Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

The stable of franchise restaurants in Honduras keeps growing. Almost every imaginable American fast food, pizza and casual dining restuarant already has establishments in Honduras, so why not one more? During my recent visit to Tegucigalpa, I noticed that Chili's is the latest to join the pack. They had large advertisements in the local papers seeking job applicants. Supposedly, they need 250 employees. This is the good thing. Honduras needs jobs.

Now the bad thing, among the listed job requirements are being between the age of 18 and 35 years and excellent presentation. Yes, they want your photo along with the resume. So now I know that I don't qualify for a position as a dishwasher at Chili's. And, I'm disqualified on both counts- age and beauty. Well, I really didn't want that job anyway...At least there won't be any homely or average looking barmaids.

Unfortunately this type of blantant discrimination is not just commonplace in Honduras, it is totally acceptable and expected. However, since the Chili's franchisee has a large portfolio of various American fast food restaurants, I do find it reasonable to have higher expectations of their hiring practices.

Now for the ugly...Even if the local franchisee has no sense of ethics with regards to discrimination, the American franchisor, in this case Brinker International (think Chili's, Macaroni Grill, On the Border), should hold it's international franchisees to higher standards of non-discrimination. They expect international franchisees to meet corporate imposed levels of quality, consistancy, sanitation, etc., so why not impose franchise-wide policies of non-discrimination? (At least the franchisee should be tactful enough to avoid using Chili's logo in the job advertisements).

Now, as I step down from my soapbox, I am pleased to report that I did not eat at a single American franchise during my entire eight day visit, well, almost... I admit to having coffee at Espresso Americano, and we did go through the drive-thru at Pollo Campero...But that doesn't count because it's Guatemalan.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Getting There!!!

The end is in sight!!! Our house is almost finished. Below are some pictures so you can see our progress and maybe, even, share our exceitement...