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S05.E10: Fighting for Farrell's

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A classic restaurant chain in which Marcus invested $750,000 in 2016 is on the verge of ruin once again thanks to fighting between partners and mismanagement.

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Is Marcus the worst judge of character?  Those people took him for a ride. Again.  And the daughter's resignation speech that she made sure to blindside him with?  Bye girl. Yet Marcus starts making excuses. Is this all for TV?

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Now this was a real followup.

There must be something else we didn't quite see that drained the 3 locations and caused the original owners to leave. Something in their ownership structure that they didn't want on TV. But good riddance to them both. Neither seemed like they really wanted to work.

Partnering with Sweet Petes makes sense, and as I recall they were already stocking Sweet Pete's brand at Farrell's after the first makeover. I can see co-branding and having the layout work that way. But the toys feel a little "kitchen sink", especially when they mentioned expanding to socks, pajamas, etc. Give it a year and I expect that to be filled with unsold merchandise, dirtied from the air of food prep and traffic. But considering the costs for everything else, I guess he can take a little hit there to figure out what works or doesn't.

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I think this was my favorite episode ever, definitely this season, but Marcus has been bugging me more and more, mostly because of what I consider his extremely eye-rollingly dumb marketing plans, even though I recognize he is a billionaire and I have a jar of pennies. Frustrating and angry Marcus is enjoyable to watch since he isn't nasty and remains clearly spoken.

What was largely unspoken, however, was that the financial mismanagement in this business was way more extensive than paying one business' bills with another business' funds. Marcus pointed out that the businesses were making money but not paying bills with it, and the owner who was the Chief Financial Officer did say he was paying investors. Marcus may not have had the legal rights to see the books, since he made it clear several times that his ownership was in the brand, but I'm guessing he recognized the straight up embezzlement like I did. Unlike him, I don't own businesses or have money to invest in them, but I was a litigation paralegal who worked for many years primarily on business disputes with owners and investors suing each other and other businesses. There is a huge misconception that the court systems are backed up with personal injury and petty legal disputes, but every year that a summary is announced, it's businesses suing businesses or the infighting amongst them. 

Back to the Farrells episode, before he made the original deal he was presented with them needing extra funds to keep one of the stores opened and he told them no. At that time, I think he realized the risk of ownership in the actual business was too great, and that is why it ended up only being for the brand. During this episode, Marcus got in a statement about not paying his (the former CEO) bills, alluding to it, and I cackled making the dog jump. 

1 hour ago, Lola16 said:

Is Marcus the worst judge of character?  Those people took him for a ride. Again.  And the daughter's resignation speech that she made sure to blindside him with?  Bye girl. Yet Marcus starts making excuses. Is this all for TV?

It was obvious that the place he turned into a graffiti place wasn't on the up and up but he still made a deal. I think the chance at the real property was too alluring to him and clouded his judgment a bit. When they used Marcus' money to pay their personal bills and take the family out to nice restaurants for dinner, charging all of it for Marcus' money to cover, he finally said no more. The landlord told Marcus he hadn't been paid and they were in violation of the lease and City codes, but Marcus still invested.

Both Swanson's Fish Market and the Brooklyn(?) Meats knew they were withholding information. I don't think the daughter in the Swanson's case knew the full extent, but her webpage with all the supporting documents showed that they were actually worse off, because her documents were showing liens being released from other buildings and properties.

Marcus is the bad guy in the Greek chain to me. He has admitted that he created an entirely new chain and claims nothing of the original one is being used so he doesn't owe them any royalties. Well then, don't make a deal and just start from scratch. He may be legally and technically correct, but he sued Brooklyn Burgers for refusing to honor a verbal agreement that required paperwork to be legally binding, and used that same type of paperwork to say he doesn't owe the Greek chain owners anything because he isn't using anything they brought into business. 

The burger chain was another one where it seemed obvious to viewers that it would crash and burn because the owners couldn't agree to anything. In that case, he probably thought that once they had a system in place they wouldn't have anything to fight over, and I certainly don't think he expected the blatant sexual harassment and abuse, but many of us were scratching our heads over that deal.

