The Pickering Post
Wednesday, 12th December 2018

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Paul Zanetti

Paul Zanetti is a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media. He blogs at

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I love a chunky meat pie. What's more indulgently, wickedly, deliciously Australian than a steaming hot pie smothered in sauce, and a squirt of the sweet red goo right through the heart of the handy little meal in an eatable pastry dish?


But today I can only eat a couple a year. I carry the guilt for 6 months and the extra kilos for who knows? A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Or a week of rabbit food and water to try to negate a few minutes of pie-dulgence.

Just thinking about all that gravy, gunk, salt and heart-stopping flour based flaky crust adds another few kilos to my waist. 

Perhaps one of the reasons Pie Face, the Aussie based fast food chain, collapsed is in the age of health minded food consumers a meat pie is an occasional indulgence, not a daily graze, or even a weekly treat. The cash flow wasn't keeping up with costs. Lunch timers walk right past the pie shop straight to the sushi place. 

At our local Sushi Train customers happily wait 1/2 hour for a seat or 15 minutes for take-away. The Pie Face just a few metres away is usually empty. It's only been open 9 months. 

Like Maccas, there are also choices of wraps and sangas at Pie Face, which isn't their core business. The overwhelming choice is pies, sausage rolls, pastries and cakes. Bugger, there's another two kilos stacked on. 

Traditionally the favourite food of tradies and footy fans, another problem for a food chain selling pies is that most tradies stock up on a sausage roll, pie and chocky milk while filling up at the servo. There's a petrol station on the same block as our Pie Face. Smart thinking would be to roll out little Pie Face counters at all the servos to catch their core customer. 

Pie Face has 28 company-owned stores and 44 franchises in Australia. Last Thursday they appointed voluntary administrators while trying to restructure and raise more money. 

Local and overseas expansion has been aggressive and in some cases continues. Manhattan in New York City was to get 16 stores. Seven ended up opening, while six were closed last month.

Pie Face still plans to open in Abu Dhabi and Dubai this week and a couple more stores in the Middle East are due before Christmas.

It seemed like a good idea at the time when Pie Face opened its first store in 2003 in Sydney by Wayne Homschek, a former Citigroup banker, with plans to roll out a chain of the iconic Aussie fast food. 

Analysts believe the aggressive rollouts weighed down by debt and insufficient cash flow contributed to the chain's collapse. 

Or to coin a fast food term, they bit off more than they could chew. 

Chicken salad wrap anyone?


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The only thing he enjoyed more than a Hot Meat Pie was abusing the little Asian women who was selling him one.

someone must have spread the rumour they were Halal, now the Aussies wont eat 'em.

The Pie Face pies and ideasaren't that great, ... okay, so why would they take it to NY ?

If anyone wanted to sabotage Pie Face's expansion to the Middle East, they could always query whether the pie fillings and pastry were Halal.

I eat a pie almost every day from the local small bakery, he even makes seafood pies which won an award they taste great.

I think part of their problem is that the pies weren't actually all that good. I've find most little family owned businesses make a better pie.

I definatly know the steamed dimmy powers my Fart Machine for at least 12hours

Has anybody mentioned the FACT that this company is in massive arrears in their obligation to pay Superannuation. It is not uncommon knowledge amongst Pie Face employees that they have not had their Superannuation paid on a regular basis and in cases, not at all. Consider this .. Pie Face may well be trying to skip paying Super by going into voluntary administration. The ATO is NOT happy with Pie Face.

Are you a Pom ?

Steamed dim sims for me from the Tien Wah Chinese cafe in Geelong .

The only pie I remember is Shorten abusing a little Asian lady for a cold pie - Prize prick!

I find that rather staggering that a pie could go bust. Do you think that all the obese people I see walking around, and goodness there are plenty of them, have been told that the crusty beef pie is good for them and they have gone onto more sophisicated sausage rolls? Don't do sushi...overrated and who wants to join the trendies in the queue.

Part of the problem is often just the sheer cost of doing business here in Australia in comparison to other markets particularly in the retail and food sectors. High fit out and occupancy costs, employment costs, compliance, OHS,you name it we are right at the top of the charts when it comes to costs of running a business

Now that I think about it you might be onto something with this Greens angle, sales are all about demographics so all Pie Face needs to do is get an outlet into every Uni around the country - fill their pies full of chia, quinoa and whatever other shit and serve with 'Green' smoothies. Get the lot "certified organic" and sales should go nuts.

Beefy's pies are not Halal contaminated. Actually they are a dam good pie, I'll be buying them in preference to any other Halal pies.

...yeah...sorry to hear this....I love pies...yummo....I've never tried one of these "pie face" pies...but did hear Alan Jones say he tried one and he didn't like maybe they weren't up to speed...but then I'm so biased by a local Pie shop near me that does his home made pies from a local shopping are they you get to love the pies you like I guess...anyway...hate seeing business' go seeing people having a go...

A Milne Face pie wouldn't sell, it''d end up too old, sour and bitter as after all it would be full of shit!

time for dinner, ttfn.

They sound similar to "Rolf's Pies" franchise goods. A homemade salad sanger is all I can afford for lunch. Macca's has also priced themselves out of the reach of the average person.

Stick that green shit and that jap shit. I'll go a dogs eye every day of the week and twice on Sunday's, preferably with a schooner of barbed wire heavy. I'm not gunna die wealthy or healthy but I reckon I'll be happy. FCuk the grandkiddies. They can get off their spoilt little arses and work like the rest of the AUSSIE race.