Saturday, June 30, 2007


Last night my wife and I had dinner at a pizza joint. The d├ęcor gave no evidence of high end design firm involvement or European style lighting so prevalent in the Starbucks, Panera’s and California Pizza Kitchen. Bert’s Place is the antithesis of a slick national brand concept. The food was fantastic and the owners very personable. Is the pendulum ready to swing back away from the franchise outfits to the single unit operator?

There is dearth of unique quality single unit concepts. Many who applauded the fact that there is a Starbucks on every corner, a known quantity, bemoan the personal touch of the local coffee shop or local pizza place.

Getting to one hundred units should not be the prime ingredient in the decision making process of which concept to fund or pursue.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Satisfaction by Chris Denove & James D. Power IV is an excellent primer on customer satisfaction. “There is a financial link between satisfaction and profits…understanding the difference between satisfaction and advocacy…developing an infrastructure built around the voice of the customer”

Customer centric is not some cute catchphrase. The success of an enterprise is directly related to the customer focus through the organization. All process, products, and service should be created from the customer perspective. The need that must be addressed is the customer’s not the organization. This is very difficult concept to grasp. In a restaurant, the chef, the server’s, the accounting department, all have different responsibilities which they are attempting to accomplish. They make their processes easier for themselves without taking into account how it impacts the patrons.

Customer advocacy will only come about when the customer centric focus is interwoven into the fabric of the enterprise.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Ideas for concepts have many origins. Your friends and neighbors have always raved about your BBQ ribs, with that incredible sauce, mom's homemade lasagna recipe, salsa chili pizza, or some variation of a product that is not currently available. Others take an existing concept and tweak it, altering the service, design, production or delivery.

Passion is the core here. The idea can have many origins, however you must bring passion to the table to begin the journey. The idea needs to consume you thoughts, energies, dreams for it will most certainly consume your resources so if there is no passion, do not do it. Passion will get you through ‘Seth Godin” The Dip

Monday, June 25, 2007


Congratulations, you have decided to open a restaurant. The culinary universe has been waiting breathlessly. The journey that must be traversed between the birth of an idea, the first customer interaction, and the ultimate goal, customer advocacy, is the stuff of legend. The purpose of any business according to Peter Drucker “is to create a customer and have that customer tell others about you”! In the riffs on these pages I hope to provide a repertoire of ideas, resources, and humor to help you create customer advocacy!