There is tremendous amount of criticism about the harmful effects of watching television in our society. Irrespective of whomsoever is the group, kids, children, teenagers, adults, senior citizens. Everyone has something to watch on television that most others consider as useless from a value perspective, and harmful from a social perspective. I have stopped watching the news genre for many months now as most news based programs resemble fish markets or shouting matches. Like IPL matches they appear allegedly fixed.
However to brush aside all television programs across channels and genres as a waste is an extreme position and may not be based on facts.
Most times I watch television programs on NGC, Discovery, Animal Planet, History and other similar channels. They have outstanding content from which you can learn new things as well as unlearn the incorrect past.
The last few days, I have been mesmerised watching on Fox Life channel the program ‘Kitchen Nightmares’. Broadly it is about restaurants that are not doing well or are on the verge of closure reaching out to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, seeking his expertise to do a turnaround. I am sure that there are many who seek his guidance and presence to take a decision on the way forward for their restaurants but the program has a method of selecting a few where Ramsay would personally visit, discuss, work with the team and take a decision on the way forward.
I have so far seen about four episodes and the quality of episodes is truly outstanding. I believe that every episode is a case study by itself. You gain so much of insights into not only about running world class restaurants but also about managing business, effecting a turn around, building the right kind of team, engaging with your customers and decision making to name a few. Ramsay is where he is today not only because of his passion for good food and the restaurant business but also for his genuine interest in people and a commitment to help them to do better.
Now on to the restaurants and people who run them…am amazed at how people consistently miss the fundamentals. Location, ambience, design, cleanliness, hiring people who truly believe in serving customers, serving fresh and not frozen food, to your customers every time, not arguing with customers, nurturing your staff so that you build relationships with your stakeholders, reviewing and offering fresh menu and products, being mindful of market shifts and trends are some of the essentials where you have to do exceptionally, consistently well…. leading to fulfilling the core purpose of setting up a restaurant – serving great food to the customer. Very often we setup businesses to make money, but forget the fundamental fact that the business serves some need of the customer and if that is not served well, no money can be made.
Ramsay drives home these points to the owners and staff by being there in person at the restaurant and demonstrating the right way of thinking and doing things leading to turnaround of the business.
I urge you to watch the Kitchen Nightmares program. Lots of fun. Loads of learning.