We’ve obviously got under someone’s skin with yesterday’s report about the Hotdog Booth-owning franchisees of TBI Cibubur and Depok. It’s the first time in months that we have received a abusive post from an anonymous troll accusing us of being crazy. Judging from the past, anonymous posters tell us we are crazy when things are going very bad for the TBI Mafia, especially Lukey Luke. The greatest deluge of hateful comments ever came the month when Luke Preece lost his coveted position as Franchise Manager, being dumped from 11 schools at once. (More than 100 abusive messages arrived in December- more than 3 a day!) We wonder whether the franchise owner of TBI Cibubur has been on the phone whinging about this blog today and demanding to know why Luke Preece blabbed to Cameron that about her hot dog booth franchise, her ethnicity and her business relationship with her sister. Good question really! Why was he such a blabbermouth?
During my time as the successful school manager of TBI Kelapa Gading (increasing revenue from Rp 80 million to Rp 220 million per month in a 2.5 year run in the position) I got to meet other franchise managers from time to time. (I am still in touch with many of the people I worked with there, despite what Preece would have you believe). One of the more interesting meetings was with W****, the first, doomed manager of TBI Cibubur. She came into the school one day (Kelapa Gading that is) for a chat. She stuck around for an hour or more and we trade thoughts on this and that. I gave her some tips from what I had learned in my time in the job and W**** talked quite freely about her impression of the hot dog and TBI-vending owner. Here is what I learned.
1) The franchise owner had spent a fortune on furnishings and fittings at TBI Cibubur
2) For example, the owner had top-of-the-range white boards and lovely chairs
3) She had rented a premises with a prime position on the main road into Cibubur
4) She had spent so much money on setting up the lovely furniture that she was now short of capital and didn’t want to spend much money on teachers
5) In particular the franchise owner wanted only 1 expat teacher at most. She thought they were too expensive.
6) The school’s opening had been delayed by several months partly due to problems filling key positions and cash flow problems
7) There had been a lot of strife and disagreement between W**** and the owner. The owners seemed very cheap and tight with money, especially salaries
8) W**** had been kicking around head office with Ashley Platts! She had endured more than a month’s worth of Ashley’s infamous plagiarized business system training. (Our deepest sympathies. Chinese water-drip torture would be a lesser punishment). Her start date had been pushed further and further back due to the owner’s money worries
9) She already doubted the usefulness and practicality of Ashley’s training but was nowhere near as negative as other victims of the Platts manager training fiasco
Typically, W**** didn’t last long. Like so many other people before her, she was put in charge of a TBI franchise school and when things didn’t go well (because the system is poorly thought-out, run and supervised), she was the fall guy.
I was surprised to hear that she had gone just a couple of months after the school opened. This reminded me of TBI Serpong, where a meddling Chinese-Indonesian owner has also “seen off” a number of Indonesian managers in quick succession. After just a couple of months W***** was gone, yet another victim of TBI’s farcically unstable business system. We bet it was all her fault, of course. Who was she to argue with the owner of Hot Dog Booth?