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Thread: Who's right: Rocco or Jeffrey?

  1. #1
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    Who's right: Rocco or Jeffrey?

    Here's one person's opinion: Rocco may be America's sweetheart and a master chef, but doesn't know a thing about managing restaurants. Else, how can you have such a busy restaurant at a posh location running huge losses? The answer in one word is "overspending." There are plenty of examples of overspending at Rocco's: (1) $1.80 per business card (should cost a few cents), (2) flying in a chef from Italy, (3) benefits and 401K for parttime employees, etc. Take it one more step, and this may start looking like a $5000 shower curtain (Dennis Kozlowski, ex Tyco CEO, now in jail for securities fraud), million dollar birthday bash for wife (ex Adelphia CEO, also in jail), lavish bachelor parties (former Enron). Lack of cost controls is the simple reason why many US businesses are uncompetitive in the world economy, forced to fudge up numbers to meet investor expectations, and run otherwise good businesses to dirt.

    The previews made Jeffrey Chudoroy look like a villian, but after the first episode, I have a new found respect for this guy. He is doing just what any businessman should do: (1) detect problems before it is too late, (2) audit the numbers to identify the root of the problem, and (3) take remedial steps with minimal disruption. Six months into the restaurant, Jeffrey is seeing a $600,000 loss on a $4 million investment in six months (30% annualized loss), examined the numbers, and trying to right the problem areas without scaring out the employees.

    Rocco may sulk in his office and call his lawyer, but this is a mess he created, and neither he nor his lawyer has the ability to fix the mess. Not only is he unaware of the magnitude of the problems, he is spending his time in book signings rather than with his customers (many of whom apparantly come to Rocco's to meet him). Business is a cold hard world. There is always a seperation between ownership and management, but if the management can't perform, they are replaced by the owners. Seems like that's the way it is headed here.

    Any other points of view most welcome!
    Last edited by SurferBlonde; 04-20-2004 at 09:56 AM.

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey Muduh's Avatar
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    I have to agree with you, but. That Jeffrey guy is so repulsive I would have a hard time with him hanging around a restaurant. He more or less owns the place, why can't he take time to clean himself up? Also, the pretty little blonde wife trying to "straighten out" the 80 year old Mom is a bit too much for me. Looks like the next show may be a good one. Hope I don't forget to watch.

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    I agree 110% Chodrow is made to look like the villian, but it's clear early that Rocco has no clue how to run a restaurant. Working for "chefs" like him made me run screaming from the food-service industry. Rocco is cocky, arrogant, & doesn't have any interest in getting on the line to cook orders. He's too busy with book signings/schmoozing with customers & collecting phone numbers to do any actual work.

    I know from personal experience you don't respect a supervisor who doesn't get n the trenches & do the work. I watched the 1st season & was p!ssed off at Rocco for ignoring his employees over & over again. If my boss looked right through me after I fell on HIS floor that didn't have mats on it. I would have walked out the door.

    I hope Jeffrey wins the lawsuit & Rocco is forced to pay millions in damages.

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    I totally disagree with the notion of having ANY respect for Jeffery Chodorow. Yes, I agree that Rocco has not been brillant in running things ... if he's running this at all really. So I wouldn't say he's right. But on the other hand, Chodorow just makes my skin crawl.

    First, the way he waits to do anything about the financial situation until the cameras start rolling. New York magazine just wrote about the feud, and Chodorow says in there that he did not want to do a second season, and Burnett told him to clean things up on camera, and they'd show it. So he really WAS only taking an interest in things for the cameras ... not the business. Second, he's sitting there talking about the restaurant being full, but not making any money. It has not been full in the NYC sense of the term. It's not making money because people aren't going there.

    But his tactics in getting what he wants really bother me the most. The way he is using himself and his wife to get to Mama? That's just sick ... "turn on your son old woman, and help me make money". That's just sick! And the pathetic way his wife was talking to her as if she was some dumbass who'd eat up anything the pretty blonde told her? Sick!

    Rocco can cook, not run a restaurant. He's failed in the people skills. He's failed in making people feel good about working there. But Chodorow is doing EXACTLY the same thing IMO. Having the "meeting" at the restaurant during dinner? Total power play meant to battle over the hearts of the employees. How the hell can ANY of them be excited to come to work with a chef who is never around, and is yelling and snipping when he does, and an owner who uses intimidation and power play moves to run things? MY here will be whoever can show up, run the place well, and VALUE the employees instead of just taking an attitude that they should be grateful for the chance to work.

  5. #5
    Waiting..for the wolves Great Pyr's Avatar
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    Daysee8 wrote"Having the "meeting" at the restaurant during dinner"
    Something had been at the back of my head about Chodorow but I couldn't
    put my finger on it..now I've had my moment of Zen. Chodorow looks just
    like "The Turk". The guy Al Pacino blew away in a smaller Italian resturant
    in the original Godfather. Sorry, back to business.
    A terrible beauty is born

  6. #6
    FORT Fogey tango7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Great Pyr
    Daysee8 wrote"Having the "meeting" at the restaurant during dinner"
    Something had been at the back of my head about Chodorow but I couldn't
    put my finger on it..now I've had my moment of Zen. Chodorow looks just
    like "The Turk". The guy Al Pacino blew away in a smaller Italian resturant
    in the original Godfather. Sorry, back to business.