I'm glad everything worked out for the Sweet Pete's couple. I liked that episode and Pete, seeing his excitement over his work was a joy and I do think their original business partner was hurting the business by buying that house, charging a high rent and it not having the space to actually do the work that needed to get done to grow in the future, but Marcus' plan to just dilute the stock to nothing to get rid of him if he didn't take the buyout offer made him look poorly to me. There may have been a lot we didn't see and that business partner was protected much more than Pete and Allison, who, like many creatives, didn't have the same bargaining power but needed him if they wanted to give the business a try, and so they agreed. (He did the same thing in that gazebo business. Actions like that were job security for me, and I think I held Marcus to a higher standard for some reason.)

Sweet Pete's and Bentley Pet Foods both had good people who were willing to work their asses off to make the businesses successes, but just needed a cash infusion. It's nice to see good people succeed and hard work pay off. Now, I'll probably find out the businesses are fronts for arms dealing, because I can't have nice things. 

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2 hours ago, Amarsir said:

Partnering with Sweet Petes makes sense, and as I recall they were already stocking Sweet Pete's brand at Farrell's after the first makeover. I can see co-branding and having the layout work that way. But the toys feel a little "kitchen sink", especially when they mentioned expanding to socks, pajamas, etc. Give it a year and I expect that to be filled with unsold merchandise, dirtied from the air of food prep and traffic. But considering the costs for everything else, I guess he can take a little hit there to figure out what works or doesn't.

This post appeared after I posted the other one. Sigh... 

Marcus did the same thing with that southern BBQ place. It's like he decided to turn it into a Cracker Barrel and the little shop had stupid things that would never be purchased, like the lawn flamingos. If that was his idea or the owners escapes me at the moment, but that mismatched odds and ends seemed dumb. If he wanted a Cracker Barrel type shop, they should have recipe books, candies, candles, biscuit mixes, etc. 

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29 minutes ago, Christina said:

What was largely unspoken, however, was that the financial mismanagement in this business was way more extensive than paying one business' bills with another business' funds. Marcus pointed out that the businesses were making money but not paying bills with it, and the owner who was the Chief Financial Officer did say he was paying investors. Marcus may not have had the legal rights to see the books, since he made it clear several times that his ownership was in the brand, but I'm guessing he recognized the straight up embezzlement like I did.

It's certainly possible, but the guy would have to be pretty stupid to embezzle a profitable enterprise that he owns right out of business. He doesn't seem the type. It's the flashy rich lifestyle-seekers who embezzle to get what they think they "deserve". Mike and Paul seemed like guys who wanted to own a business but got in over their heads.

My guess is that there were a lot of investors in "Parlor Management Group" with Mike and Paul taking the lead. But when things didn't go quite as hoped, the other investors started wanting out. So they had to use up the cash flow to close up their shares, and that left the business drained.  And now they're a couple years into it, see how rough running a business is, and were thinking "this isn't fun, I want out." 

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The majority of embezzlement is to pay for living expenses. You have someone who can afford to pay $800 per month in rent, but they want to live in an apartment in a nicer area that costs $1800 per month or buy a better car than they can afford. I was talking to a friend who started working for a Bankruptcy Trustee, and he told me that people can spend $5000 a month without anyone figuring out they can't afford their expenses. Of course, in areas with larger living expenses that amount is higher, but here in our primarily rural and disadvantaged area, $5000 can easily be spent on rent, cars and clothing without someone wondering how they can afford their lives. 

If they are walking around in Armani suits and wearing the newest Rolex while working as an insurance claim adjuster, people who recognize those things would start questioning it. If they can afford Walmart panties but only wear Victoria's Secret, no one would know unless they show off the underclothes or brag about it. 

Vacations and jewelry tend to be the things that most often tipped off other investors that there was something questionable going on, and when they get their hands on the records, find that a check that was showing in the books as a payable to a vendor, was actually the electric bill for the embezzlers house, etc. The most common tactic, however, was the embezzler creating a business, getting it registered with the Secretary of State, opening a bank account for it, submitting invoices and paying them from the legitimate business. If anyone dug through, they would find a real business and if they are not responsible for that aspect of the business, would not realize it wasn't legit. 

