Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ECF planning

So the planning is on for ECF. What is ECF, you might ask? After much careful thought and deliberation, I have decided my latest craze shall be named Every Cincinnati Favorite, or ECF for short.

Busken, Graeters, Larosas and Montgomery Inn all had nice pages with hours of operation for all their stores. Skyline? Not so much. I sent them an email asking if they had that anywhere corporately, but the response I got was pretty much "Nope". So, while it wasn't quite the "Screw you" that Carey got from Houston Metro, it was also not the "Oh, here they are all and here's some free gift cards too". So I just got off the phone with 35 Skylines asking them for their hours on Fridays. And only one of them gave me the hours that the particular person was working, though a few tried to give me hours for Saturday.

I have decided that Friday must be the day to do this. Most stores have extended hours on the weekend (Fri/Sat), and the reason it has to be Friday instead of Saturday is that the Busken at 8th and Walnut is closed on Saturdays.

I think my plan is to do all the early stores starting at 6 am till 10 am. There are 14 Buskens and 11 Graeters (2 Graeters don't open till 11). Here's a map with those 25 locations. I looked up the actual driving directions for a route starting in Hebron (SW near the airport in KY) and ending on the west side of town, and it was 3 hours 49 minutes
. Taking out the 4 stores on the south east side drops it to 2:52 which is what I would probably do. 3:49 is just driving time and doesn't include stopping in each of the stores nor traffic which could be troublesome. Depending on how my trial runs go, I might take out the 2 Springdale stores (far north).

What? Trial runs? Mwahahaha. Yes, I may go on a trial run of this part this upcoming Saturday.

Anyways, now that I have all (but 2) hours of operation, here is a breakdown. As mentioned there are 25 stores that open before 10 am. The others open at 10, 10:30 and 11.

Closing times:
Of the early stores, 9 close before 6 p.m. This shouldn't be a problem since I should be hitting those first thing. Though actually 1 or 2 of the ones I wanted to skip in the morning are among these 9 - I'll have to remember those. Also I bet that the 2 Skylines that I didn't get an answer for close early (i.e. they were closed when I called just now) - they're downtown so it wouldn't surprise me.

8:00 - 1 Skyline (7th and Vine downtown)
9:00 - 3 Skylines
10:00 - 1 Graeters, 5 Skylines
10:30-10:45 - 8 Graeters, 1 Montgomery Inn
11:00 - 5 Buskens, 4 Graeters, 2 Montgomery Inns, 2 Skylines
11:30 - 1 Larosas, 1 Skyline
Midnight - 25 Larosas, 7 Skylines
12:30-12:45 - 5 Larosas
1:00 - 3 Larosas, 4 Skylines
2:00 - 1 Skyline (Oakley)
3:00 - 8 Skylines
3:30 - 2 Skylines (Kenwood and Plainfield Rd)
4:00 - 1 Skyline (Clifton)
24 hours - 1 Busken

If the numbers don't add up, and they probably don't, sue me. It's interesting trying to find a rhyme or reason to some of the closing times. Like it doesn't surprise me that the Clifton Skyline is the latest closing - all those UC students. But why does Norwood close at 10? Don't Xavier students need their 3-ways and Coneys?

Also, the times for Skyline were their dining hours - some of them had drivethrus that stayed open later. I'm not sure how I feel about drivethrus - kind of defeats the whole purpose of visiting every restaurant. Though I used the delivery / carryout hours for Larosas, as opposed to dining areas, because at least there you're actually going IN to get your pizza (or your garlic sticks or 20 oz beverage, as the case may be)

I think this is definitely doable, and one of the cool factors is that it's going to be close. It will take some excellent logistical planning and execution to make it happen in one day. There's something cool about having a 24 hr deadline rather than just going as fast as you can without a deadline. Good thing I'm the (self-proclaimed) world's #1 expert on such matters...

And, one final point, Carolyn has decreed (and if there's anybody who knows her way around the middle of the night, it's her) that 3 a.m. is still night time, but 4 a.m. is morning.

EDIT TO ADD: There was a missing Skyline!!! After talking to Amy at work, she was remembering one downtown on 4th street. I double checked the website, and it was there, but only listed as a Downtown store. The other 2 downtown stores are also listed in the general Cincinnati category. That would have been a disastrous faux pas to not include that one. Naturally, this just cements Skyline's place as "worst website evah"


carey said...

How are you going to do a trial run on Saturday when the trip is going to be on a Friday?

dan said...

Well it's not going to be an exact trial run, more of a "trial" trial run.

I'm interested to see just the general flow of things - how Google driving directions compare to the real world - how long additionally it takes to park / go in.

I won't have the same traffic, nor the same in-store traffic (since not only will I be going on a different day but at a different time), and I'll also only be "simulating" buying things.

Still, I think it will be instructive.

Harmony said...

This sounds like a fun one Dan, particularly the Graeter's part of it. :-)

I don't have your e-mail address handy, so I'll post this here. Have you ever heard of or checked out Meosphere.com? It's based in Jeff's parents' hometown, and there was an article about it in the July 17th Deseret News (Salt Lake City newspaper). It sounds like a website right up your alley--checkable lists of things you've done, places you've been, etc. Actually, I think you should see if they'll hire you as a consultant--they are probably amateurs compared to you!