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Old 10-08-2019, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default "Earls" founder Bus Fuller has Passed Away (Age 90)

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...a-1c8e5bc0b701

Didn't realize he opened one up in Edmonton in 1982 then took off for B.C. a year later. Definitely a restaurant institution in Western Canada! Hope is family is doing OK right now.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:07 PM   #2
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Met him a few times like 10 years ago when I worked for Earls. Very happy go lucky guy
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:00 PM   #3
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Working at Earls was the worst job I ever had. They were masters at screwing us out of wages. Things like improperly paid "split shifts" and overtime were common. Not sure how much control Mr. Fuller had by the time I worked there (2003-2005), but if he wasn't responsible for these practices his name certainly got dragged through the mud.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:05 PM   #4
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I worked at Earls before it was Earls, when it was Fullers. It was my first job.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:49 AM   #5
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Working at Earls was the worst job I ever had. They were masters at screwing us out of wages. Things like improperly paid "split shifts" and overtime were common. Not sure how much control Mr. Fuller had by the time I worked there (2003-2005), but if he wasn't responsible for these practices his name certainly got dragged through the mud.
I think that happens in the restaurant business. I worked at a couple of restaurants and got screwed out of wages regularly and the restaurants were owned by my father lol.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
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I haven't been to Earls in forever, they just got lost in the flood of similar restaurants, then they tried to upgrade their menu to more fancy fairs.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
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Although I despise Earl’s as a restaurant, I totally respect the business model. They know how to walk a line of kinda trendy but not adventurous, somewhat interesting but kinda bland.

I go in sometimes and see Poke bowls, Korean cooking, beyond meat burgers. Nothing here is edgy for people who love cooking or food, but their demographic loves it.

Basically Cheesecake Factory in Canada. It sucks but it makes lots of money. They have mastered convincing people sizzle is as important as the steak.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:38 AM   #8
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I think that's harsh to say it sucks. IMO as far as restaurant chains go it's superior to places like Montanas or Moxies. You will get a burger there that bests pretty well any fast food place. Not everyone can afford to fine dine frequently so places like Earls and Joey's fill that void.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #9
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I think that happens in the restaurant business. I worked at a couple of restaurants and got screwed out of wages regularly and the restaurants were owned by my father lol.
I think Earl's really mastered that model on a larger scale though. They got away with it initially, because it was a fun social atmosphere. Then they started taking away the fun aspects of the work. They took away our discounts. We received 50% off up to $10 (which is garbage as no decent menu items were under $10 at the time). They banned all back of house people from being in the restaurant in uniform. They stopped allowing us to be in the restaurant after or around closing.

I worked in several restaurants, and I never heard of them not giving the kitchen workers either free or heavily discounted food/drinks. These people work for barely much more than minimum wage.

Some of this may have been particular to my specific location, and there is a reason that location had a lot of difficulty finding staff....which also made things worse for the existing staff, as the restaurant was always short staffed.

I do know the general attitude towards profitability was coming from the top down. They basically had middle management staff - who weren't qualified in any way - who's job it was to squeeze profits out of the restaurant.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:21 AM   #10
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I think that's harsh to say it sucks. IMO as far as restaurant chains go it's superior to places like Montanas or Moxies. You will get a burger there that bests pretty well any fast food place. Not everyone can afford to fine dine frequently so places like Earls and Joey's fill that void.
It is possible to have non-chain restaurants to fill that void.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:09 PM   #11
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It is possible to have non-chain restaurants to fill that void.
Yeah but non-chains don't stand the test of time as 60% shut down in 3 years or less. When you find one you like it's usually shut down or changed ownership in a matter of years.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:24 PM   #12
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Yeah but non-chains don't stand the test of time as 60% shut down in 3 years or less. When you find one you like it's usually shut down or changed ownership in a matter of years.
That was really just a modern thing though, that was born from strip mall culture and mostly just in Canada. Strangely enough, in the USA where chains are everywhere, each city also has a large option of local restaurants to choose from, at all price levels, which is something you don't see as much in Canada.

