Focus on the fundamentals.

Building BlocksFundamentals may look like the boring stuff of business, but in fact they are the foundation for unique and special concepts that capture imaginations of diners and build wealth for their owners.

Some companies do well because they are great at the fundamentals of business.  Others prosper through the magic of branding and concepts, or relationships that captivate guests and customers. The best companies know what strength got them started. Then they add competency in the areas that did not come naturally to them at the beginning.  

French fries, churros, macaroni and cheese, and of course –  frozen yogurt. These one item restaurant concepts are finding their niches, often in small footprints, honing single-unit economics down to a smaller scale than what the industry is accustomed to. They also violate the conventional wisdom to never name your restaurant after only one menu item — if you want your operation to outlive that item’s popularity.

That is what I thought about when I talked to Danielle Abril of the Dallas Business Journal when she interviewed me for her recent article, 8 cities in 15 days: French fry franchiser’s tour hits DFW about French Fry Heaven looking for new franchisees.  

That begs the question, to generalize or specialize?  Still, successful generalists and specialists have things in common . . .

  • they must be great at what they do,
  • they must be unique, and
  • they must be very strong at branding and site selection

Like musicians who all have the same notes to choose from, restaurateurs are basically slicing and dicing the same ingredients but coming back to fundamentals that drive success every day.

What fundamentals are you working on?

photo credit: nettsu via photopin cc