I was watching a show on television called Kitchen Nightmares featuring the man from Hell’s Kitchen, the ever so wonderful and soft spoken Chef Gordon Ramsay. Now besides the fact that he finds restaurants that are really in trouble and helps them, which of course is very nice of him, there is something more that can be learned from this show. As a marketer and a former restaurant owner this show is of course right up my alley. Especially since there is so much marketing value in the show.
The last few episodes I watched there was something that struck me, besides the fact that most restaurants are considered a small business. That is the fact that restaurants have an even higher rate of going out of business than other types of businesses. Granted that most people that venture into the restaurant industry are chefs and not marketers or business people, it may seem like it make sense that they are in more danger. What struck me more than anything was the lack of understanding that these people have in regards to image and branding of their business. The reason most of these restaurants that Chef Gordon Ramsey is helping, just like small businesses, that are going out of business is because they do not fully grasp the concept of how to create a brand name or what building a business image is all about.
If a small business would fully understand what it means to create a brand name and establish their image I would be willing to bet that the rate of successful businesses would go up. After looking around in my local town and the businesses that had come and gone over the last two years, something interesting came up. The companies that had built themselves as a brand and been very clear about their image from the get go are still around! Another thing that I found extremely amusing to discover, was that all of the businesses that are still around had all established a web presence and done internet marketing very early on. So here is some free advice to any small business out there, catch an episode or two of “Kitchen Nightmares” and see what you can pick up on in regards to what Chef Gordon Ramsey explains to them about their image and branding. It may just be the episode that saves your business!