First the bakery manager has a meeting with the bakery owner and company business manager. He learns that the big brass intends to save money now while they rebuild and retool the bakery for the market of tomorrow.
The bakery manager listens intently like the good soldier he is and swears to do his best for the business during the short-term period of austerity.
Change is underway. The brass fires the gourmet baker; then they can the baker’s apprentice, the happy, smiling clerks who always treat everyone as their very own special customers, the cooks who keep the kitchen’s fares moving fresh and on time, the wait staff who treat those who lunch at the bakery with all the ease and class of a European epicurean joint, the people who procure the best ingredients for the bakery’s special products, and, finally, they get rid of the staff who keep the place clean and also those who keep the areas around the bakery safe from threat of vandals and muggers.
All of the qualified, experienced, but now fired personnel are replaced by fewer, inexperienced, multi-purpose employees.
Product integrity immediately goes south. People ordering hot fresh doughnuts are served day-old dippers and given photos of the fresh ones they will be receiving again “for the first time” in 3 to 5 years.
Customers stop coming to the bakery. They are hooked on those instant fixes they get for caffeine at Starbucks, They want instant gratification from their bakery too. They don’t want fresh doughnuts in five years. They want them in five minutes. Tops. And they had better be hot.
The brass realizes what they are dealing with, but they know they cannot give their customers what they crave without spending a whole lot of money they either want to keep or do not have.
Finally, under pressure from the loss of business in the short-term, the bakery brass fires the bakery manager, thanking him for his years of service, but announcing to the public that the company has decided that it’s time to go in another direction for the sake of the short and long-term interests of the bakery.
Autographed pictures of the new manager are passed out to all customers who return to the bakery on Saturday and Sunday mornings for the rest of the year.
The old bakery manager now goes away quietly and graciously, looking for fresh employment at a new bakery in a marketplace far away.