Those embezzlers, the one who put the extra work, tend to have expensive hobbies, like scuba diving all over the world, keeping mistresses, gambling and cocaine fuelled parties. American Greed tends to show the real high rollers who own planes and put on airs of being wealthy while they are stealing their employers and investors blind, but your average worker bee is limited to about $50000 max per year without it being obvious, and simple home improvements like kitchen and bathroom remodeling can eat through money without coworkers knowing that you spent large sums.

The CFO told Marcus he was taking care of some of their long-term investors instead of paying the bills, and Marcus made a point to tell the CEO they would not be paying his personal bills, eluding to them having been paid out of the business. The business was on the fast track to bankruptcy and it sounds like the investors were wanting out, possibly because they realized the business was making profits but didn't have anything to show for it and were in arrears on the bills. The one store was $200k behind in rent.

During that first episode I thought they were expecting Marcus to show up and pay off the bills and all they would have to do is give him some ownership; he declined but did purchase 51% of the brand, and they used the $750k to, hmmmm, I'm going with vacations and cocaine parties since it doesn't sound like it was used to pay their debts. It was nearing bankruptcy when Marcus arrived the first time, and they scuttled every plan Marcus put in place to grow the business, including a new menu.They continued to use it as a personal cash cow until it was depleted, then bailed on it and quit. I expect we'll eventually find out all the dirty dealing when the lawsuits from vendors and investors (if they actually exist) start, like what happened in that wine store Marcus ended up bailing on after spending quite a bit of money on it. In the US, vendors and investors can actually force you into the bankruptcy court, and if they owe that much to vendors, they will eventually wind up there. 

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That episode made me really want some ice cream.  I don't have a lot of really complex thoughts on it.  Marcus said something about owning the Farrell's brand, which he would be using to revive the location that was closed up.  So what was that to mean for the other locations?  They would be able to operate as ice cream shops but they would have to change their names?

 

I don't understand how you can be so neglectful that you fail to pay something as basic as rent when your store has the operating revenue to do so.

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Mike & Paul were shady from the jump.  They hid info in their first go with Marcus, and obviously were hiding a sh** ton more this episode.  And the daughter's seemingly abrupt resignation with no explanation makes me think she's shady AF too.  I hope the new joint venture takes off and explodes into millions of dollars for Marcus, Travis & Sweet Pete's.  Mike & Paul were idiots who mismanaged at least 2 business ventures. They showed their idiocy on national TV...twice.  I hope they siphoned off enough cash from "Parlor" or "Farrell's" to keep a roof over their heads because who would hire either of them?  A simple Google search would cast a long shadow of doubt on either one of these dolts. 

I disagree with the whole toy store section as well.  A few POS tchotchkes , OK.  But to devote that much square footage to toys seems wrong.  I also rolled my eyes at Marcus'  reasoning for putting toys in.  He wanted to capture sales from people who "forgot" to bring a gift to a b-day party/event being held at Farrell's.  WTH?  I'm a parent/aunt/cousin & have been to plenty of b-day parties for friends and family.  I have never "forgotten" a gift.  No one I know has ever shown up at the event and been like, "oops!  No present for you!  Sorry!"  Who loads their kid(s) up into  the car and drives off to attend another kid's party without a freakin' gift in hand??

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29 minutes ago, BusyOctober said:

I disagree with the whole toy store section as well.  A few POS tchotchkes , OK.  But to devote that much square footage to toys seems wrong.  I also rolled my eyes at Marcus'  reasoning for putting toys in.  He wanted to capture sales from people who "forgot" to bring a gift to a b-day party/event being held at Farrell's.  WTH?  I'm a parent/aunt/cousin & have been to plenty of b-day parties for friends and family.  I have never "forgotten" a gift.  No one I know has ever shown up at the event and been like, "oops!  No present for you!  Sorry!"  Who loads their kid(s) up into  the car and drives off to attend another kid's party without a freakin' gift in hand??

Maybe it's not something in your social circles, but believe me, it is quite common.

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I can’t figure out the allure of the prep station for kids.  I believe Marcus said that was a big profit center for them  

I’m in the minority on the Toy Department hate.  When I used to take my kids to Farrell’s, we always had to wait in a pretty long line for a table.  I wasn’t much of a candy-briber, so one of their random trinkets would help keep them occupied.  

