McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

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McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:53 pm

This is most assuredly <i>not</i> an ad or solicitation, just a point of interest: Apparently the wine-bar phenomenon is a hot enough concept that it's now being franchised. Anyone heard anything about this?

Wine Loft franchises

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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:03 pm

I'm not sure if franchised operations are any good over there, but IMO here they're generally best avoided and I would see the same issues with a wine bar.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Mike B. » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:10 pm

Ian, I'm guessing the North American franchise experience is exactly the same as it is in the UK. Or the world over, for that matter.

Which is kind of the point of franchises - and also the reason I avoid them.

I'm sure the Wine Loft experience would be aggressively mediocre.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Alan A. » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:14 pm

One is about to open here in downtown B'ham, AL. They are renovating some ground floor office space of a 75+ year old building for the bar. Looked interesting. Didn't know it was a chain.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Glenn Mackles » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:53 pm

The problem with chains, be they franchised or all company owned, is that they are designed to be all the same no matter where you go. This inevitably leads to what was well described above as an aggressively mediocre experience. Chains are all about surveys and marketing and focus groups and the like. They provide a repeatable, usually acceptable and decidedly mediocre experience. In my experience, when I have had a ethereal and unforgetable meal or wine, for that matter, it was not something designed by a committee based on marketing surveys. But I will agree that sometimes there is indeed a place for a dependable repeatable experience even if it not the very best.

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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Dave Erickson » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:58 pm

If it gets people to drink more wine, I'm for it. Sorry to be so mercenary. I'm into the Romance of Wine as much as the next person, maybe even a little more, but I gotta eat. Besides, there's no way a wine franchise is going to be able to totally standardize its wines, simply because there is no real national distribution system, at least not in the US.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Hoke » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:08 pm

Efficient Operation - A Traditional Wine Loft Wine Bar operates with 1 Operator (manager or franchisee), 1 Chef, and a service staff of less than 20 persons. We encourage most of our Service Staff to work part-time as this keeps them more motivated about their jobs.


I thought this bit was especially cute. Beautiful weasel wording, innit.
"We encourage most of our service staff to work part-time..."???

"...this keeps them more motivated about their jobs."

God, I love it. At least it proves there are still opportunities out there for English Majors, Journalism students, Creative Writing instructors, and budding Hollywood script writers to earn a living making up crap like that.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Dave Erickson » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:30 pm

Hoke wrote:
Efficient Operation - A Traditional Wine Loft Wine Bar operates with 1 Operator (manager or franchisee), 1 Chef, and a service staff of less than 20 persons. We encourage most of our Service Staff to work part-time as this keeps them more motivated about their jobs.


I thought this bit was especially cute. Beautiful weasel wording, innit.
"We encourage most of our service staff to work part-time..."???

"...this keeps them more motivated about their jobs."

God, I love it. At least it proves there are still opportunities out there for English Majors, Journalism students, Creative Writing instructors, and budding Hollywood script writers to earn a living making up crap like that.


As an English Major, I am deeply insulted by your implications. That kind of weasel-word stuff comes from people with MBAs. The English Majors, Journalism students, etc., are, in my experience, the ones filling the part-time jobs which make them more motivated, since they don't get health insurance because all they have are these crummy part time jobs.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Mike B. » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:46 pm

Hoke wrote:God, I love it. At least it proves there are still opportunities out there for English Majors, Journalism students, Creative Writing instructors, and budding Hollywood script writers to earn a living making up crap like that.


Hey, this former Journalism student makes a pretty good living at it. Though I've never written anything so transparent. :wink:
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Hoke » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:53 pm

Dave Erickson:

Relax, dude. You don't count. You'd be listed as "Employed English Major (Working Within Their Field)".

That's a distinct minority.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Rahsaan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:55 pm

I thought this bit was especially cute. Beautiful weasel wording, innit.
"We encourage most of our service staff to work part-time..."???

"...this keeps them more motivated about their jobs."


Shocking lucid as well.

But, I guess if it's not illegal, they obviously aren't worried about morals.. (or their employees being able to revolt)
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Hoke » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:21 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
I thought this bit was especially cute. Beautiful weasel wording, innit.
"We encourage most of our service staff to work part-time..."???

"...this keeps them more motivated about their jobs."


Shocking lucid as well.

But, I guess if it's not illegal, they obviously aren't worried about morals.. (or their employees being able to revolt)


Hey, whoever wrote this should be working for our current White House adminstration. It's ruthless in it's brilliance. You have to admire the evil magnificence in the selection of the two key verbs, and how they are twisted totally out of shape, turned inside out, negatively charged.

This is Orwellian language in its most sublime form, the preferrred language of politicians, bureacrats, corporate heads of business, and religious charlatans.

And you know what's truly shocking about it? There are people....many, many people...who will read it, believe it, and apply it. And rejoice in it.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Paul B. » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:08 pm

Mike B. wrote:I'm sure the Wine Loft experience would be aggressively mediocre.

Mike, that is a great phrase - "aggressively mediocre".

I can think of a great many things in society today that would fall under that broad, aptly named category.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Paul B. » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:17 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:That kind of weasel-word stuff comes from people with MBAs.

I tend to agree. Maybe they aren't the ones always wording the stuff, but the motivation for it surely must find favour with bean-counter types.

There is a limit to which one can do "more with less" - yet in today's corporate environment it seems that the practise is still very much in vogue.

