Tag: Craigslist Missed Connections

Ford union in Canada votes to strike, and a Pizza Hut driver may have delivered love, too

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 5:14 p.m.

FORD: In Canada’s Windsor today, 400 of 1,400 members of Unifor Local 200 voted overwhelmingly — 98.3% — in favor of a strike against the automaker. Ford had notified the union only last week it would cut production at its two plants there amid falling sales for vehicles powered by the engines they assemble (Windsor Star). In Louisville, Ford employs nearly 10,000 workers at factories building trucks and cars; more about Ford’s local operations.

Missed connections heartsPIZZA HUT: In the latest Craigslist “Missed Connections” ad of interest to Boulevard, a Pizza Hut customer in Beaverton outside Portland, Ore., writes: “You delivered my order on Saturday, asked to pet my dog. Long shot, but if you read this would you like to get coffee or a drink? You’ve the most stunning smile and beautiful eyes. If so, what was my dog’s name?” (Craigslist).

TACO BELL: In Gilmer, Texas, a newspaper writer recalls the tiny role a Taco Bell restaurant played in a chance encounter many years ago, when he and a friend saw a woman crying in one of the chain’s restaurants. “I mean, just crying her eyes out,” the writer says. “I remember looking at her and talking with a friend and judging her: ‘Why would she come to Taco Bell and just cry like that,’ I said. I can’t remember what my friend said exactly, but she scolded me and told me I didn’t know what she was going through. To that woman, now I understand” (Gilmer Mirror).

Ford sets 2021 for driverless cars; Kindred closing 37-bed Texas hospital; and the summer news slowdown brings our most ridiculous KFC roundup so far: #ChipGate!

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 2:51 p.m.

FORD announced plans today to begin mass production of fully autonomous vehicles in 2021 for ride-hailing or ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. The cars will be built with no steering wheel, gas or brake pedals. To advance its plan, the automaker, a major employer in Louisville, said it’s investing in or collaborating with four start-ups; doubling its Silicon Valley team, and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus in the valley. “The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said CEO Mark Fields (video, above, and press release). In Louisville, Ford employs nearly 10,000 workers at truck and vehicle assembly factories. More about Ford’s local operations.

KINDRED is shuttering a 37-bed hospital outside Houston in Baytown, Texas, and has notified the state Workforce Commission that it’s eliminating all 33 jobs there during a two-week period starting Oct. 3. The notification letter called the closure a “strategic decision.” Kindred still will have nine long-term care hospitals in the Houston area, including Kindred Hospital Bay Area (Houston Chronicle).

Texas Roadhouse logoTEXAS ROADHOUSE: Good luck finding the love of your life with this Craigslist Missed Connections advertisement in the Phoenix area. Yesterday (apparently) at 3:30 p.m., a man visited one of the four East Valley Texas Roadhouses for a birthday dinner. (At 3:30 p.m.? Was this an early-bird special?) “I walked in,” he writes, and saw a waitress, “the most amazing woman. She had long curly black hair, eyes that were to die for. The most beautiful face I have ever seen. . . . As I was leaving, I said, ‘I’m getting too old.’ I wish I had said something else. I hope you see this.” Problem is, he didn’t say which of the four restaurants he visited (CraigsList).

KFC: August is usually one of the slowest news periods of the year because so many people are on vacation — not making news. This brings us to the following three stories about Yum’s enormous fried chicken chain:

A vexed vegan

In Australia yesterday, Continue reading “Ford sets 2021 for driverless cars; Kindred closing 37-bed Texas hospital; and the summer news slowdown brings our most ridiculous KFC roundup so far: #ChipGate!”

Religious leader in northeast India bans KFC meals, saying they don’t conform to Islamic law; GE contract talks start today; and Texas Roadhouse treads softly as rivals jack up prices

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:31 a.m.

KFC: The senior mufti in northeastern India’s Bareilly has issued a fatwa, or an Islamic edict, against KFC restaurants in the area, terming it a “sin” to eat there because the chicken sold doesn’t conform to Islamic law. “People at KFC process the meat away from the eyes of Muslims and such meat has been termed haram in Islam,” he said. The mufti said that the halal certificates displayed at the stores are irrelevant if the owners and workers can’t detail the procedures they use. “Halal is not only about killing the animal,” he said, “it is also about the way its meat is processed and cooked” (Hindustan Times).

GE: Contract talks open today between Louisville-based GE Appliances and the union representing about 4,000 workers at Appliance Park, and the saber-rattling is well underway. Management says the factory complex in the south end is losing money, and workers are earning more than typical in the industry. But a union leader says the company is merely trying to intimidate workers ahead of negotiations (Insider Louisville). The employees are covered by a contract reached before GE Appliances was bought in June by China’s Haier for $5.6 billion. In all, the nearly 60-year-old complex has about 6,000 workers. GE Appliances employs another 6,000 workers elsewhere. More about the company’s history in Louisville.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE, despite a second-quarter earnings miss, is a bright spot in the struggling casual dining industry, where rivals have boosted prices to compensate for falling traffic — and paid a price for the misstep. The steakhouse chain increased prices less than peers, and traffic’s improved, according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. Overall, traffic at casual-dining chains is down almost 30% since 2005. What gives? “Casual-restaurant chains are feeling the heat as loyal baby-boom customers age and millennials take their place,” the business weekly says. “Boomers like big portions and value pricing; their children, who favor organic and gluten-free foods, are pickier and less price-sensitive” (Barron’s).

