Just recently I stumbled upon news that “Gordon Ramsay is to expand his global empire by opening a fish and chip shop”. Yet again, this grand chef shows us that there are absolutely no limits to success, if you are willing to work hard and be passionate about your life goals. This reminds me of times when I first watched his Kitchen Nightmares (UK) and knew there is something unique and charismatic about him right away.
While some of us might think his language is often too harsh and his working methods too strict, you have to admit: this guy has a point. I’d like to dedicate this post to his Kitchen Nightmares and to guidance we can all take from his mentoring.
What makes a bad restaurant?
Almost every episode of Kitchen Nightmares starts with restaurant owners bragging about how they are not that bad and it’s just an unfortunate series of events that brought them on the verge of collapse. So what makes a bad restaurant? What makes people say “I`m not coming back ever again”? I heard people complaining about service, location, long waiting times and atmosphere. But they never said they are not coming back just because of these reasons.
The main reason why people don’t like restaurants is the only thing a restaurant should be good at (or at least mediocre). And that is food. That’s the core of this industry. It’s not bad waiters, bad neighbourhood or people coming to restaurant to eat. People are surprisingly flexible when it comes to restaurants; they couldn’t care less and after a while they don’t remember bad experience, with just one exception. The reason why they came in. To eat.
The vast majority of owners tend to think their food is good, if not great. And as we can see, that’s not the case. Actually, I’m surprised Gordon even puts up with eating their food. I could not count how many times he said they could poison someone with rotten food! But you know the owners and managers, they know better. Their first response to this “shocking revelation” is an excuse. It’s not their fault they employed a bad chef. It’s not their fault there are no supplies in the kitchen and so on. But guess what, Gordon swiftly lets them know that fish always stinks from its head first and there is clearly something wrong with how they manage their business.
What makes Gordon Ramsay unique
The very first thing Gordon takes away from managers and owners of these businesses are their illusions. He constantly reminds them that they are wrong and if they want to do better, they have to start from the core- and that’s food. But that’s not all there is to it- he goes even further and make them see and admit that he’s right. The whole show and every episode of Kitchen Nightmares is based on one thing and one thing only- a wake up call.
This is where he has to be absolutely strickt- so he often uses coarse language and yells. It`s all about psychology. The majority of owners lived their lie for so long, it’s hard for them to clearly see what’s wrong. They need to be shocked and swept away first to let the truth in. Once they admit their approach doesn’t work, it`s finally time for transformation.
Even if you are not a restaurant owner, there are a few points you can take from this case. If you think you do everything there is to make your business successful and despite your efforts no results are coming in, you must be doing something wrong. As with those bankrupt restaurants, the first thing you need to look at is the core of your business. So if you are a blogger, it’s your posts and articles people come to read. They more than often don’t care about a design of your website, or it’s name. They came to read so that they can get something in return. And that’s where some of us fail. Added value to a blog can be found in many things. Your blog can entertain readers, educate them, give them new perspective. All that is common for things in this list is added value. Readers should finish their reading with a sense of fullfillment, a good impression. They have to feel like they got something in return. It’s the same as with food in those restaurants. A hungry customer is an unsatisfied customer. That goes for every business where customer`s needs remained unfulfilled.
If you are not successful, always look at the core values of your business
The core of our issue here is that sometimes we think we provide added value to our readers. We think we publish really good food (pardon me, articles), but in fact, we don’t. We need a wake up call. Something similar to Gordon Ramsay, but for blogs (I think I might write to a TV producer about this idea :D). First of all, we need to get rid of illusions. This is a lot easier than in restaurants, because we have numbers and analytic tools to tell us how many visitors we get. But sometimes not even that is enough and we come up with all sorts of excuses like “It just takes more time than I’d expect”, or “I have a lot of pictures in my blog, that`s self explanatory”. While pictures can count for thousand words, remember that people need to know what you want to express by them. Everything starts with core values. Even your business goals have to be aligned with these core values.
Of course, this goes also for everyone else who is struggling to be succesful. Imagine a carpenter saying that his chairs are perfectly good, when in fact it’s all shaky and clearly can’t be used for sitting.
So in the end, if there is one lesson Gordon Ramsay tought us then it’s this one: “Success comes with quality and persistence”.