SOLUTION: Davenport Marketing Performance Measurement Practices Nissan Discussion

Instructions for the Comprehensive Case Study
1. Explain how owning and running a food truck might impact your sales and costs
(Explain both variable and fixed costs).
2. On a typical day in Kamloops, how many “Ripped Pig” sandwiches must be sold in
order to break even? Calculate and explain why this number and breakeven concept should be
relevant to the entrepreneurs.
3. If Cat and Joe wish to make a $100,000 profit for the year (after tax), how many pulled
pork sandwiches must the Pig Rig sell each day? Assume all days are in Kamloops at regular
prices. The profit before taxes is 125,000, use this in the formula.
4. Prepare three contribution-format income statements for one day’s business at the Pig
Rig based on 4a) optimistic, 4b) realistic, and 4c) pessimistic projections for a regular, nonevent day in Kamloops. Briefly explain and compare each of them.
5. Prepare three contribution-format income statements for the Bullarama event based on:
5a) an optimistic projection (no onsite competitors), 5b) a conservative projection (one
onsite competitor), and 5c) a pessimistic projection (two onsite competitors). Explain and
compare each of them.
6. Explain several non-financial advantages and disadvantages of attending the Bullarama
7. Cat and Joe’s Pig Rig operates for 180 days each year. 7a) Explain several pros and several
cons of operating for 180 days. 7b) Compare/contrast the major advantages and
disadvantages of operating for 180 days vs. a full year 365 days. 7c) Which would you
recommend and why?
8. Assume instead of one product (the Ripped Pig sandwich), Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig served three
items: 1. the Ripped Pig sandwich, which sells for $12 and had variable costs of 40% of sales
price; 2. the Pork Taco, which sells for $9 and had variable costs of 35%; and 3. the Mac and
Cheese Pulled Pork, which sells for $12 and had variable costs of 50%. Fixed costs were
expected to remain at $10,000 per year (180 operational days) and income taxes were expected
to be 20%. On a typical day, Cat and Joe would serve a total of 125 customers. The sales mix is
as follows: 25 customers would order Mac and Cheese Pulled Pork, 25 would order Pork Tacos,
and 75 would order the Ripped Pig sandwich.
8a) Complete an analysis showing the financial results for the above scenario. (Layout the
revenue, variable cost and contribution margin for each item).
8b) Assuming the same sales mix as described above, if the entrepreneurs wish to earn a
target profit of $100,000 after tax ($125,000 before tax), how many units of each item must
be sold? (hint: calculate a per unit contribution analysis for each item and then an average
contribution margin will need to be calculated, which is done by multiplying each of the CM’s
by the sales mix percentage). Show your work.
9. Reflection. FOCUS ON LEARNING: Explain what you have learned about business,
making decisions, processes, financial tools, etc. and how each will help you to make better
decisions in the future. Be specific with your details. (Minimum 1 full page for the learning
reflection) Other important items to include: Explain the process you used to research, calculate
and complete the analyses (indicate all sources used). What did you struggle with the most as
you worked on this case? What particular things do you personally need to work on in order to
overcoming some of your struggles or weaknesses?
250 Points for Comprehensive Case Study: Due, June 24
Rough draft
Due June 18
20 Points
Correct Answers
50 points
Steps & Formulas
40 points
Explanation / Written answers
50 points
90 Points
250 Points
ISSN 1940-204X
Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig: Should We Stay or Should We Go?
Tony Bell
Thompson Rivers University
Andrew Fergus
Thompson Rivers University
business was good in Kamloops, and if they did the
Bullarama event, they would forgo one day’s revenues in
their home market. The couple couldn’t be sure of what to
do until they fully analyzed the opportunity.
When the invitation arrived, Joe Thompson and Cathy (Cat)
Obertowitch were not sure what to do. The event looked
promising, but the last time they agreed to attend a similar
special event, they had barely broke even. They had left the
event reminding themselves, “We don’t need to say ‘yes’ to
every opportunity.”