On Friday, Texas Roadhouse shares ranked No. 1 in weekly performance among big area employers Boulevard tracks. Founded in 1993 with a single restaurant in southern Indiana, it’s grown to nearly 500 outlets in 49 states plus five foreign countries. It employs 48,000 workers, including about 500 in Louisville. More about the chain.

Pizza Hut boxPIZZA HUT: In Albuquerque, a Pizza Hut is seeking delivery drivers in a Craigslist ad posted yesterday that lists the following perks: “The hours are flexible. You’re out and about, listening to tunes and delivering great pizzas. Oh, and people are really, really happy to see you!” (Craigslist).

TACO BELL: In Portland, Ore., a man posted the following in Craigslist’s men-for-men Missed Connections section yesterday: Continue reading “Religious leader in northeast India bans KFC meals, saying they don’t conform to Islamic law; GE contract talks start today; and Texas Roadhouse treads softly as rivals jack up prices”

KFC to double outlets in Germany; Jack Daniel’s is going down under; Papa John’s quiere gerentes que harlan Inglis; Taco Bell wants 😀 applicants; and a UPS wedding in Fla.

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 1 p.m.

KFC plans to more than double its presence in Germany over the next five years, to 300 restaurants from 140, according to Insa Klasing, head of the chicken giant’s German subsidiary. Where most locations were major city drive-ins, “today we are also on the market with smaller restaurants,” Klasing said. But even with 300 sites, KFC will still be overshadowed by the nation’s biggest fast-food chain: McDonald’s (Europe Online). And the addition of 160 restaurants would increase total KFCs by just over a 1% vs. the current 15,000 worldwide (KFC corporate website).

KFC bucket of chickenIn India, KFC is re-emphasizing chicken at its approximately 300 restaurants, two years after a push to sell more vegetarian burgers. In the last six months, the Yum division has rolled out three campaigns for its new chicken items, including the Chizza fried chicken slathered with cheese. During the same period, it didn’t start any new ads for vegetarian meals. KFC won’t stop selling vegetarian meals or launch vegetarian options, which still account for 30% of its India menu. But it won’t invest significantly on it either, KFC India marketing chief Lluis Ruiz Ribot said in an interview: “While chicken has always been a large part of our menu, 2016 is the year that we have refocused on our core,” he said (Quartz).

Jack Daniel's bottleBROWN-FORMAN: In Australia, Jack Daniel’s assistant Master Distiller Chris Fletcher will host a series of master classes and tastings in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth, as part of the Brown-Forman brand’s 150th anniversary celebrations (Au Review). BF executives toured Ontario’s Collingwood, where it distills Collingwood Canadian Whiskey, and saw first-hand the impact of a $100,000 company donation to the YMCA and a community hospital. “We work from the corporate office and a lot of the things that we do, we only get to see on paper,” said BF civil engagement manager Karen Krinock. “We knew what the ask was, but to see both the YMCA and Collingwood General and Marine Hospital was really meaningful” (Enterprise Bulletin). Louisville-based BF employs 1,300 in the city, and another 3,300 worldwide.

HUMANA: The Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the $37 billion Humana-Aetna merger on antitrust grounds seeks, ironically, to prevent what Obamacare aimed to achieve: government-directed oligopolies, according to The Wall Street Journal editorial board. “The new regulations and mandates since the law passed in 2010 are designed to encourage consolidation,” the paper’s lead editorial says. “But now the trust busters are fretting that these giants will have less incentive to innovate to reduce costs and improve quality, and patients will have fewer choices” (WSJ). Humana employs 12,500 in its Louisville hometown, and a total 50,000 across the country.

Concord mapPAPA JOHN’S: In the San Francisco Bay area, prospective managers who can communicate with customers in English are especially welcome, although bilingual skills are a plus, too, according to a new Craigslist helped-wanted ad for Papa John’s in Concord, Pleasant Hill and Martinez (Craigslist). In surrounding Contra Costa County, 24.4% of the population is Hispanic vs. 23.5% for the San Francisco Bay area; 37.6% for California, and 17.6% for the nation as a whole (Census).

TACO BELL: Language skills aren’t the hiring issue at Detroit area Taco Bells, but something much more basic: Applicants “must be able to come to work on time, show up for scheduled shifts, and be productive when at work.” Also: be happy (Craigslist). Meanwhile, on Craigslist’s Missed Connections section for the Seattle area, a man is looking for a woman Continue reading “KFC to double outlets in Germany; Jack Daniel’s is going down under; Papa John’s quiere gerentes que harlan Inglis; Taco Bell wants 😀 applicants; and a UPS wedding in Fla.”

Yum! Brands wins trademark case in Philippines!!!; Kindred attorney bolts for a competitor, and a KFC beanie promo on Twitter captivates New Zealand

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 2:39 p.m.

