January 11, 2006
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Fading Franchise

This morning, I stopped by my physician's office. They've relocated "visitor parking" to a more distant lot, so the employees in the medical office building have better parking spaces. The signage is rude, which did not improve my mood.

I was there to get bloodwork for my physical, which takes about five minutes, and since I was so cheerful (and so full of no breakfast) I thought I'd just park in the adjacent Brigham's, get my oil checked, and then treat myself to some nice french toast.

Nothing doing: Brigham's has hired a guy to stand in the parking lot and tell people they can't park there.

So I ended up spending my money at Carberry's, an upstart upscale coffee chain, instead of the traditional homegrown Brigham's, a franchise that's been gradually contracting for as long as I can remember.

What they should be doing, instead of hiring someone to chase away customers, is finding a way to exploit the bad parking situation to get more and happier customers. The real kicker is that this Brigham's is The Brigham's, the one located at the corporate office. So it's not the whim of some junior assistant manager; the whole company, apparently, has forgotten that they're in the hospitality business.