I came across a blog posting which examines Gordon Ramsey's turnaround method used in the TV programme Hell's Kitchen to turnaround struggling restaurants within one week.
Gordon Ramsey is a very well known chef and TV presenter but I was impressed by the seven step approach to business turnaround explained in Using the F-Bomb to Guarantee Your Success by Troy White.
The seven step turnaround process is:
- Work out what you are really selling now. Gordon Ramsey has a meal in the restaurant and pays close attention to the existing situation in terms of staff, food, other customers and overall atmosphere.
- Find out who is behind the current disaster. Gordon Ramsey interviews the key players and assesses how much they care about the restaurant and want to improve.
- Find out what the customers really want. Who are the regulars (if any) and what do they like/dislike? What do they want? What are successful restaurants in the area doing better or different?
- Find the signature dish which the restaurant can become known for. What does the chef love to make which is excellent? Make sure it is on the menu and promote it.
- Simplify the menu by cutting down on the number of choices. In simple terms variety adds complexity in the kitchen which increases cost while reducing quality but variety also over-complicates the customer's choice.
- Systems are the key to ensuring consistent delivery of great food.
- Feet on the street marketing to offer free trials of the signature dish to tempt customers to (or back to) the restaurant.
Seven simple steps which deliver turnaround within a week for the restaurant businesses featured in Hell's Kitchen.
I have not watched the TV programme because I find the foul language inappropriate but I understand that the restaurants are revisited some time after and the turnaround continues to be successful in about 90% of cases.
That is impressive and while the "seven days" in the turnaround in a week may have benefited from the Gordon Ramsey word of mouth factor, it is good to see the the ongoing success.
What we have is a generic turnaround process which could be translated to many other different types of businesses.
Business Turnaround In A Week v the Eight Pillars Of Business Prosperity
Just as with my own Eight Pillars of Business prosperity, it starts with getting a firm grasps of "where are we now". It then moves on to look at the actions and motivations of the owner and the key members of staff [mirroring my own Pillars 2 (Vision to action) and Pillar 7 (Leading the team)]
Next we have three steps which concentrate on establishing the market position - what do customers want, what is our speciality and reducing the clutter to focus on the speciality (which is my Pillar 3 your market positioning).
Step six looks at systemising the business (my pillar 8) so that you deliver on the promises you make in your marketing (which creates the reinforcing loop of customers coming back - my pillar 6) while step seven generates the leads (my pillar 4).
You may have noticed that the only pillar missing is pillar 5, converting leads to customers but that is really embedded in the other steps.
The Seven Day Turnaround Kit
Regular readers will know that I have been extensively reviewing a product called the Seven Day Business Turnaround Kit (affiliate link) from Mark Joyner and Simpleology but the approach is very different.
In the Simpleology course (which is excellent), the program is broken down into days:
Day 1 - Establishing your motivations and the facts (similar to step one in the Gordon Ramsey approach) - (see my turnaround review day 1)
Day 2 - Getting your house in order - this day is focused on reducing your stress by systematically working through your costs and challenging yourself to reduce wherever you are not receiving immediate value. It then teaches you ways to tackle pressure from your creditors who are demanding payment. (see my turnaround review day 2)
Days 3 to 5 are about creating Cash Injection Missions into your business by making full use of the assets you have (e.g. fire-sale of excess stock), identifying opportunities in your intangible assets to create information products (from what you know or from what the people in your network know) and taking them to market. (see my turnaround review day 3 and days 4 to 6)
Day 6 is about raising emergency cash in TINA situations (There is no alternative.)
Day 7 prepares the business for ongoing development once cash to cover two months operating expenses has been created.
This is an alternative approach which focuses on cash in the seven day turnaround period and then later takes you through a business building process.
Conclusion - Business Turnaround In A Week
It is interesting to see the difference in approach and if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation, I hope that it gives you ideas.
The restaurants in Hell's Kitchen benefit from having the focused attention of such an eminent expert as Gordon Ramsey who will command instant respect from the restaurant owner and the staff. He also brings an expert critical eye to the restaurant and removes any issue of "rose tinted spectacles " from the owner. Seeing the problem and the genuine situation is the first step in the turnaround process.
The examples also have the focus of the TV film crews and no one wants to be seen in a bad way which will energise them to take action although there will be some resistance.
It is a different situation when you are trying to turn your own business around. It is difficult to see things as they really are. We all get socialised to our existing situations and what other people see as bad and unacceptable, we can see as normal. This reality check is one of the big advantages in bringing an independent third party in to have a look at a business.
The emphasis also moves to you and only you. No one is pushing you or telling you what to do and the stress is internal from your own fears rather than external pressure.
Disclosure - I was given a free copy of the Seven Day Business Turnaround Kit for review and I am an affiliate for Mark Joyner and Simpleology. If you click through on my link, join Simpleology and then buy, I will be paid a commission.