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Classes from Ray Kroc, Milton Hershey, and different nice founders of the grocery retailer

April
15, 2021

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The Legacy of Milton Hershey, Richard McDonald, Maurice McDonald, Ray Kroc, Ken Hardy, Jur van Hoorn, Adolphus Green, John Stith Pemberton, Asa Griggs Candler, Caleb Bradham, Will Keith Kellogg, C. W. Post, Harry Burnett "H. B." Reese, James L. Kraft, Herman Warden Lay, Elmer Doolin, Dan and Frank Carney, Dr. John T. Dorrance and many other great men paved the way for our business today. All of them thought beyond their current situations and had amazing business acumen. Marjorie Merriweather Post was also hugely influential after inheriting her father's business, but faced unique challenges to overcome.

Your contribution to innovation surprises me; They responded to their market conditions and flourished as a result. The leaders in our industry, most of them, started out in their eat-in kitchen when there were little or no food safety regulations or guidelines. Our modern conveniences were once luxuries that were difficult to access, but they made them easily accessible to us. Their brands and products caught our attention and we still crave their products long after they disappeared. The food industry will make a comeback when the economy recovers, that's for sure. I expect creativity and ingenuity to be at an all-time high and am excited about the future.

Related: 6 Ways to Ensure Your Restaurant Remains Relevant

Understanding the business, generating profitable income, implementing strategies to increase operational efficiency, and customer service, how your customers need to be served is far more important than culinary skills and front and back office experience. Business acumen is what entrepreneurs need to survive, not just during a pandemic, stock market crash, natural disaster, or subsequent recovery effort – it's essential to surviving in its purest form. When you look at our industry pioneers and the challenges they have faced, it seems like it would take a real miracle for them to overcome them. But the way they succeeded was no wonder. It was just courage, skill and perseverance to achieve one goal: innovation.

Related: How Your Restaurant Can Get More Customers And More Money

We have access to modern resources and technologies that make it much easier for us to be productive. If you are in the food industry and just focus on producing amazing food in an environment with a pleasant ambience, chances are you are investing in improving the wrong areas.

The companies that find or create ways to be essential and necessary, not a luxury, have a higher success rate. You should find ways to incorporate technology into your practices to increase efficiency and productivity. Serve your customers the way they expect to be served the fastest and most efficiently. This may mean improving or reducing your menu, redesigning your packaging for shipping, or extending shelf life. Companies that solve common challenges and constraints with innovative solutions are more likely to come out on top.

Cooperations, creative marketing, mergers, packaging that extend travel time and shelf life, etc. are what really matter. If a culinary artist's focus is simply on the plate and what he will serve, his vision and then his customer, you will not be successful in this "art business". To make a name for yourself in the industry, thinking shouldn't take place in a confined space like a box or a circle. Be a student of your company, customers, products, and services as you rigorously study trends, patterns, feedback, systems, processes, and so on.

Indeed, customers are after the taste of perfection in your menu, but that's not all there is to be thriving in the food industry. The foundation of a reputable restaurant lies not only in a typical family recipe presented in an A-class coating or in a calming ambience, but also in the overall customer experience – from the moment they visit your website to Place an online order or make a reservation when you enter your premises and until you clear the bill.

I believe that it is important for companies, especially restaurants, to function holistically and not just focus on a specific area such as food or service. All aspects have to come together to win the customer's trust and satisfaction. I look forward to companies applying what they have learned and proactively developing a clearer vision. Innovation. Ingenuity.

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