Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why YOU need a Romeo Decoder Ring

Orders for my patented Restaurant Industry Decoder Ring have fallen sharply since the economy tanked. Perhaps a live demonstration would reverse the trend. And what better opportunity than this evening’s announcement from Brinker International?

The statement hails the “organizational changes” that were undertaken by the parent of Chili’s and Maggiano’s to “maximize leadership talent and create additional synergies.”

Wow!! I'm not sure of what that means, but it sounds big. A groundbreaking new business model, perhaps? With an org chart that looks like the playbook diagram for a triple quarterback sneak?

Nope. Indeed, all the statement could’ve been de-hyped into what is now the fifth paragraph, with two follow-up sentences. Dave Orenstein, president of Brinker’s On The Border brand, is parting with the company. His duties are being assumed by Todd Diener, who’ll continue to lead Chili’s, as he has for 10 years. I know that because Brinker felt obliged to tout his 27 years of leadership with more spin than a rinse cycle.

Less clear is why Wyman Robert, president of the Maggiano’s chain, is also assuming the duties of chief marketing officer. Two for the price of one, maybe?

Sorry. Let me put that in corporate-ese: To optimize payroll expenditures with synergistic governance and minimized potential for miscommunication within the leadership ranks, two positions were synergized into a lone assignment.

I don’t understand why Corporate America still believes anyone would be fooled by language straight out of a script for “The Office.”

Okay, back to perfecting my next invention, the Summer Snuggie. With the right catalog photography, no one's going to think, "hospital gown."

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