Recently I got involved in a Monterey meatshop franchise in Taguig, Philippines.I’ve never been much into retail or selling consumer stuff. Running a meat shop, albeit a high-end shop has very different problems and challenges from my normal work.

Firstly, I’m not a meat-eater. I love the occasional juicy cheeseburger with tons of veggies, or the baked chicken loaded with Italian herbs. Thats my limit as a carnivore.

Secondly, customer service. I gotta be honest, I’m not really a customer oriented kind of guy. I expect a customer to come in and know what they want without asking too many questions. Questions like, “how much is this? or is this beef organically fed?” Um…if you have to ask how much something is, you probably can’t afford it or “yea, we feed the cattle my dirty socks. Is that organic enough for you?”

Then there are the parents with the kids who feel the need to touch everything in sight. And I mean everything! The meats are in freezers and chillers…but still…

One last major issue…the closing cleanup. After the store closes, all equipment, tools, cutting boards, chillers, saws…all need to be cleaned and sanitized. Which means getting dirty. And bloody. Bacteria ridden animal fluids. Yeech! Not for the faint of heart… Now I am a pretty tough guy. I’ve had my share of fights. But I’ve realized that by eating meat I am a contributor to the wholesale slaughter of lots of kind, innocent, smelly, fly-infested animals. Sorry Burger King! Adios Shakey’s Pizza.

By the way, profit margins are tiny. Microscopic. Imprecepable to the naked eye. Or wallet. The key to success is volume. LOTS of volume. Mega-volume. Selling to walk-ins will not do much. One needs institutional sales. Hotels, restuarants, etc… So, I am finding myself walking around talking with chefs, managers, owners about buying my product. And of course, the first question is, “how much?”

I need a beer…