10 Important Lessons any Business Can Learn from The Hit TV Series Kitchen Nightmares

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If you don’t already know, Kitchen Nightmares is a hugely popular show on FOX in which world renonwed chef Gordon Ramsey attempts to turnaround failing restaurants in a week.

Here is the official description from the FOX website

Each week, Chef Ramsay will visit a new establishment with myriad problems. He will delve deep into the inner workings of each eatery and explore everything from unsanitary refrigerators to lazy and inexperienced staff to diagnose the real problems. Whether he changes the restaurant’s operations, updates the menu or gives the establishment a complete makeover, Chef Ramsay will do whatever it takes to try and turn these restaurants into popular, successful and, most importantly, money-making businesses. It’s up to the restaurant owners to take his advice and use it, or face closure [FOX].

What You Can Learn

The great thing about the show no matter how wacky or fake you think it is (there definitely are some questionable moments), is that you can actually learn some valuable business lessons. You don’t have to be a restaurant owner to take away some valuable lessons from the show. I’ve probably watched almost every episode they have ever produced and what I have come to learn is that the lessons these restaurant business owners learn is actually universal wisdom that all business owners should understand.

From my uber obsession with the show I have brainstormed about 10 things your business should do in order to help ensure your success.

1. Hire an Outsider

Sometimes business owners get tunnel vision and can’t recognize what is ailing their business. Therefore its important to hire an outsider you trust to give you a fresh outlook on your business and industry.

2. Focus on Making a Good Product

The number one problem with businesses on Kitchen Nightmares is that there food is horrible. From my experience, this tends to be the number one problem of all other failing businesses. If your product or service sucks nobody is going to buy it. Focus on ensuring your product or service is the best it can be first and foremost.

3. Clear the Air

Its important for internal communication. This not only means regular weekly or monthly meetings but also means you need to be candid with your employees. Ask them how they feel, how they would grow the company or what issues they see with the business. Promote openness and collaboration and your business will soar above the rest as you essentially are promoting innovation and forward thought.

4. Identify Problem Areas

Your business is never perfect. Identify areas where you can improve and innovate at all times. Make sure you stay humble and stay hungry for growth and success or your competition will eat you alive.

5. Embrace Change

The older you get the harder it is to change. However, its important that you embrace possible ways to shake things up especially if your sales are shrinking. Its important to note however too much change too often will simply confuse your customers as to what the real value of your business.

6. Shed The Dead-weight

Don’t become attached to your employees. Give business separate from pleasure as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you need to be a cold-hearted snake as Paula Abdul would say. It simply means your business should come first. You can’t afford to let a single employee or group of employees risk the well fair of your company in the wellbeing of your other employees.

7. Simplify Your Business

This is a common problem. Business owners may be good at alot of things and want to provide all those services or products at once. However, a confusing business model will simply confuse your customer base as to what you actually do. If you do a little of everything people will simply think your only a little bit good at alot of things even if it isn’t the case. Even large conglomerates like General Electric break off individual business segments into unified brands.

8. Always be Learning

You’re never too good to learn from another. The smartest and most talented individuals are always trying to learn more. Seek out other thought leaders in your industry and create working relationships so that you can continue to to stay at the forefront of your industry. Stay on your toes and always remember, there’s always someone out that may be just a little better than you.

9. Reach Out to The Community

Word-of-Mouth referrals are the best customers to have because that person trusts that they were given accurate information from someone they trust. The best way to increase word-of-mouth business is to reach out to your local community. If your a new business, customers outside your front door are alot easier to get to than customers thousands of miles away.

10. Stay the Course

Now that you’ve learned all these important business lessons its important that you keep it all together. Creating a successful business or turning a business around is only half the battle. Now you have to stay the course and keep your business on track on a daily basis. It may not seem that hard but when you have phone calls, emails, meetings, and family all to juggle at once it can be easy to lower your standards and let things slip.

All in all, remember to keep your standards high, stay focused, and stay hungry and you will succeed in the end.

Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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