Consistency over Quality

Posted by fshsfhsfh on Monday, April 18, 2011


There is a general belief that if you serve great tasting, high quality food your restaurant business will be successful. This seems to be quite misunderstood. If the above statement were true, all the roadside food joints should have shut shop, but as you can see they have been around for several years/decades and are obviously profitable.

I think the secret is CONSISTENCY rather than QUALITY. If customers clearly know what they are going to get when they come to your restaurant and repeatedly experience the same thing, they will be happy. For e.g. when you go to a Shanti Sagar what you expect is decent quality Idly with Karnataka Sambar and Chutney. You don't go there expecting the softest, best possible idly. On the same note when you go to Brahmin's Coffee Bar (tucked in a little street in Basavanagudi), you expect the idly there to be the softest, freshest and best tasting idly you have ever had.

I actually think there is a problem in giving great quality stuff - once you become known for it, managing customer expectations becomes all the more difficult. It is kind of like the effort required to score 60% in a exam, versus the effort required to score 90%.

I am not saying that you should not serve high quality food, but you need to think through whether you can do it in a sustainable/consistent manner.

I am going to use McDonald's as an example again - they don't claim nor will anyone say that they serve the best quality burgers in the world - but whichever McDonald's you go to, at any time of the day, the Burger tastes pretty much the same. They are the world's largest restaurant company and they have been built on CONSISTENCY.

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