The story of Amy’s Bakery has been a hot topic in America ever since the episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares aired in the US on May the 10th. However, it wasn’t until just over a week ago that the good people in the UK got to see just how much of a nightmare this story was. For anyone who has yet to catch up with the story; you need to watch it. Now. Click here and then come back; I’ll wait for you.
Right, now that we are all up to speed we can learn something together.
Apart from the fact that these two owners are clearly from another planet there are plenty of other areas in which the report card should read ‘needs improvement’. Here are 4 lessons that any business can learn from their mistakes.
Not Getting Their Priorities Straight –
The old adage which dictates that the customer is always right was not fabricated from thin air. It is the truest of truths that you will ever hear about in the business world and therefore this should be where your priorities lie. Without customers you have nothing.
The owners at Amy’s Bakery thought that their spotless fridges and precise food labelling would help to put themselves across in a good light. However, whilst these are great attributes for a restaurant, they mean nothing if you don’t treat your customers right. This is not to say that everything else is unimportant; just that if they had put as much effort into their customer service as they did into cleaning the kitchen they would not have needed Gordon in the first place.
Trying To Do Everything Themselves –
The amount of trust that the two owners had in anyone else apart from each other was miniscule. They were constantly turning over staff because they couldn’t find people who were ‘up to their standards’ and wouldn’t even let the current employees use the POS system because they felt they couldn’t cope with it.
Although a business can fell like your baby and letting anyone else touch it could result in it all tumbling down around you; you cannot do everything yourself. Taking on all the responsibilities as your own will mean that you will be inefficient in some areas and these will begin to suffer.
Not Taking Criticism Well –
If there’s one thing that is certain in the business world it’s that there are going to be people out there who react negatively to your business. This is just a fact of life and you have to prepare yourself for this before you become an entrepreneur. The trick is in how you deal with these people’s criticisms because, whilst you don’t have to always agree with them, you do have to accept their opinion and not see it as a personal attack.
With the rise of social media it has become easier than ever to contact businesses directly with your opinions. However, criticism lodged via this platform should be treated as an opportunity to show how professional you are and not, as Amy saw it, a reason to fight back with a tirade of abuse.
Not Looking After Staff Members –
Second only to your customers, your employees are one of the most important groups of people that you need to be looking after if you want your business to flourish. These are the people who will be dedicating their time to helping you achieve your goals and so you need to treat them well or they will soon get fed up of working for you.
During the episode of Kitchen Nightmares it became apparent that Amy and her husband didn’t let their staff keep the tips that they made and instead these went towards the company profits. This is sure to have contributed to the high staff turnover that has blighted them and it was clear that this was effecting how the staff felt about the company. Keeping your staff happy is a great way to motivate them and create a place where other people would love to work.
These mistakes can serve as advice for small businesses and even worldwide corporations. Amy’s Bakery has since hired a PR company to repair their image but still remain in the opinion that they never did anything wrong.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Chris Mayhew has always been interested in what it takes to run a business and after watching Amy’s Bakery fall at so many hurdles he was inspired to pen his opinion. He would recommend the New Business website for anyone wanting more business advice.