I had probably the perfect sandwich for lunch today.
It was a BLT. One of the most basic sandwiches there is, and could possibly be considered a “Mother” sandwich as these things go. Good Quality simple white bread, I used a grocery store brand Italian style loaf-precut and in the middle of the isle. Mayonnaise, there is still some wondrous thing going on in that jar with the blue label. I don’t want to advertise for any certain brands however when I use Mayonnaise, I bring out “the BEST”. I add just a sprinkle of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor. Fresh and very cool and crisp iceberg lettuce on one side next to the mayo. Perfectly placing three or four one quarter inch slices of a juicy, slightly over ripe Beefstake Tomato on the other slice of pre mayo-ed bread. Then the Bacon, we could do three days’ worth of dissertation on Bacon, as many of you know. Bacon is the star of the show so to say. Good quality, hardwood smoked, not too meaty and not too fatty, not too thin and always cooked in the oven. This is best to get that evenly cooked, not shriveled crispy mahogany brown and delicious perfection for this application. When assembled properly nothing can match this unpretentious flavor juggernaut. I might need a moment here.
Okay so what does this have to do with business principles?
Well after over thirty years in the Food and Beverage Industry I have found these simple rules to stand true.
One- Keep things simple. Too many times we seem to overthink the process. A very respected Five Star Chef from my early days once told me, “If you want to make something really nice, keep it simple” This is a yardstick I keep close to my heart even today. Let me put it this way… If you can’t do the simple things perfect, how will you ever hope to handle the hard stuff?
Two- Quality pays it does not cost. Well this seems to be harder for businesses to understand as every year goes by. In my opinion the economic strife we have experienced in this country has made many of us better consumers. Most people have not really downsized there personal entertainment expenditures. They are however becoming better educated and more demanding of service and quality for their hard earned dollars. This is a good thing. People will pay good money for Top Quality! But it needs to be worth the rate of exchange.
Three- Do the right things right. Consistency is the key to a success in any venture. Doing the right things right is not hard, but it can get boring for lack of a better description. Many times business is started by one with passion. As said business grows, it usually expands. This is where things start to fade. The one with the passion is now passing the reigns to another, usually one with less training and a lack of the “Vision”. What happens next? Corners get cut. Budgets become the measuring stick and management becomes more concerned with the bottom line than quality, service and reputation. Training and passing along the founding vision is of utmost importance to a growing business. Remember where you came from.
Four- Dance with the one that brung ya. What does this mean? Be what you are and be the best at it. Don’t try to be all things to everyone. I could tell you about two successful Burger chains in America. One who has done the same simple menu with a great quality Burger since the day it opened. It pays employees more, and is more demanding of recruits. This concept is known for its quality, service, and cleanliness, and sports a long line out the door and drive through line every day. The other tries to make all things from breakfast, salads, burritos, and any other fad for now and is somewhat inconsistent in these offerings. They consequently spend billions remodeling their dining rooms and stores every so many years and is known mainly for the billions they served so far and going global.
Want to guess where I spend my Burger Money?
Five and finally for today’s lesson- Keep high standards. Weather it is in your staffing, purchasing or facilities maintenance. If you make it hard to belong to your team you will end up with only the best players. Otherwise if you accept any old thing you can get because it’s easy or cost less, guess what you will end up with? Slow down and take the time to train, and share your principles. Keep your facility clean and operation at a high level of production, safety and sanitation. This makes a difference to your staff, your business and since it displays what type of business you operate, it matters to your customers
B- Believe it!
L- Live it!
T- Train it!