I've always believed that the economy exists to better the lives of humanity - not the other way around.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Mike B. » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:22 am

Paul B. wrote:
Mike B. wrote:I'm sure the Wine Loft experience would be aggressively mediocre.

Mike, that is a great phrase - "aggressively mediocre".

I can think of a great many things in society today that would fall under that broad, aptly named category.


Heh, it came to mind while describing Hootie and the Blowfish. It seems to sum it up so well - trying very hard to be middle-of-the-road.

Totally off topic, Paul, but have you had any wines from Flat Rock Cellars? I was in TO recently and one of the wine experts at the Queen's Quay LCBO recommended them. I picked up the Twisted (a provocative blend of Chard, Riesling and Gewurz) and the Gravity Pinot Noir.

The Twisted was really great, but I couldn't finish the Pinot. It was so green as to be undrinkable.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Paul B. » Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:49 am

Mike B. wrote:Totally off topic, Paul, but have you had any wines from Flat Rock Cellars?

Mike, yes - the Riesling and the Pinot. I have to say that I actually enjoyed the Pinot, but I can see how it could be riper. 2003 wasn't a great vintage in Ontario anyway. But of the Ontario Pinot's I've had, I thought the Flat Rock to be way above the cut.

Here are my notes: The Riesling and the Pinot
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Isaac » Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:54 am

Hoke wrote:
Efficient Operation - A Traditional Wine Loft Wine Bar operates with 1 Operator (manager or franchisee), 1 Chef, and a service staff of less than 20 persons. We encourage most of our Service Staff to work part-time as this keeps them more motivated about their jobs.


I thought this bit was especially cute. Beautiful weasel wording, innit.
"We encourage most of our service staff to work part-time..."???

"...this keeps them more motivated about their jobs."

God, I love it. At least it proves there are still opportunities out there for English Majors, Journalism students, Creative Writing instructors, and budding Hollywood script writers to earn a living making up crap like that.
I was actually interested until I read that.

I have no business experience, so getting into a franchise might be a good idea for me. However, I don't think I could ever work for a company that held that attitude.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Thomas » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:07 am

Hoke, that was a great pick-up on your part.

This English/Journalism Major turned wine business writer used to do PR writing. I could only pray to have been that clever.

While the writing is clever, the sentiment, as Isaac points out, is openly and disgustingly the wave of the present in our workplace. I think designers of the Medieval surf system would be jealous.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Paul B. » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:21 am

Thomas wrote:the sentiment, as Isaac points out, is openly and disgustingly the wave of the present in our workplace.

Thomas, I suppose that the one thing we can retain solace in is the fact that like all men in history, trends rise and fall - and I feel that this new low will eventually be replaced when enough businesspeople realize that treating people with dignity is the surest way to retain their loyalty.

Of course, the problem with today's economy is that loyalty is no longer valued since brazen outsourcing has become the norm.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby RonicaJM » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:00 pm

This franchise along w/ others (Vino 100, Wine Styles, Best Cellars etc) is an indication to me of how mainstream wine drinking is becoming in the US. I'm sure there are negatives and positives to that fact. But from the posts on this thread there seems to be a lot of negative sentiment to the mediocrity of what a franchise has to offer.

But, for the average person who knows very little about wine, can't it be beneficial? I haven't been to a wine bar, but I think I would like to b/c of the opportunity to taste many different kinds of wines w/o having to buy the bottle or glass. Or being able to have a glass of something that you could only get in the bottle in most restaurants.

I don't know much about these things, but, I'm sure the Wine Loft has it's place.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Thomas » Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:11 pm

RonicaJM wrote:This franchise along w/ others (Vino 100, Wine Styles, Best Cellars etc) is an indication to me of how mainstream wine drinking is becoming in the US. I'm sure there are negatives and positives to that fact. But from the posts on this thread there seems to be a lot of negative sentiment to the mediocrity of what a franchise has to offer.

But, for the average person who knows very little about wine, can't it be beneficial? I haven't been to a wine bar, but I think I would like to b/c of the opportunity to taste many different kinds of wines w/o having to buy the bottle or glass. Or being able to have a glass of something that you could only get in the bottle in most restaurants.

I don't know much about these things, but, I'm sure the Wine Loft has it's place.


Ronica,

The problem with such franchises is twofold: the blatant lack of respect for workers (part time has become a euphemism for no benefits and low pay) plus a lot of us love wine for its expressions of individuality--mass marketing and mass delivery systems generally lead to selling the lowest common denominator. Also, have you ever asked someone at a chain store a question only to find that you have just upset a universe of ignorance?

One lucky thing, states like New York have licensing requirements that make franchising alochol businesses a complicated issue.
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby RonicaJM » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:38 pm

Thomas wrote: Also, have you ever asked someone at a chain store a question only to find that you have just upset a universe of ignorance?


You've got a good point there. Although I did like the Wine Style franchise I visited, the lack of knowledge on the parts of the manager and owner where quite apparent. Hmmm. Food for thought. :roll:
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Re: McWine? "Wine Loft" wine-bar franchises

Postby Thomas » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:30 pm

RonicaJM wrote:
Thomas wrote: Also, have you ever asked someone at a chain store a question only to find that you have just upset a universe of ignorance?


You've got a good point there. Although I did like the Wine Style franchise I visited, the lack of knowledge on the parts of the manager and owner where quite apparent. Hmmm. Food for thought. :roll:


Ronica,

Wine is food for thought ;)
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