Joe and Cat were an engaged couple who had been
running their food truck, Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig, for several
months. Their truck specialized in pulled pork and southernstyle barbecue. “Slow and low1” was the cooking philosophy
of the food truck, which was based in Kamloops, British
Columbia, Canada, a city of 100,000. Business had been
brisk, the truck was outperforming projections, and their
customer base was growing. They had also supplemented
their day-to-day business by attending local events and doing
catering jobs.
The couple had just received a request to bring their
truck to an event called “Bullarama”—a rodeo held in the
nearby town of Barriere, located 70 kilometers north of
Kamloops (Exhibit 1). Bullarama looked great on paper:
the promoters noted that 700 attendees were expected, Cat
& Joe’s Pig Rig would be the only food option, and rodeo
fans would be a great market for the company’s southernstyle barbecue. Tempering their enthusiasm for the event
were a few mitigating factors: (1) event promoters tended
to be optimistic with promises and projections, (2) the
70-kilometer drive to Barriere added a number of costs
that may be significant, and (3) perhaps most importantly,
Cat and Joe came from the neighbouring towns of Smithers
and Houston in northern British Columbia. They knew each
other growing up but never connected beyond the level of
acquaintances. Cat recalled their relationship as teens: “I was
interested in Joe, and Joe was interested in hockey.” The
two lost touch, married other people, and started their own
families. Cat had one daughter and two sons, while Joe had
two sons of his own.
Cat went to school for nursing and referred to her career
as that of a “gypsy nurse” working for a wide variety of
organizations. Her most recent jobs included a role at a
pregnancy outreach center and an instructional post in the
nursing program at the local university in Kamloops. Joe’s
career had been more stable. After a short time as a cook in a
restaurant, he found a permanent career behind the wheel of a
logging truck, first in northern British Columbia then moving
to the city of Merritt, 100 kilometers south of Kamloops.
Cat and Joe’s marriages dissolved. Eventually, the newly
single acquaintances reconnected on Facebook when the
social media site suggested that they might know each other.
The two began dating, and on one of their earliest dates, Joe
cooked for Cat. On that night, Joe’s pulled pork sandwich
proved to be his way into Cat’s heart. She was surprised to
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
learn that one of Joe’s hobbies was smoking meat. After high
school, as soon as Joe could afford a smoker, he bought one,
and in the two decades since, he had become an expert in
the art of smoking and slow-cooking beef and pork. He also
enjoyed making his own rubs and sauces.
As their relationship became more serious, Joe moved
from Merritt to Kamloops to live with Cat. Joe’s workplace
was still based an hour away in Merritt, leaving him little
time for family after the commute and his long days driving
the logging truck. Neither Joe nor Cat was happy with this
arrangement, with Joe spending a lot more time on the road
than at home. Something had to give, so Joe began to look
for new opportunities closer to Kamloops.
It was at a potluck dinner that Cat and Joe got the
inspiration for their business. Joe brought a dish from his
smoker, and it was a hit. Two of their friends who attended
the party, Cye Delaney and Denise Leigh, were owneroperators of a popular local tattoo parlour. These experienced
entrepreneurs suggested that Joe’s pork was so good that he
and Cat had a legitimate business opportunity. They agreed
to give Cat and Joe advice if needed and put the couple in
touch with an angel investor.
When it came time to meet the potential investor, both
Cat and Joe were nervous. They wanted the opportunity
badly, but it was one thing to impress friends at a potluck
and another thing entirely to impress a stranger—and to
impress him so much that he would be willing to invest
tens of thousands of dollars in a business concept proposed
by two inexperienced entrepreneurs. Joe and Cat brought
the possible investor a sample of the items they planned
to include on the menu, and perhaps more importantly,
they also brought a conservative, but thorough, business
plan. The angel investor was so excited by the food and the
business plan that he wrote them a check on the spot. With
that meeting, Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig was born.
