Reality Business Makeover Shows: A new low in industrial sabotage

Once upon a time there was this franchise restaurant oligarch sitting atop his massive ivory tower looking at his balance sheets. He was dismayed that the growth of his bar and restaurant franchise empire was lagging over the previous fiscal quarter. He was watching a business news show and a blowhard financial expert with his own cable show was one night nodding his head left-to-right when a caller to the show asked about the business owned by the franchise restaurant oligarch. The oligarch became frustrated.

The franchise restaurant oligarch paced around his ivory tower, scratching his chin, rubbing his forehead. What in the world could he do to undermine his competitors? The competition by the way was not just another giant  restaurant and bar franchise, it was thousands of small independently owned bars and restaurants.

The franchise restaurant oligarch looked out his ivory tower window at the teaming unwashed masses below, and in his frustration he went to bed early and turned on the television. He really didn't care what was on, he just lay there in his mire of despair channel surfing.

He stopped on a show called "Extreme Home Makeover." He watched as people swooped in to make-over a home to their design. It appeared that the home owner had little or nothing to say about the design because the home owner was just glad to have a nice clean new-looking home. The restaurant oligarch frowned at how easily the masses are duped into value systems simply by a small majority with flash. The small majority also had more money than the home owner so the home owner typically assumes that the small majority knows more and quickly adopts their ideas as "correct."

It suddenly dawned on the franchise restaurant oligarch that Reality Television shows could be used as clandestine public relations tools. The franchise restaurant oligarch sat up and laughed out loud. He suddenly draw a hard gasp.

In the darkness of his thoughts, the faint shape of a new more sinister idea was gradually emerging. The franchise restaurant oligarch could develop his own reality television show that would focus on locally owned bars and restaurants.

He would send shock troops of planners, renovators and decorators into the small mom-and-pop bars and restaurants to totally make them over to his own liking, which was homogeneous and common enough to make people decide to eat elsewhere. He couldn't make them worse than they were before without getting caught, but he could make them cut their meal portions, cut the amount of alcohol served per drink, cut the spices, and decorate them with bland common designs.

The small businesses that were the target of the franchise restaurant oligarch suddenly saw a surge in profits that lasted for months after the shock troops of planners, renovators and decorators were all-but-forgotten. That which was far overshadowed by the new huge temporary profit, was the fact that customers were leaving those small mom-and-pop bars and restaurants, and heading toward the franchise restaurants owned by the oligarch.

The End.