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29yrswithaGApass

Wee Donuts Spotlight

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Oddly enough, Wee Donuts was not a part of the park’s food service department and was, instead, considered part of the merchandise department. I’m not sure why, but at that time anything operated in the park related to consumable sweet items (fudge, confections, etc?) were considered merchandise locations rather than food locations and were filled with Merchandise employees versus Food Service employees.

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I found it very strange myself, but having worked in Food Service ‘80, ‘81 and ‘82 it was my understanding that each department was considered a profit center, meaning generating revenue of some sort in order to operate at a profit.  The charging of a parking fee was the first example of a cost center becoming a profit center.  Profit centers were all headed by a director and could include departments below them that were headed by managers.  If a Department or area (I.e., Garden of Marvels) was strictly a cost center (meaning maintenance, upkeep, personnel costs exceeded any income actually generated), those areas/departments were being eliminated or combined with other departments to generate a profit.  At the time, Merchandise was a separate department from Games/Attractions, but both departments reported to a single director.  Food service all reported to a single director with separate managers for carts, stands, and the three major restaurants. Despite most merchandise having high markups, the turnover of merchandise was rather slow. Rotating or pool employees were common in food and merchandise even if you had been initially assigned to a given stand’s  labor costs. When supervisors needed to cut labor in a given location, they would often give you the option to go to another food location that needed labor or you could go home. But, labor was never shared between departments and confection and novelty edibles somehow were considered merchandise. Park policy at that time largely dictated that food locations and merchandise locations remained open until labor exceeded revenue. And, when open to midnight or 2:00am, most locations were making that money.  It was imperative that each stand generate a certain per capita revenue each hour with that per cap based on attendance levels in the park at that given hour.  When your supervisor called you and asked for that hour’s per cap (which stand managers had to calculate and call into the office), it was up to the supervisor to close your location at that time. Keep in mind that at least the next hour and a half would result in labor costs lost in food service at that location as a result of closing, cleaning, inspection and setup to open the next day. 

Edited by Daved Thomson

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I always thought it was odd that Merchandise ran Kandy Kitchen as well. It's funny too because down here at SeaWorld our Merchandise department also runs the candy store, but the Culinary department makes the candy we sell. I believe that the Main Street Confectionery at Magic Kingdom is also run by their Merchandise department. 

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5 hours ago, dougdrummer said:

was Wee Donuts a franchise, or a one-off for the park?

I have no idea on that one, but I’m unaware of any other Wee Donut shops in other theme parks or elsewhere.  I certainly had never even heard the name before or again once they were no longer in the park. 

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It was a franchise.  Wee Donuts had just patented their donut making machine two of which you can see on the counter of the stand.   Here is a diagram of it:

IMG_0237.PNG

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