Local SA business telly ran a piece with the owner of a recently voted top restaurant. I perked up in a flash. Very much looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed the crossover with selling from entrepreneurs as well as retail, especially restaurants.
The impact though was so horrifying, I vowed never to visit JoBurg’s Grillhouse.
First servings were promising. In a sector renowned for short lifespans and swiftness of closure, talk of offering a complete experience through food and turning tables each night (twice in their case) offered promise.
Sadly it wasn’t long before their true, dark colours emerged.
“If you want to know what the best restaurant is, ask the bank manager. It’s the one that makes the most money.”
Best we all pop along to McDonalds then, mate.
Let’s make one thing Table Mountain-top straight. Profit is a good thing. It is a noble calling. Without it, you’re adding nothing. There’ll be no tomorrow. You’re not changing the world for the better.
But … there is a huge but.
The pursuit of profit for profit’s sake is not a good thing. It never ends well. Purpose Not Profit is a winning mantra for a reason. Setting out saying you aim to make money cannot bring you the overall riches of aiming to primarily achieve a non-financial aim.
And that’s why the attitude of the steakhouse chap sucks.
Do you really want to buy from someone that sees you as a mere number on a spreadsheet?
Happy to deal with people that remove your choices as much as possible so you won’t disturb them too much?
Fancy a steak from a kitchen that scrutinises down to the penny ahead of anything else?
Profit. Margin. Markup. None of these are dirty words.
Nor are they incompatible with Purpose.
They are though not meant to be out front. They are Cart, not Horse.
Sure, this restaurateur may still make money. Decent sums even. But for how long, I’m not so sure.
There comes a point in every endeavour suffering this blinkered thinking when the wheels come off.
Let that not happen to yours.