I do think we are starting to see the pendulum swing the other way though, a lot of smaller restaurants are starting to gain traction. The Calgary craft brewery scene is a good example of this, and hopefully it also a similar scene grows with restaurants.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:14 PM   #13
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I think Earl's really mastered that model on a larger scale though. They got away with it initially, because it was a fun social atmosphere. Then they started taking away the fun aspects of the work. They took away our discounts. We received 50% off up to $10 (which is garbage as no decent menu items were under $10 at the time). They banned all back of house people from being in the restaurant in uniform. They stopped allowing us to be in the restaurant after or around closing.

I worked in several restaurants, and I never heard of them not giving the kitchen workers either free or heavily discounted food/drinks. These people work for barely much more than minimum wage.

Some of this may have been particular to my specific location, and there is a reason that location had a lot of difficulty finding staff....which also made things worse for the existing staff, as the restaurant was always short staffed.

I do know the general attitude towards profitability was coming from the top down. They basically had middle management staff - who weren't qualified in any way - who's job it was to squeeze profits out of the restaurant.
A lot of that stuff does come down to the individual GM. That's completely the opposite of when I worked there. Going into the restaurant after work was not only allowed, it was encouraged. We'd each get a $100 a week gift card to use on food, but obviously we all just "forgot" to ring our food in and used the gift cards for alcohol after work instead. Of course at the time there was no way to track kegs, so we'd just have about 10 beers for free and collect thousands of dollars of gift cards to give away for birthdays and whatnot. Upper management turned a blind eye, then when I was upper management I'm proud to say I didn't give a #### what employees did as long as guests were happy.

Going down to train staff and open the new location in Miami was probably one of the best two weeks of my life. I think I slept 10 hours total
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:17 PM   #14
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A lot of that stuff does come down to the individual GM. That's completely the opposite of when I worked there. Going into the restaurant after work was not only allowed, it was encouraged. We'd each get a $100 a week gift card to use on food, but obviously we all just "forgot" to ring our food in and used the gift cards for alcohol after work instead. Of course at the time there was no way to track kegs, so we'd just have about 10 beers for free and collect thousands of dollars of gift cards to give away for birthdays and whatnot. Upper management turned a blind eye, then when I was upper management I too obviously turned a blind eye haha.

Going down to train staff and open the new location in Miami was probably one of the best two weeks of my life. I think I slept 10 hours total
Yeah...that sounds like the exact opposite of the experience I had working there.

$100 a week gift card on food, translates into what? $30/week on actual food costs to the restaurant, yet would make such a dramatic difference in the attitudes of the employees. I just don't get how some businesses make the decision they do.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:20 PM   #15
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Yeah...that sounds like the exact opposite of the experience I had working there.

$100 a week gift card on food, translates into what? $30/week on actual food costs to the restaurant, yet would make such a dramatic difference in the attitudes of the employees. I just don't get how some businesses make the decision they do.
Absolutely. Treating staff like they're thieves and leeches alienates the people you depend on to run your business. Then it's no wonder why so many restaurants fail.

Earls is interesting because most locations are corporate and some and franchises. Both are ran very differently
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:17 PM   #16
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Absolutely. Treating staff like they're thieves and leeches alienates the people you depend on to run your business. Then it's no wonder why so many restaurants fail.
I was close to a family that owned a pub - one of them always had to be there. Very few days off or vacations. When they were not there, they would get robbed blind by the staff. Stolen $, booze given away.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:06 PM   #17
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I was close to a family that owned a pub - one of them always had to be there. Very few days off or vacations. When they were not there, they would get robbed blind by the staff. Stolen $, booze given away.
Yeah that's definitely tricky for a small family-owned restaurant that might not have the profits to hire decent managers
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:50 PM   #18
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My family knows Jack Fuller, one of the sons. Great old guy.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:59 AM   #19
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was bus responsible for earl's selective hiring policy?
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:18 PM   #20
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was bus responsible for earl's selective hiring policy?
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