Keith Paul and his wife, Heather, opened their first restaurant in 2000. Now they own A Good Egg Dining Group, which has six extremely successful and popular restaurants and a catering business. When I interviewed Keith for Restaurant Owners Uncorked, he said something early on that caught my attention for the brilliance of it’s simplicity. Here’s the exchange…
Wil: “What were you focused on when you first got started?”
Keith: “We concentrated on what was happening inside the four walls of the restaurant, and on making sure every customer had a good time. And we were putting out a great product. We never skimped on quality. We never skimped on employee satisfaction – which I think is probably our main strength.
As we grew, we said ‘Let’s make sure that everybody that works for us is completely happy. We’ll do what we can for them. We’re going to take a vested interest in their personal lives, and we’re not going to spend a bunch of money on traditional advertising. We’re not going to buy newspaper and radio and TV ads. We’re gonna just concentrate on what’s going on inside the four walls.’
We kept attracting great people, and our culture has always been to keep our employees happy. And never, ever – even if times are slow – we never even think about skimping on quality of food, of silverware, of glassware, or anything. We’ve always stuck to those values and principles, and that has seemed to pay off.”
I blogged recently about how we simplified our formula for success, and Wes and I have both posted numerous times about having a clear focus and a simple strategy, executed very well every day. We love simplicity and focus around here. And that’s why I love how Keith answered that question.
He and Heather focused on what was happening inside their four walls. That’s stuff they can control. That’s stuff they can get better at every day. And eventually be the best at. It seems simple, but you know what, so many businesses look past the simple stuff happening inside their walls, and become too outwardly focused. They don’t get the basics right. They look outside their windows, not inside their walls.
Keith and his team have stuck to their simple formula for eleven years now, and it’s proven to work. Very well.
Want to learn more from Keith (and nineteen other successful restaurant owners)? Grab a copy of our book on Amazon – paperback ($14.99) or Kindle version $9.99).