I don’t know about “forgetting” to buy a gift for  todays birthday, but I DO know about being slammed with boy and girl commitments and thinking, “I’ll just grab something when I get there.” Small selection of cards, and gift bags with tissue paper.  Seems to me the toy area is a good use of otherwise unused space.  

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For the first time in a long time, I enjoyed this episode.  I really enjoy it when Marcus goes into business mode.  He was not going to let those two men off the hook even though he appeared to be willing to keep working with them.  However, he effectively demoted them to working on selling ice cream to retail accounts.  That meant they would actually have to, gulp, work.  As for the daughter, I thought he should have fired her in the first episode when it was really clear she was in a high paying position because she was the daughter of one of the two men.  It was quite telling during this episode when she said she came up with ideas and Travis actually organized them and carried them out.  Yes, useless.  I was so excited to see the three of them exit state right (old Snagglepuss reference for those who don't know...).  I think the joining of the two brands is a good move, and would like to see a follow-up to the Atlanta location.  I also really like Travis and am glad that he can finally make decisions and run the business.  I have to admit, there were a few tears in my eyes when Marcus gave him the check for $50,000 out of his personal account.  The sincere joy Travis displayed was really touching.  I think (and hope) that he will do well with Farrell's.  

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Okay parents..raise your hands. How many of you have taken your kid to a party and told yourself that you would purchase a gift at the venue? Anyone, anyone, ...Bueler?

Marcus should have turned Farrell’s into Sweet Pete’s. 

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9 hours ago, Showthyme said:

Okay parents..raise your hands. How many of you have taken your kid to a party and told yourself that you would purchase a gift at the venue? Anyone, anyone, ...Bueler?

While I think the whole birthday party gift comment was ridiculous, I have to agree with Marcus that stocking the area with <$10 toys that kids are going to latch onto is a good idea. And according to Travis the toys were their best retail category. If we're to take that at face value it means they are outperforming the candy.

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On 2/27/2018 at 11:20 PM, Lola16 said:

 

Is Marcus the worst judge of character?

 

He dated Bethanny Frankel.

I kept thinking I was watching a Dateline episode. I was waiting for Keith Morrison to come out of the shadows and wave his arm toward the dead body behind the counter.

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:02 AM, Christina said:

The CFO told Marcus he was taking care of some of their long-term investors instead of paying the bills,

I might have audibly cheered when Marcus refused to put more cash into Farrell's while Parlor sat, all whole, not losing anything.

I'm not a big peach fan, but damn if that Atlanta dog didn't sound good. Go Travis!

23 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

It was quite telling during this episode when she said she came up with ideas and Travis actually organized them and carried them out. 

Yeah, but that's the nature of marketing. The execution is handled by others. That didn't bother me. I'm wondering what-all kind of grief her dad gave her about staying on without him, though. 

Seriously, though, except for Travis, they're all a bunch of precious, whiny douchebags.

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I'm a bit surprised that Marcus seemingly paid no attention to these buffoons after cutting the first deal. Does he not assign minions to have day to day contact with all these small companies? Why not be more on top of this situation? Enquiring minds want to know...

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 10:51 PM, Christina said:

It was obvious that the place he turned into a graffiti place wasn't on the up and up but he still made a deal. I think the chance at the real property was too alluring to him and clouded his judgment a bit. When they used Marcus' money to pay their personal bills and take the family out to nice restaurants for dinner, charging all of it for Marcus' money to cover, he finally said no more. The landlord told Marcus he hadn't been paid and they were in violation of the lease and City codes, but Marcus still invested.

Marcus has done this a few times and I suspect, based on the way the deals were set up and a gut feeling, Marcus thought that the businesses could limp along long enough for him to force the problem owners out and then he could take over the brand and really push it forward, the way he did with Sweet Pete's. The few times where he's refused to get into a business because of shadiness, it seems like either the business was circling the drain and was going out any minute (thus not giving him time to force out the problem) or there was a real chance that law enforcement was going to get involved. 

8 hours ago, KHenry14 said:

I'm a bit surprised that Marcus seemingly paid no attention to these buffoons after cutting the first deal. Does he not assign minions to have day to day contact with all these small companies? Why not be more on top of this situation? Enquiring minds want to know...

