For many years, this writer has been an enormous fan of Gordon Ramsey's show, Kitchen Nightmares. It is a show that keeps the audience captivated with both real life drama and built in suspense. For those unfamiliar with the show, the premise is that Master Chef Gordon Ramsey travels around the country to save various failing restaurants from certain bankruptcy. Ramsey literally has one week to turn a failure into a success. Every week, Chef Ramsey, like a skilled surgeon, must overcome tremendous odds and breathe new life into an almost moribund patient. Amazingly he is successful almost every single time turning water into wine. How does this wizard of the kitchen do it? What lessons can you learn from him to reanimate your failing business?
Review the Situation
In the musical, "Oliver," the character Fagan sings a song about reviewing the situation. That is the first step toward making a change to any problematic situation. Take a step back and make an objective analysis of your business. In a harsh light, examine its strengths and weaknesses. It might even be helpful to have an outsider or friend come in to examine it.
Put your pride aside
When it comes to making change, all too often we trip over our pride. In order to make successful changes, you cannot let your pride get in the way of making changes that are crucial for the survival of your business. All too often, individuals think that making a necessary change is somehow a criticism of their own self-worth and take things personally. They are blinded by their pride and caught in the trap of repeating the same egregious mistakes over and over again. An inability to correcting mistakes will lead to bankruptcy.
Change with the times
Over time, many restaurants become tired and run down. The style of cuisine served and décor can grow outdated and no longer appeals to contemporary tastes. It is crucial to change with the times. A business must also improve its infrastructure as well by modernizing its equipment and business systems to be faster and more efficient. There are new innovative computer programs that allow a business to track its inventory from their cash registers and even offer iPad point of sale, profitability reporting and sales reporting.
It is not only about focusing on your strengths, but keeping up with the times that can make or break your business. Don't get stuck in the past; welcome modern changes and innovations.
Less is more
One of the major problems that most failing restaurants encounter is needlessly complicated and over extensive menu. The complex menu wants to offer everything to everyone; however, in the end offers nothing to anyone. Needlessly complicated menus overburdens the kitchen staff and confuses customers. As a result, the food served suffers. Repeatedly, Ramsey slices the menus down to size. It is better to be master of a few things than terrible at many. Focus in on what you excel at, what sets you apart. And remember to simplify, simplify, simplify. Less is really more.
Every business consists of personal dynamics that make it either run efficiently or debilitates it. Often failing businesses are caught in a vicious cycle of conflicting personalities and dysfunction. One of Gordon Ramsey's strengths on the show is confronting these personality conflicts and rectifying them. This is perhaps the most dramatic aspect of the show, where individuals are forced to overcome their interpersonal conflicts that have built up over time. Existing problems must be confronted in an open and honest manner. Hurt feelings and personal resentments cannot get in the way.
Paramount to any businesses continued success is a resolution to these conflicts. No business can be successful unless it is a smooth running ship with its relationships in accord. One way of assuring that the relationships run efficiently is to make sure that everyone's role is clearly defined and respected. Agreeable personality dynamics lie at the heart of any successful business. Once this is accomplished, each individual has a responsibility to uphold their defined role in making the business a success.
These are Chef Gordon Ramsey's ingredients for business success. So, take a step back and breathe deeply and review the situation. Be objective. Then, effect the necessary changes to make your business a roaring success. And always remember that keeping up with the times is vital to your continued success. Now, that is a recipe for success that you can celebrate!