It occurred to me recently that we are all just trying to have a nice life, build a good business, and make enough bucks to be comfortable. Most of us try to do good things for the communities we work in. But sometimes what we attempt to do doesn’t always work out because we make mistakes, or worse, it all goes out of control through no fault of our own.
Roy T. Bergold Jr.
Just so you know I read something other than comic books and cereal boxes, I was reading some heavy philosophy and business books the other day. That proverbial light bulb went on, I got to thinking about some service experiences I recently encountered, and a column was born.
Ah, December. The month of happy faces, snow on tongues, warm giving, good food, loved ones, quiet reflection, The Christmas Carol, talking pets on Christmas Eve, and more sales.
Enter January. The bills are due and there’s bad weather, lower sales, colds, and nothing to do until Valentine’s Day.
This year, I want you to do something about January. I want you to use the month to evaluate your store from top to bottom and save and make money.
Wendy’s tries to become a kids’ place. Pizza Hut adds salad and pasta. Everybody changes their look, and now Burger King hangs up the High King.
Why do we make these kind of sweeping changes in our brands?
Well, sure, we do it to increase our market share by causing more visits from existing customers, new visits from noncustomers, and increased buying from everyone. But there are other reasons as well.
Let’s start with new products. Probably the most famous, risky, and huge change is a quick serve open for lunch and dinner adding breakfast. Just think about it.
Kate and I stopped into our favorite bar and grill after church last Sunday for a quick lunch. We usually just sit at the bar, and that day it was just us and another couple at the other end.
Their drink glasses were empty, but the bartender busied himself mightily with cutting up lemons, putting away glasses, and chitchatting with a server. The phone rang and the bartender answered it.
It was the couple at the other end ordering another round. Funny, yes, but I wonder if that couple will ever be back.
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Once upon a time, there was a little hot dog stand on the West Coast. It was a cute and very fun place, with no attitude and a penchant for friendliness. The food was good, not great; the service was fast; and the place sparkled from top to bottom. But the most important thing was the value. You got a whole lot of good food for a very good price and people flocked there. And the little stand loved kids. If kids spilled, that was OK, because that was why mops were created.
The alarm goes off, the sun is just peeking over the horizon, and you leap out of bed to face another lousy day in paradise. After you wash up for the day ahead, you tear open the closet door to find your manager’s uniform is gone. You know you brought it home from the cleaners and hung it there. Where is it? You look over at the nightstand, and your store keys are gone. What the heck is going on?
OK, I’ll admit, the restaurant scene is not the greatest in Payson. We are a quiet little town somewhere between Phoenix and the recreational Tonto Forest. We are not a destination. We are a way to get somewhere else. Therefore, our restaurant choice is limited to 14 of the 15 top quick-service restaurants and a few diners.
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Billions and billions sold. A veritable room full of creative awards, including the 4A’s “Best Five Year Campaign,” Advertising Age’s “Best Campaign of the Twentieth Century,” and the second-best Spokesclown of the Twentieth Century—not to mention a mess of Cannes Lions and Clios.
Once upon a time, there was a used car lot with a tan building, some pavement, and a lot of fast, gray cars, as well as one Volkswagen with no engine and a sign that read, “Great mileage.”
One warm day, lightning cracked in the West and pretty soon a storm hit. It hailed ball bearings for a full three minutes. When it stopped, those cars looked like they had been attacked by a herd of church ladies protesting medical marijuana.