One other possible option that I could see is that Marcus is buying these businesses as tax shelters. It would explain why he doesn't seem all that interested in knowing much about some of these loss-heavy businesses. 

This episode was really great because it seems like they got the drama over with pretty quickly and then moved on to the more interesting business stuff. It seems like Pete and Allison were a big win for Marcus and vice versa. They're smart to just keep going in with Marcus because I can't imagine they would have gotten anywhere near where they are without having Marcus's power behind them. And Travis was smart to look at the whole picture and see that if he just rolled with Marcus and worked his ass off, either the concept would start working or he'd have a relatively high-powered business contact. 

As far as the toy store area, I think the whole "forgotten gift" thing was stupid because that seems like a weirdly inconsistent place to look for revenue. But based on the fact that they were stocking so many sub-$10 toys, I imagine it's a very easy place for parents to get something to distract the kids. I thought the book stand was a great idea. It could be stocked with coloring books (cheap and exactly the sort of thing a parent would get for a stir-crazy kid) and I could even see Marcus rolling out a Sweet Pete's/Farrell's coloring book.

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13 hours ago, KHenry14 said:

I'm a bit surprised that Marcus seemingly paid no attention to these buffoons after cutting the first deal. Does he not assign minions to have day to day contact with all these small companies? Why not be more on top of this situation? Enquiring minds want to know...

Yeah, where’s that blonde lady who won that show about being his assistant? If he’s so stupid he doesn’t hire a staff to oversee his businesses, then..... this show is doomed.

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:02 AM, Christina said:

The majority of embezzlement is to pay for living expenses. You have someone who can afford to pay $800 per month in rent, but they want to live in an apartment in a nicer area that costs $1800 per month or buy a better car than they can afford. I was talking to a friend who started working for a Bankruptcy Trustee, and he told me that people can spend $5000 a month without anyone figuring out they can't afford their expenses. Of course, in areas with larger living expenses that amount is higher, but here in our primarily rural and disadvantaged area, $5000 can easily be spent on rent, cars and clothing without someone wondering how they can afford their lives. 

If they are walking around in Armani suits and wearing the newest Rolex while working as an insurance claim adjuster, people who recognize those things would start questioning it. If they can afford Walmart panties but only wear Victoria's Secret, no one would know unless they show off the underclothes or brag about it. 

Vacations and jewelry tend to be the things that most often tipped off other investors that there was something questionable going on, and when they get their hands on the records, find that a check that was showing in the books as a payable to a vendor, was actually the electric bill for the embezzlers house, etc. The most common tactic, however, was the embezzler creating a business, getting it registered with the Secretary of State, opening a bank account for it, submitting invoices and paying them from the legitimate business. If anyone dug through, they would find a real business and if they are not responsible for that aspect of the business, would not realize it wasn't legit. 

Those embezzlers, the one who put the extra work, tend to have expensive hobbies, like scuba diving all over the world, keeping mistresses, gambling and cocaine fuelled parties. American Greed tends to show the real high rollers who own planes and put on airs of being wealthy while they are stealing their employers and investors blind, but your average worker bee is limited to about $50000 max per year without it being obvious, and simple home improvements like kitchen and bathroom remodeling can eat through money without coworkers knowing that you spent large sums.

The CFO told Marcus he was taking care of some of their long-term investors instead of paying the bills, and Marcus made a point to tell the CEO they would not be paying his personal bills, eluding to them having been paid out of the business. The business was on the fast track to bankruptcy and it sounds like the investors were wanting out, possibly because they realized the business was making profits but didn't have anything to show for it and were in arrears on the bills. The one store was $200k behind in rent.

During that first episode I thought they were expecting Marcus to show up and pay off the bills and all they would have to do is give him some ownership; he declined but did purchase 51% of the brand, and they used the $750k to, hmmmm, I'm going with vacations and cocaine parties since it doesn't sound like it was used to pay their debts. It was nearing bankruptcy when Marcus arrived the first time, and they scuttled every plan Marcus put in place to grow the business, including a new menu.They continued to use it as a personal cash cow until it was depleted, then bailed on it and quit. I expect we'll eventually find out all the dirty dealing when the lawsuits from vendors and investors (if they actually exist) start, like what happened in that wine store Marcus ended up bailing on after spending quite a bit of money on it. In the US, vendors and investors can actually force you into the bankruptcy court, and if they owe that much to vendors, they will eventually wind up there. 

