taken temporary relocation to orlando and then come back to new orleans. they could have waited to see what was gonna happen in new orleans in the aftermath of katrina. what was particularly heartless about there decision was that they did it three days after the hurricane, they didn’t even wait for the dust to settle. yeah i know the mayor and the police chief moved out to but they moved back.
maybe i’m an old softy but i think that they were particularly cold. one last thing as regards corporations i’m kinda sick of always hearing about their responsibility to the share holders. that’s the excuse for every inexcusable action that they take. sometimes there is a higer authority and sometimes a longer vision then the next quraters results will benefit the shareholders more in the long term, it’s not share holders it’s short term share price.
whew ok i feel better now and remember the anniversay of katrina is right around the corner and new orleans still needs all our help and the food’s pretty darn good too.
Hallmark is a private company owned and run by the Hall family who can do what they please with their company’s assets. Ruth’s Chris is now a public company and, like all publicly-held companies, has two basic responsibilities: obey the law and maximize value for shareholders. If the company makes money for its shareholders, the shareholders can then make their own decisions as to what causes they want to support.
Sounds coldhearted, but that’s a market economy.
What happened to New Orleans while tragic is not unique in American history. Galveston, Texas and Houston, Texas were roughly the same size in 1900. Galveston was the older port city with the nice buildings and the history(the oldest synagogue in Texas is in Galveston and the infamous New Orleans pirate Jean LaFitte also spent some time there) When the tragic hurricane hit Galveston, it took 15 0r 20 years to rebuild. By thet time Houston had convinced Congress to expand the port facilities and the shipping channel. Had the hurrican not happened I suspect it would be the Galveston Texans playing football and the expansion would have gone fron Galveston north instead of the other way around.
Commerce will continue and I suspect that Baton Rouge and other ports will pick up the slack for New Orleans. The Big Easy will rebuild as a tourist destination but it will not be an economis powerhouse unless it mnages to become some sort of Las Vegas east. I thinl Galveston is the historical antecedent New Orleans will most likely follow and I think Baton Rouge is going to be Houston.
What about all of the skilled laborers who have left NOLA and who won’t be returning, even though the city desparately needs them? Should they be castigated too because they no longer want to live in a city that’s below sea level in an active hurricane zone? I can’t blame anyone, businessman or employee, for deciding that they no longer wish to reside or do business in such an area.
Even though many people have stated that they don’t want to return to New Orleans, many people do want to rebuild. There needs to be viable commerce for that to work, I would think. Restaurants, retail and services and the people committed to operating them. Hopefully without all of the corruption.
It’s scary to think that the gulf coast would just be bulldozed and razed. Would it turned into a National Park or something such as that? That’s a strange scenerio.
One interesting fact about the first Ruth’s Chris Steak House that they built new in Cary, NC a few years ago (they just moved to a new, bigger restaurant)is that there was a a small vent fan installed from the kitchen which discharged just inside the entrance. Like pheromones to a bug, you would react to the great smells just when you order. You get ravenous! According to the electrician that installed it, it was a very small and very quiet fan that gave the unsuspecting patron just a hint of food aroma.
Sheesch The Mayor lives in Texas… The Police Chief Bailed out as soon as a portion of his dishonesty had been exposed. A large part of the Police Force never existed but drew a hell of a lot of money from the city treasury. Why should anyone want to show a willingness to continue to support the rip-off. Rebuilding a below sealevel city is only asking for a repeat of this whole mess again in the future.
I for one do not find this a dumb topic. The suits at Ruth’s Chris bailed. How does that make this topic dumb? I like the analogy of Hallmark Cards. I was working for that company when Kansas City had a devastating flood in 1977. So was my husband. He was one of hundreds who had thyphoid shots before cleaning up the muck in the Hall’s Plaza department store and other areas of the Country Club Plaza here. Whatever I might think of Hallmark’s Republican politics now, I know they never would have pulled up the stakes and headed for higher ground. No one else here did, either. Would they do the same today? Hallmark would stay, but I don’t know about others. I think it bears discussing and is not dumb at all. Corporate America is not for all Americans. Only a certain elite few.
Thanks so much. I really appreciate that accolade, considering the competition.
Ellen, the lack of community spirit and alligence is what I was interested in, but in today’s no honor world, I guess everyone thinks I’m a fool for having the idea that a company would do the right thing rather than cut and run, w/tax benefits to boot.
What did Ruth Chris’ give (if anything) in terms of time and or money/supplies towards Katrina victims?! Cause I kept hearing how much of their hearts and $$ that Popeye’s fried chicken was giving.
And their based in New Orleans as well..
btw, the filet mignon is NOT "USDA prime" at Ruth Chris’.
Just their other steaks are.
even the Wall St. Journal weekend edition had a special steakhouses article saying that filet was not considered the smartest cut to order these days at many of the steak places. Cause quite often, it is NOT prime. That was certainly news to me…
No, the owners of the small business were not evil for being offered the money — they were evil for taking the money! [}:)][}:)]
I guess I say that only half tongue in cheek. At what point, is enough enough? If I built my company’s name in any industry on my sweat and hard work — which produced such a quality product that someone wanted to purchase — I think I would be concerned with what became of my hard work after I sold out.
Here’s an excellent example — Applebee’s. The company was founded in 1980 by two guys, who expanded to a second store in 1982. By 1983, they sold to a corporation and the guys who founded it now own multiple restaurants in Atlanta — and are, no doubt, quite wealthy. By 1998, Applebee’s had become the
largest purveyors of crap…errrr…"casual dining chain" with over 1600 restaurants. Success, right? Do you think that Applebee’s today looks anything like what these guys sold in 1983? Do you think that the quality is anything close? Do you think that they have done the world a favor by blanketing the country with subpar microwaved food for the masses?
Who knows…but, at least a couple of guys got rich.
I remember eating a foot-long cheeseburger at TGI Fridays in the very early 70’s in Memphis. Nothing like today’s version. BTW dumbest thread ever.[8)]
Scorereader, I agree with your thoughts. Nice post.
Paul E. Smith
sorry for the long post.
I don’t know what’s got into me. I can’t seem to stop typing…ugh.
I HATE long messages too [:I]
They had and idea.
They sold the idea.
end of story.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
Don’t like Applebees? Don’t go.
I don’t like Waffle House. So I don’t go.
I do bitch about them. But, in the end, there is a mass of people who like it.
So they go.
There is a mass of people that go there. Why? Because they like it.
Whether it’s the original or not.
But these chains are a good idea. Waffle House is a diner, Applebees is a neighborhood family hangout.
There’s nothing wrong with the idea of these places.
And many people, are sold on that idea.
Most people don’t buy food. They buy an idea. Something they feel good about.
Waffle House sells the "Waffle House Experience" Taken from their website:
The Waffle House Experience means different things to different people. It could be a bowl of Bert s Chili!
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