As of 2014, Vancouver, British Columbia, had more than
100 active food trucks selling all types of dishes, including
Indian, Korean, Japanese, seafood, Mexican, barbecue,
crepes, Ukrainian, and more.2
Cat and Joe’s pulled pork concept would be the first food
truck attempted in the city of Kamloops. After meeting with
local politicians and agreeing to some limitations3, Cat &
Joe’s Pig Rig was given the city’s blessing to begin operating.
They purchased and outfitted their truck and opened for
business (Exhibit 2).
Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig saw immediate success. In the early
months, the business outperformed its revenue and profit
projections. But Cat and Joe did not wish to rest on their
laurels. They knew that they were enjoying early success not
only because they offered a good product but also because
the food truck was a novelty in Kamloops. They were
pleased to have a first-mover advantage, but they knew it
would not last forever. They needed to continue to develop
a loyal customer base and were also working hard to expand
the event and private catering side of their business.
The food truck’s signature dish was its “Ripped Pig”
pulled pork sandwich.4 The sandwich came in a combo with
coleslaw, baked beans, and French fries and was priced at
$12. The company had variable costs, which included the
cost of the food, clamshell packaging, and variable overhead.
Variable costs were 40% of the company’s revenues. There
was no labor cost as neither Joe nor Cat drew a wage or salary.
Fixed costs included items such as gas for the generator,
maintenance, business licenses, and truck depreciation.
These costs totaled $10,000 per year. The operational year
for the food druck was 180 days. Corporate income tax rates
for small businesses in British Columbia were approximately
20% around that time.
The pork needed to be put in the smoker at least 12
hours in advance of service, which created two challenges for
Joe. First, it meant that he worked virtually 24 hours a day.
Operating the truck meant setting up, serving, and cleaning
up from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. But when service was over, Joe’s day
was not done. He needed to smoke the pork overnight—which
involved putting the pork in the smoker late in the evening
(with just the right blend of wood chips), and waking up to tend
to the meat in two-hour intervals throughout the night, spraying
the meat to ensure it would have the right consistency and
tender quality when it was served the next day. Although it was
exhausting work, Joe was willing; he had a great work ethic, he
was his own boss, and smoking meat was one of his passions.
During this time, food trucks were an emerging culinary trend
in Canada and around the world. While mobile concessions
and canteens had existed for decades, there was a new wave
of food trucks, which focused on bringing higher-end fare to
the marketplace. The old model for food trucks often involved
selling frozen or nonperishable products, whereas the new
model relied on technological improvements to miniaturize
and mobilize full, gourmet kitchens, enabling vendors to offer
a much broader array of dishes.
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
The second challenge presented by the 12-hour cooking
requirement was determining how much pork to smoke—too
much or too little could be a disaster. If Joe did not prepare
enough meat the night before, he could not simply go out
and buy more if they were having an unusually busy day.
Failure to project high demand meant the Pig Rig would be
sold out for the day, and Joe and Cat would need to close the
truck early, leaving customers unsatisfied. If Joe prepared too
much meat, and they didn’t sell out, the extra meat would be
donated to a local soup kitchen. While Cat and Joe felt good
about doing something generous in their community, donating
pork meant inefficiency and significantly reduced their profits.
Forecasting poorly was a huge risk for their business,
and mistakes were costly. Fortunately, experience meant
that Cat and Joe were getting better at predicting how many
customers they could expect in a day. On a typical day, Cat
and Joe served between 75 and 125 patrons, with an average
of 100. The amount varied based on the weather, the day of
the week, and other factors such as nearby local events. Joe
also had a formula for when the truck was invited to special
events: He expected 35% of attendees would purchase food,
not necessarily from him, but from one of the food vendors
at the event. He would use this ratio to estimate the number
of potential customers. He would then divide his estimate
for potential customers by the number of vendors serving
the event. If he was the only vendor, he would get all of the
potential customers, if there were two vendors, he expected
to get 50% of the food-buying customers. This number
would serve as his guideline for how many pounds of meat
he would need to smoke the night before. It had proven to
be accurate in the past, and Joe intended to use this formula
for any special events going in the future.