 

On 2/28/2018 at 1:51 AM, Christina said:

I think this was my favorite episode ever, definitely this season, but Marcus has been bugging me more and more, mostly because of what I consider his extremely eye-rollingly dumb marketing plans, even though I recognize he is a billionaire and I have a jar of pennies. Frustrating and angry Marcus is enjoyable to watch since he isn't nasty and remains clearly spoken.

What was largely unspoken, however, was that the financial mismanagement in this business was way more extensive than paying one business' bills with another business' funds. Marcus pointed out that the businesses were making money but not paying bills with it, and the owner who was the Chief Financial Officer did say he was paying investors. Marcus may not have had the legal rights to see the books, since he made it clear several times that his ownership was in the brand, but I'm guessing he recognized the straight up embezzlement like I did. Unlike him, I don't own businesses or have money to invest in them, but I was a litigation paralegal who worked for many years primarily on business disputes with owners and investors suing each other and other businesses. There is a huge misconception that the court systems are backed up with personal injury and petty legal disputes, but every year that a summary is announced, it's businesses suing businesses or the infighting amongst them. 

Back to the Farrells episode, before he made the original deal he was presented with them needing extra funds to keep one of the stores opened and he told them no. At that time, I think he realized the risk of ownership in the actual business was too great, and that is why it ended up only being for the brand. During this episode, Marcus got in a statement about not paying his (the former CEO) bills, alluding to it, and I cackled making the dog jump. 

It was obvious that the place he turned into a graffiti place wasn't on the up and up but he still made a deal. I think the chance at the real property was too alluring to him and clouded his judgment a bit. When they used Marcus' money to pay their personal bills and take the family out to nice restaurants for dinner, charging all of it for Marcus' money to cover, he finally said no more. The landlord told Marcus he hadn't been paid and they were in violation of the lease and City codes, but Marcus still invested.

Both Swanson's Fish Market and the Brooklyn(?) Meats knew they were withholding information. I don't think the daughter in the Swanson's case knew the full extent, but her webpage with all the supporting documents showed that they were actually worse off, because her documents were showing liens being released from other buildings and properties.

Marcus is the bad guy in the Greek chain to me. He has admitted that he created an entirely new chain and claims nothing of the original one is being used so he doesn't owe them any royalties. Well then, don't make a deal and just start from scratch. He may be legally and technically correct, but he sued Brooklyn Burgers for refusing to honor a verbal agreement that required paperwork to be legally binding, and used that same type of paperwork to say he doesn't owe the Greek chain owners anything because he isn't using anything they brought into business. 

The burger chain was another one where it seemed obvious to viewers that it would crash and burn because the owners couldn't agree to anything. In that case, he probably thought that once they had a system in place they wouldn't have anything to fight over, and I certainly don't think he expected the blatant sexual harassment and abuse, but many of us were scratching our heads over that deal.

I'm glad everything worked out for the Sweet Pete's couple. I liked that episode and Pete, seeing his excitement over his work was a joy and I do think their original business partner was hurting the business by buying that house, charging a high rent and it not having the space to actually do the work that needed to get done to grow in the future, but Marcus' plan to just dilute the stock to nothing to get rid of him if he didn't take the buyout offer made him look poorly to me. There may have been a lot we didn't see and that business partner was protected much more than Pete and Allison, who, like many creatives, didn't have the same bargaining power but needed him if they wanted to give the business a try, and so they agreed. (He did the same thing in that gazebo business. Actions like that were job security for me, and I think I held Marcus to a higher standard for some reason.)

Sweet Pete's and Bentley Pet Foods both had good people who were willing to work their asses off to make the businesses successes, but just needed a cash infusion. It's nice to see good people succeed and hard work pay off. Now, I'll probably find out the businesses are fronts for arms dealing, because I can't have nice things. 

