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The “Out of stock” phenomenon in the Philippines Jul 23

My girlfriend comes upstairs and tells me that she is not going to make the salsa chicken that we talked about. I asked her why not and she tells me that we do not have any chicken. OK. So, I ask what she will make instead. She tells me that she will make chicken curry.

Somehow, that made sense to her. She may as well have had just said, “We’re out of stock on chicken.”

Why this is relevant

I am telling this story because it partially explains why restaurants can say they are “out of stock” for one size burger, but not another one.

The reason she couldn’t make the chicken salsa is because we did not have the type of chicken that she wanted to use. She wanted to use chicken breasts. However, we have other chicken parts.

It’s the same thing with the restaurants. They might have two 1/8 pound patties, but no 1/4 pound patties. Instead of using their heads and combining the two 1/8 pound patties to make a 1/4 pound patty, they just say they are out of stock.

Another example, that actually happened to me, was at Pizza Hut in SM Bacoor. They told me they did not have some large pizza they were promoting, at the time. It was a New York style pizza that was larger than their regular largest size.

When I asked them how they could be out of stock and to explain, the girl said they did not have any boxes left for that size. I laughed and told her to just break it up into two smaller size boxes. It was like a light bulb came on over her head. It was cute and rather sad to watch.

Simply put, they refuse to use logic, common sense, or use initiative of any sort.

Laziness and incompetence, as well.

There is another reason why we so often hear,

Out of stock, sir.

Simply put, all too often, the worker you are dealing with is too lazy to look in the back or whoever is in charge of purchasing is incompetent.

An example of the latter is when I used to co-own a pizza restaurant. We would buy our mozzarella cheese from a local supermarket. The cheese was decent quality, the price was right and the store was relatively conveniently located. Unfortunately, there were far too many times when we went in there, on a supply run, and they were ‘out of stock’.

We used to shake our heads and ask the stock boy to look in the back for more, but he would just say,

“Sorry sir. Out of stock.”

This became a source of aggravation, but my partner and I still joke about that.

We tried to talk to the manager to see if we could get him to ensure that it was always in stock, but as I am sure you could predict, that was a dead end.

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