There are many success stories you have started by chance, maybe inside a basement or garage, joking in unpretentious cooking or creating a small company with friends of a lifetime.
Some start from the study, from high-school schools, from the barracks and from the example of a parent or some good master willing to convey knowledge without jealousy.
They are stories of sacrifices and improvements, investment and sleepless nights, choices that do not always pay, collaborators who suddenly disappear.
There are also stories of kamikaze initiatives, of “fired me, I open a restaurant”, of rustic improvisation, of the latest beaches, and of “it’s all about the crisis.”
Italy is an inexhaustible basin of gourmet and, in fact, different narratives that tell the courage, the passion and the madness of its protagonists.
Yet, in diversity, it is possible to trace a constant, a point that we could call turning and that sooner or later arrives for everyone: it is time to decide whether to grow – to structure, to assume, to become enlarged, to reposition, to internationalize – or stay connected to a certain way of working, fighting competition and armed innovations of the secret recipe of the grandmother or the power of a well-positioned location.
Whether it is for the first or second solution, a restaurateur is not (or at least should not be) a simple food enthusiast, but an entrepreneur obliged to handle a growing economic, social and territorial complexity.
In this sense, as consultants, we often witness moments of tiredness and loss that, while having accumulated experience and being launched into expansion projects – opening up more than one room – the entrepreneur is overwhelmed with extremely diversified burdens: modernizing Organization, maintain quality standards, manage new staff, define new food chains, give coherence to communication and marketing, and so on.
How to proceed?
It will look anachronistic, but it is precisely when you are in this limbo that makes sense to start from the analysis and return to ask the basic questions (or make it for the first time):
What is the identity of my business proposal? (What makes me different from everyone?)
- Do I have a concept or a format? (Is the creative element designed to become operational in all its aspects?)
- Does the current business model fit replicability or should it be rethought? (Being a homeowner does not mean that you have created a strong brand to even target economies of scale)
- Do I have the features to attack the foreign market? (We also met those who aspire to internationalization without knowing a word of English)
- Am I ready to develop manuals and procedures? (Yes, it is a fundamental step)
This seemingly simple and philosophical process has important economic implications and can reallocate and optimize resources and time by reducing that sense of frustration and chaos that characterizes all evolutions.
For those who are not accustomed to thinking “from the outside” about their own criticalities, it might be useful to use some guiding models. Of the best known, there are certainly the canvas (below we see an example) that support reflection and self-analysis ability.
Those who, however, find the need for a solving action can always choose the path of food consulting: a company, an expert (or a staff of experts) capable of accompanying entrepreneurs and investors in a process of self-awareness, development and consolidation of activities starting from a very concrete and rich study of operational ideas.
Finally, do not underestimate the component of continuous training and confrontation: select authoritative initiatives, discussion groups, networking opportunities to use to better understand how you are perceived from outside, what you expect from us And how they are changing their consumption, abandoning self-referential attitudes that damage businesses and entrepreneurs by burning money and energy.
What is your experience in this regard?
What tools are used to grow your business?