 

On 2/28/2018 at 8:06 AM, BusyOctober said:

Mike & Paul were shady from the jump.  They hid info in their first go with Marcus, and obviously were hiding a sh** ton more this episode.  And the daughter's seemingly abrupt resignation with no explanation makes me think she's shady AF too.  I hope the new joint venture takes off and explodes into millions of dollars for Marcus, Travis & Sweet Pete's.  Mike & Paul were idiots who mismanaged at least 2 business ventures. They showed their idiocy on national TV...twice.  I hope they siphoned off enough cash from "Parlor" or "Farrell's" to keep a roof over their heads because who would hire either of them?  A simple Google search would cast a long shadow of doubt on either one of these dolts. 

I disagree with the whole toy store section as well.  A few POS tchotchkes , OK.  But to devote that much square footage to toys seems wrong.  I also rolled my eyes at Marcus'  reasoning for putting toys in.  He wanted to capture sales from people who "forgot" to bring a gift to a b-day party/event being held at Farrell's.  WTH?  I'm a parent/aunt/cousin & have been to plenty of b-day parties for friends and family.  I have never "forgotten" a gift.  No one I know has ever shown up at the event and been like, "oops!  No present for you!  Sorry!"  Who loads their kid(s) up into  the car and drives off to attend another kid's party without a freakin' gift in hand??

 

On 2/28/2018 at 10:56 PM, Showthyme said:

Okay parents..raise your hands. How many of you have taken your kid to a party and told yourself that you would purchase a gift at the venue? Anyone, anyone, ...Bueler?

Marcus should have turned Farrell’s into Sweet Pete’s. 

What I did not understand, was why was their a need for a total overhaul of the restaurant?  From what they told us, the restaurants were doing well, with the worst breaking even.  I thought the issue was the embezzling and the mishandling of funds.  I imagine the "Parlor Investors" are the former CEO's family and he was trying to cash out before bailing.

However, after they were gone, it seemed like the restaurants would do well, with honest management.  Maybe this was the plan all along? 

I liked Sweet Petes' at first, but I am getting a little sick of them for some reason, though they are perfect to add on to an ice cream parlor.

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13 minutes ago, qtpye said:

I liked Sweet Pete's at first, but I am getting a little sick of them for some reason, though they are perfect to add on to an ice cream parlor.

Probably overexposure.

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20 minutes ago, qtpye said:

What I did not understand, was why was their a need for a total overhaul of the restaurant?  From what they told us, the restaurants were doing well, with the worst breaking even.  I thought the issue was the embezzling and the mishandling of funds.  I imagine the "Parlor Investors" are the former CEO's family and he was trying to cash out before bailing.

However, after they were gone, it seemed like the restaurants would do well, with honest management.  Maybe this was the plan all along? 

I liked Sweet Petes' at first, but I am getting a little sick of them for some reason, though they are perfect to add on to an ice cream parlor.

This wasn't explained terribly well, but I think his reasoning went something like this. Only the main location was profitable on its own, and the rest were breaking even or being propped up by funds from other locations. The only reason the main restaurant was making more money was the nostalgia factor - people in that area remembered Farrell's from their childhood. But even then, people were only coming once or twice a year for special occasions, instead of making it a regular stop for them.

In other words, the business model was not profitable and would not likely lend itself to expanding nationwide. Marcus could have kept that one location as it was and probably generated a couple hundred thousand in profit each year, of course that's never his goal.

So Marcus needed to find a way to modernize the concept before trying to expand to new locations. I think he's hit on a good blend here with the candy, restaurant, and toys. It's sort of like a modern Cracker Barrel, sans the old Southern theme, and focused more on children and families. It wouldn't surprise me to see him open another dozen restaurants in the next year.

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It was weird hearing people talk about the nostalgia factor.  I'd never heard of Farrell's until the first Farrell's episode.  After the revamp, I read reviews and some people don't like the way they handle birthdays.  They prefer the old way with the loud celebratory singing and noise.  I wonder if "Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag" in that one episode of The Simpsons was inspired by Farrell's.  I should pull out my DVD and listen to the commentary again.

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I don't understand why they even kept any other location open other than the main one. And boy, that daughter quitting like that.. she had to know that would be in the final show, she came off as petulant and weird. Bad look.

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I'm of the generation that Farrell's would have some nostalgia cache'. That would get me in the door once, but only good food and ambiance would get return trips from me. 

