Jamie Oliver is one of TV’s most successful chefs who was able to build an empire based on his culinary skills.
Yet, while his business thrived in cook books and TV shows, his restaurants came crashing down and no have declared bankruptcy.
Where did the famous TV chef / culinary entrepreneur go wrong?
His failure to keep his restaurants in the black is a good example of how even the best minds, the best experts can fail when it comes to maintaining success in entrepreneurship.
He was successful as a Chef but that success did not translate automatically into that of running a good business.
Let’s see why.
Expertise does not always deliver sound business sense –
You need a lot more than just expertise to keep a business afloat and running.
You maybe an expert in your chosen field of work but you also need to be able to price right, manage right and ensure that your product meets customer satisfaction and needs. In Jamie’s case , he misread his target audience – it has been long reported that his restaurant chains were overpriced – given the simple menus they served.
Listening to customer feed back is vital for survival –
Jamie Oliver may have been a great chef but he clearly wasn’t a good listener – to customers that is. Every great business thrives on customer feed back – and on making the changes needed to enhance customer satisfaction. There had been repeated complaints about his over-priced menus. He could have brought the prices down and changed the menu formulas. But he didn’t – perhaps he banked too much on his persona as a celebrity chef. People don’t go to restaurants based on the reputation of the owner – they go to have great food at prices they can afford. Clearly, he did not think it was important to listen to the customers.
Too much of expansion too soon –
It seems the restaurants banked too much on Jamie’s reputation. Some insiders believe that the restaurants expanded too much, too soon. In a market that was not growing as fast as they would like, too much time and money was spent on expansion within a short period of time. Often times, growth must come through careful planning, waiting for the right time to expand. In a business, it is a journey and time must be spent on deliberations considerably before making the decision to expand.
Keeping up with changing trends is vital –
Jamie’s restaurant chains have been labelled by critics as not keeping up with changing trends. Whether this is true or not, clearly somethings were not done right, resulting in the going down of the brands. Even though there could be success at the beginning, it is vital for any business to keep track of changes in the market place and be bale to reflect or incorporate those changes so that you can stay relevant as customer needs change or expand.
Not being hands-on often enough –
Jamie Oliver is accused of leaving too much of the running of the restaurants in the hands of his brother-in-law who was the CEO. While entrepreneurs cannot always be hands-on, it is vital to ensure that you know what is going on – it is your brand and your business and you need to know what is happening. Not everyone will care enough as you do for what you have developed ; you need to be hands-on in running the business to know what is happening.
There are lessons as always when an entrepreneur goes down – those lessons can serve us well to improve and expand the way we do our businesses as entrepreneurs.