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Monday, July 16, 2007

Do You Stay In Business By The "Skin Of Your Teeth?"

A "Smile!" from Gordon RamseyI watched a Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare I hadn't seen last night.

On first walking in the restaurant (Morgan's in Liverpool) looked very well presented and had an unhurried air.

It soon became clear that all was far from well. Obviously!

It was being run by 3 people. A form of company abuse I've across several times before and often (but strangely not always) with the same effects.

Those effects are usually that because decisions are shared they don't get made properly. And in this case the mother and two sisters involved seemed to be forever treading on each other toes. None of them seemed to have any real idea what they ought to be doing at any one time.

Equally the chef they'd chosen was not a stickler for good food and would let completely incinerated sausages out to the paying punter!

And yet they had a second chef who produced an excellent sticky pudding and wound up, of course, becoming the head chef for the restaurant.

Now the thing that really interested me about this programme was that everything was being done as though the business was about to fail:

  •  The owner was buying food for the chef to make on the day he was set to make it from a supermarket!
  • The owner would "help" everyone do stuff. Such as drying the dishes, waiting on, doing the accounts and goodness know's what else. You go the feeling she felt as though if she didn't get involved everything would collapse.
  • The owner wouldn't pay for food prep time

And of course Gordon Ramsey sorted it all out - got the head chef to cook with more focus and to put out good food, allocated the right jobs to the right people and scrapped the (as usual) pretentious menus - I mean mashed potato and apricot? YUK!

And on Ramsey's return a month later the restaurant was continuing to make a profit.

The moral behind this story is for a business to work it needs a unified strategy that all agree to and can contribute to. Anyone who can't needs to go.


Rob Artisan said...


It features food primarily, but it is about business.

I think anyone can apply Gordon Ramsey's lessons across a range of business


Jim Symcox said...


I'm with you on that one. There are a number of marketing and management strategies you can use across a ,ot of businesses.


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