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Maybe this has since been addressed in one of the eleventy other Sweet Pete’s appearances on the show—or maybe it’s already just been de facto proven false by the integration of Sweet Pete’s products into Marcus’s other businesses (or just a “fo’ de dramz” claim from the start)—but wasn’t Marcus’s original concern with the Sweet Pete’s deal (besides the Big Bad Investor Man’s role) that Sweet Pete’s success was inherently connected to the Wiilly Wonka-esque appeal of Pete, himself (minus the racism and other misanthropy, natch), and, without having Pete cloned to be there as the nutty professor clown as the human centerpiece/ringleader of the store and its party-shows, it would just be another candy shop and thus creating additional, non-Petecentric locations would be impossible? 

 

Even if they’ve expanded locally (?), where Pete could still presumably at the least offer less frequent but planned classes/parties/appearances, I kept trying to figure out how, especially as I recall this as being a major issue (but could be wrong, so hopefully someone who better recalls these shows with more detail will correct me), recreating a “Sweet Pete’s” about as far from his home base as you can get within the continental U.S. would work.

Clearly, Pete wouldn’t be putting in much facetime at the new Sweet Pete’s/Farrell’s/Overlord Company I Didn’t Fully Understand combo, but Marcus was insistent that it wasn’t just Farrell’s carrying Sweet Pete’s products (and Toys ‘R’ Us’s liquidations) but SweetPeteFarrell’s, and, without Petey Wonka there, I’m confused—per (my recollection of) Marcus’s own description of the magic and essential sauce of Sweet Pete’s—as to how this is the case.

 

It seems like, for all the propping up of Pete, this new iteration of a suddenly-replicable Sweet Pete’s makes it no different from a Dylan’s or other well-branded overpriced candy shop. Although, Marcus seems to do just that—albeit, very successfully—with a lot of his businesses, so maybe I’m just overthinking this.

Thanks.

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I don't know as 'in-store candy making' is something that couldn't be handled by non-Pete staff...

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So is the season over now?  Or I guess maybe is the first half of the season over?  The Profit always has such an irregular schedule and it always just kind of comes and goes abruptly.  I remember this happening last year around the time of the Murchison-Hume episode, although that was only 6 episodes in.  TV Guide shows something airing at 10 PM on the 20th, but no indication if it's new or a rerun.

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Really enjoyed this episode, but it always amuses me how Marcus will belittle someone for having a kitchen sink business in one episode and then trumpet it as the path to success in another.  "It's a restaurant! And a candy shop! And a toy store! And a pajama boutique!"  He's trashed a dozen other businesses for that same model over the years.

One thing's for certain: don't let that man ever make another burger. Marcus loves to pretend to be a blue-collar man for the cameras, but that was painful to watch.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:56 AM, Thrifty said:

So is the season over now?  Or I guess maybe is the first half of the season over?  The Profit always has such an irregular schedule and it always just kind of comes and goes abruptly.  I remember this happening last year around the time of the Murchison-Hume episode, although that was only 6 episodes in.  TV Guide shows something airing at 10 PM on the 20th, but no indication if it's new or a rerun.

I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that we’re done til June.

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Did a little Googling when I first saw this episode & I was very excited to find out that they were planning to open a Sweet Pete's/Farrells location near me (The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park).   Checked today to see if it was open yet.  And, yeah, looks like they hit a snag on the Farrells side (though Sweet Pete's at The Battery still seems to be a go).
http://www.tonetoatl.com/2018/03/Farrells-No-Longer-Opening-Battery-Atlanta.html

Was cool to see AmericasMart in the episode - I pass it on my daily commute to work, but I've never been there and didn't really know what it was!

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From what I read, when the daughter of one owner left, she went to work for some juice bar company.      Don't know what happened to either of the partners who seemed to do a lot of throwing each other under the bus.     The last Farrell's finally closed, including the Sweet Pete's/Farrells Marcus owned.     Travis (the manager) went back to his own business he had before he met Marcus, and always had on the side.   

 

There are only three Sweet Pete's locations, the original in Jacksonville, one in Lake Forest, IL, and the Key West/Key Lime Pie location.     The Atlanta doesn't seem to have ever opened combined with Farrells, and it's not listed for a location of Sweet Pete's either.    

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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