A crucial aspect of the company’s success was its
marketing strategy, which focused on social media. Because
their food truck changed locations frequently, Cat and Joe
wanted to ensure that customers knew where to find them,
and the best way to do this was online. They were very
active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter5 and, as of 2014,
had not spent any money on traditional marketing. They had
the largest social media presence of any restaurant or food
truck in Kamloops. And it was through social media that the
organizers of Bullarama contacted Cat and Joe.
The invitation was succinct. It explained that Cat & Joe’s
Pig Rig would be welcomed at Bullarama in Barriere,
British Columbia. Bullarama was a charity rodeo event,
where novice, junior, senior, and professional riders would
compete. A handicapping system would be used to ensure all
riders could expect competitive scores. According to event
organizers, 700 tickets had been sold.
When Joe and Cat brought their truck to special events
they did not serve their usual pulled pork sandwich combo.
They served only the sandwich, with no beans, coleslaw, or
French fries. This enabled them to serve customers much
more quickly and to reduce their price to $9 per serving. It
also let them replace their expensive clamshell packaging with
a much cheaper foil wrapping. With fewer side dishes and
less expensive packaging, variable costs would be reduced by
$1.90 per customer when compared to their normal menu.
There were several other cost considerations related to
the Bullarama event. First, the event organizers suggested a
donation of $100.6 Second, their food truck ran on propane,
and the 140 kilometer round trip to Barriere would add $100
to their typical fuel costs. Finally, in order to maximize space
for the mobile cooking equipment, the truck only had one
seat (for the driver), so if Joe drove the food truck, Cat would
need to drive her car separately, with an expected extra gas
cost of $30. All of these costs would be avoided if they stayed
home in Kamloops.
The couple had one other concern. The organizers
promised that Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig would be the only food
option available to event attendees, but the entrepreneurs had
heard such promises before and found they were not always
reliable. While they trusted the event organizers, they were
worried about the potential for other onsite competitors. They
planned to do calculations for multiple scenarios.
The couple reminded themselves that business was good
in Kamloops, but this represented an opportunity to expose
their product to a new, potentially lucrative market. As Joe
opened the calculator app on his smartphone, he reminded
himself that numbers were important, but this decision
would not be based on numbers alone. There were a lot of
other factors to consider.
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
Slow and low is a cooking style synonymous with southernstyle barbecue. It refers to the fact that meat is cooked
slowly at a low temperature to achieve an extremely tender
A full list of active food trucks in Vancouver can be found at
Limitations included meeting all health-code standards that
apply to restaurants and adhering to operating boundaries
to prevent the food truck from poaching customers from
established restaurants.
Although there were other items on the menu, they
had very similar prices and costs (margins were virtually
identical). For the purposes of calculations in this case,
assume there was only one item on the menu: the Ripped
Pig sandwich.
Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig had more than 1,700 “Likes” on
Facebook, more than 600 Twitter followers, and nearly 200
followers on Instagram.
It was not unusual for charity events to request its vendors
to make a donation, and although the donation was
“suggested,” it was realistically a requirement if Cat and Joe
wished to attend the event.
ABOUT IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals
in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations
focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting
profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through
research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant)
program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the
highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of
more than 70,000 members in 120 countries and 300 professional
and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA,
IMA provides localized services through its four global regions:
The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/Africa.
For more information about IMA, please visit
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
Exhibit 1. British Columbia Map
Note: This image was used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licensing. The original image has been adapted to include
the six labeled locations. The original image and licensing information can be found at
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
Exhibit 2. Cat & Joe’s Pig Rig
Front and Reverse View of the Food Truck
VOL. 7, N O. 3, ART. 3, SEPTEMBER 2014
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