I’ve caught a run of business turnaround reality shows lately. I was struck by one action all the celebrity protagonists at the helm take.
They always get out on the streets to confront potential clients.
In one particular show, Über Chef Gordon Ramsay in his Kitchen Nightmares show faced his toughest challenge. A new owner only six weeks in, boasting zero restaurant experience, with a menu offering twenty years out of date, where fully half of diners ate for free, all served from a kitchen from which even rats would not feed.
Where Gordon shines like no other is in menu design. The commuter belt town was, he said, crying out for a simple grill offer. Local produce done simply, done well. He recommended three courses at twenty quid. Night One, 80 punters happily spent £40 each overall. A stunning success.
Where Gordon’s back room team shine like no other, is in how to keep such momentum going.
The owner seemed the kind to merrily hide behind local newspaper vouchers. Gordon’s outfit demanded upfront interaction with possible supper guests.
His first effort was to meet “city slickers” as they got off the train home. Small tasters were given out free. His second trick was to shove the new menu cards into the hands of desired clientele and even have ladies with booking clipboards to take down dates then and there.
Of course, we all understand the pulling power of a celeb like our Gord here. So mere mortals that operate without a tv crew in close situ would not be able to stand on a rail platform in corporate robes, samples at the ready. And certainly would be kicked out of a competing eaterie (amazingly he canvassed drinkers in the garden of local trendy spot, Orange Square!).
Still, In our B2B arena the theme remains valid. Are you relying on similarly useless coupons rather than getting out and walking up to as many people that can make your life happier as you can?