Whilst I was on holiday in the Italian lakes my wife and I visited a restaurant for lunch, the special feature of the house was that they hadn’t changed their menu since 1947! The only exception being the seasonal variations in the fruit and vegetables. The white wine and water were all included in the price. The only decision to make is to stay and eat or leave for another venue.
This made me think about the two sides to this business model they had chosen.
On a sunny lunchtime looking out over Lake Como the Accountant in me kicked straight in – Keep it Simple! There was certainty and consistency in their model:
- The economies of having a few ingredients and quantities that were easy to predict and if they it was a quiet week they would just call off less the following week
- The staff knew the routine like clockwork and expertly filleted the fish and served the 5 courses
- A simple all inclusive price just multiply by the number of covers and voila your bill
Everything seemed perfect until a little further wine and thought prompted some downsides. A lot has changed in 67 years and even more will change in the next 67 years and the pace will only increase. I began to worry that this business is unlikely to be around as customers demand more and those of us who like things the way they were reduce in number slowly shuffle on.
The peace of the place couldn’t then stop me from contemplating my own business and those of my clients. We strive to give our customers confidence and certainty in the service they will receive to meet our brand promise (a what I hear you cry?) Though as Britain’s Got Talent comes to end the words “relevant” and “of the moment” fade, all business owners have to evolve their products and services and remain relevant to our client’s needs and to exceed those expectations.
I am now on a review of all our services and communications with clients and are they still relevant and exceeding our client’s expectations.
I would love to know what products and services that have been around for years and what you are doing about ensuring they are still relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s customers.