Jolibee YumYumYUM has won a trademark case in the Philippines brought by fast-food chain Jollibee, which sought to block the Louisville company from using its business name in the country. The government’s trademark office said the word “yum” is a commonly-used interjection, and the chain’s “Yum!” logo employs an exclamation point and a different font — in caps-and-lower case — that distinguish the mark from Jollibee’s (Interaksyon). The Philippines is a potentially big market: its population is nearly 100 million.

HUMANA CEO Bruce Broussard knew his personal and work lives were out of whack after his mother died in a car accident. “I regretted the time I was not able to spend with family members. I also regretted that I defined life success as career success,” Broussard told Georgetown University graduates at their Saturday commencement ceremonies. The school gave him an honorary doctorate in humane sciences (The Hoya). Brossard, CEO since 2013, attended Texas A&M and the University of Houston.

David Pearce
Pearce

KINDRED: David Pearce, chief counsel for Kindred’s home division for 11 years, has been named senior vice president and chief compliance officer at home health provider Amedisys of Baton Rouge, La. (Home Health Care News).

KFC: It was the competition that captivated a nation on Twitter, according to Spinoff magazine: The busy working world of New Zealand ground to a halt last week as one tweet from a KFC New Zealand social media person — featuring three, identical, crimson beanies — got 6,800 retweets and a 16-piece bucket full of favorites. “This is the oral history of the greatest online giveaway in New Zealand history, as told by key players” (Spinoff).

PAPA JOHN’S: In the Seattle area, Continue reading “Yum! Brands wins trademark case in Philippines!!!; Kindred attorney bolts for a competitor, and a KFC beanie promo on Twitter captivates New Zealand”

Haier opens Russian fridge factory, as GE close nears today; Ford shakes up China; and ‘you were hot’ at Dallas Roadhouse

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Two employees work on an Appliance Park spray line in 1953, two years after construction started. China-based Haier could close on its $5.4 billion purchase of the GE complex today.

A news summary, focused on big employers; updated 3:13 p.m.

GE: Haier has opened a new refrigerator factory in Russia to serve increasing demand from the European market. The new plant is the first joint Sino-Russian business project in a non-energy field (China.org). Back in the U.S., Haier wants its product development model to be more collaborative with its supply chain (Plastic News). The Chinese company could close on its $5.4 billion purchase of GE’s appliance business as soon as today. Meanwhile, GE is considering scrapping annual raises, as well as the longstanding and much-imitated system of rating employees on a five-point scale — moves that could lead other major companies to reconsider their own compensation plans (Bloomberg).

FORD reshuffled China sales leadership: Dave Schoch, group vice president and president of Asia Pacific, will take over and add the title of chairman and chief executive officer, Ford China. “As our growth plans in China have developed, this market is delivering an increasingly important portion of our revenue and profits globally,” CEO Mark Fields said. “Elevating the reporting of this business right now reflects China’s importance in our profitable growth plan going forward” (press release). Ford shares were up 1.2% to $13.19 40 minutes before the closing bell.

KFC will temporarily close at least some of its 12 restaurants in the southern African nation of Botswana this week after being placed under partial bankruptcy liquidation. Franchiser VPB Propco said it had been trying to the sell the restaurants for the past year without success, and the only option left was to shutter them, eliminating 400 jobs (Bloomberg). KFC clarified that the liquidation will not affect its business in neighboring South Africa (AFK Insider).

BROWN-FORMAN: Two of the newly appointed members of the board of directors — Campbell Brown and Marshall Farrer — have disclosed stock holdings in the family controlled spirits and wine company. Brown listed sole ownership of 805,313 Class A shares, and 312,208 Class B shares (SEC document). Farrer listed sole ownership of 315 Class A shares, and 116 Class B (SEC document). Both men also disclosed beneficial ownership of thousands of other A and B shares, but because some are counted twice as a result of overlapping trusts, it’s unclear how many shares are involved.

Fortune 500The new Fortune 500 list of the biggest-revenue companies includes three in Louisville. HUMANA (No. 52); YUM (218); and KINDRED (372). They all appeared on the magazine’s list last year, too. Walmart held onto the No. 1 spot in the rankings published today (Fortune).

TEXAS ROADHOUSE: A customer at a Dallas area restaurant regrets a missed opportunity for romance with another diner. “I was sitting outside with my two boys waiting to be seated,” he wrote in the Craigslist Missed Connections section. “You came out and we locked eyes. . . . You then asked if you knew me! You were hot, but I was honest and said no. I wouldn’t mind getting to know you tho! 😉 tell me what you looked like or what you were wearing” (Craigslist Dallas).

In other news, the late boxing heavyweight and humanitarian Muhammad Ali will be buried Friday at Cave Hill Cemetery, a decision the Louisville native made that will raise the profile of the storied burial ground. Ali died late Friday at a Phoenix hospital after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74, and lived principally in Phoenix. His family asked that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Muhammad Ali Center downtown (WFPL). About the Muhammad Ali Center.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major stock indices rose shortly before noon as investors look toward a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen (Google Finance). All 11 big employers in Boulevard’s Stock Portfolio were trading higher.

Photo, top: University of Louisville Digital Collections.