    From a self-proclaimed "Godfather" expert - that was Solozzo, the Turk (played by Al Letterri). yeah...except Jeffrey's hair is kinda curly.

    Wonder if Rocco will make a trip to the "bath room"?
    Last edited by tango7; 04-20-2004 at 10:56 AM.

  7. #7
    Waiting..for the wolves Great Pyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tango7


    From a self-proclaimed "Godfather" expert - that was Solozzo, the Turk (played by Al Letterri). yeah...except Jeffrey's hair is kinda curly.

    Wonder if Rocco will make a trip to the "bath room"?
    Mamma might...or probably knows someone who will
    A terrible beauty is born

  8. #8
    Bloomin' FoRT Fanatic! ness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daysee8
    I totally disagree with the notion of having ANY respect for Jeffery Chodorow. Yes, I agree that Rocco has not been brillant in running things ... if he's running this at all really. So I wouldn't say he's right. But on the other hand, Chodorow just makes my skin crawl.

    First, the way he waits to do anything about the financial situation until the cameras start rolling. New York magazine just wrote about the feud, and Chodorow says in there that he did not want to do a second season, and Burnett told him to clean things up on camera, and they'd show it. So he really WAS only taking an interest in things for the cameras ... not the business. Second, he's sitting there talking about the restaurant being full, but not making any money. It has not been full in the NYC sense of the term. It's not making money because people aren't going there.

    But his tactics in getting what he wants really bother me the most. The way he is using himself and his wife to get to Mama? That's just sick ... "turn on your son old woman, and help me make money". That's just sick! And the pathetic way his wife was talking to her as if she was some dumbass who'd eat up anything the pretty blonde told her? Sick!

    Rocco can cook, not run a restaurant. He's failed in the people skills. He's failed in making people feel good about working there. But Chodorow is doing EXACTLY the same thing IMO. Having the "meeting" at the restaurant during dinner? Total power play meant to battle over the hearts of the employees. How the hell can ANY of them be excited to come to work with a chef who is never around, and is yelling and snipping when he does, and an owner who uses intimidation and power play moves to run things? MY here will be whoever can show up, run the place well, and VALUE the employees instead of just taking an attitude that they should be grateful for the chance to work.
    daysee8:

    Your posts are very good (just read another one in another thread). They really make me think.

    I'm with you totally on Paragraphs 1, 2 and 4. Work with me a minute on Paragraph 3 . . .

    I agree with you, now, that Jeffrey used his wife to get to Mama. On the other hand --- maybe I'm crazy --- but Mama, to all appearances, was totally in the dark about what was actually going on in the restaurant. To me, the blame for that rests squarely on Rocco's shoulders. He should have told her something, I think, WAY before the meatballs started hitting the fan.

    I also think Jeffrey was right when he said: "I can't tell Mama anything . . . That's not my place." However, what is also right is that Mama, particularly after Rocco ran out in a huff and left her blowing in the wind by herself wondering WTF was going on, needed to be told something, and FAST, by SOMEBODY. Rocco sure as hell hadn't, as far as I could tell.

    Since the Mama Hen's chick, Rocco, took a powder, that left Jeffrey's wife as the one to do the dirty work. And as far as I can tell, the wife told her the truth (maybe not in the best manner, granted), which Mama wasn't able to handle very well. And, really, who could've expected her to?

    Neither Rocco or Jeffrey are worthy of any kudos. Believe me, I am NOT defending either one of them. These are just my thoughts on what went down with Mama, from what I remember seeing.
    Last edited by ness; 04-20-2004 at 12:36 PM.

  9. #9
    FORT Regular kitty's Avatar
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    I agree that Rocco does not have business sense. It is kind of funny that he does not realize he is just a figurehead.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ness
    daysee8:

    Your posts are very good (just read another one in another thread). They really make me think.

    I'm with you totally on Paragraphs 1, 2 and 4. Work with me a minute on Paragraph 3 . . .

    I agree with you, now, that Jeffrey used his wife to get to Mama. On the other hand --- maybe I'm crazy --- but Mama, to all appearances, was totally in the dark about what was actually going on in the restaurant. To me, the blame for that rests squarely on Rocco's shoulders. He should have told her something, I think, WAY before the meatballs started hitting the fan.

    I also think Jeffrey was right when he said: "I can't tell Mama anything . . . That's not my place." However, what is also right is that Mama, particularly after Rocco ran out in a huff and left her blowing in the wind by herself wondering WTF was going on, needed to be told something, and FAST, by SOMEBODY. Rocco sure as hell hadn't, as far as I could tell.

    Since the Mama Hen's chick, Rocco, took a powder, that left Jeffrey's wife as the one to do the dirty work. And as far as I can tell, the wife told her the truth (maybe not in the best manner, granted), which Mama wasn't able to handle very well. And, really, who could've expected her to?

    Neither Rocco or Jeffrey are worthy of any kudos. Believe me, I am NOT defending either one of them. These are just my thoughts on what went down with Mama, from what I remember seeing.
    I guess my question to this would be WHY did Rocco need to clue his mom in right away? Because she worked there? He didn't tell the rest of the staff. Because she's his mom? We don't know that he told his girlfriend. I agree that she was in the dark, but I'm not really sure I see how that is wrong. The problem that I have is that Chodorow is ruthless enough to see coming between members of a family as an effective way to get what he wants in business.

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