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On "Kitchen Nightmares"

This weekend, I watched a few cuts of TV programmes on Youtube.

Listed as below:
  • Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
  • Gordon Ramsay's on Bad Boy's Bakery
  • Gordon Ramsay's escape to Thailand
They are indeed quite inspiring. I didn't know these programmes until I saw someone shared the initial cut on the "5 dishes that Gordon Ramsay actually liked" on Facebook.

The immediate question came into my mind: "Why he's so pissed off with someone else's kitchens?"

Then I started to watch the other clips which tell the whole story. After watching a few clips, I started to realise his positive intention of helping those restaurant owners who are suffering in their F&B businesses find right ways to recover. The story normally starts with a failure restaurant. Then Gordon will taste their food, followed by investigating their operations. After identifying all the key issues, Gordon will give advises and transform the restaurant into a more promising one by helping on the new menu creation and interior decorations. 

The reason why I was watching is firstly because the stories went through with dramatic changes happening before and after Gordon came: the stresses and anxieties when Gordon criticise the food and operations vs the happinesses and excitements after the owners take Gordon's advises.

Another reason why I was watching is because I was really stressful in the past week when our sales didn't went out very well. There are some sorts of mental pleasure when seeing other people get pissed off. That's insane, but it is true. After watching for a few seasons, I realise some of the business mistakes also apply to my current business. That's where I believe the most meaningful parts lie.

There are a few mistakes that the owners make:
  • They thought their food quality is good. However, the reality is that they've been working on same staffs for many years, but that doesn't mean they are doing the dishes good. There is no reason for the pride unless you really really make the product consistently good. That's the critical part. Indeed, for most of the bad performing restaurants, this is the most common problem.
  • You have to let go something to really make something great. There are a few owners I remember clearly which may reflect parts of my own bad habits. One of the restaurant owners always keeps the old staffs in the restaurant and never throws away anything. He's an extreme case when he keeps everything which he thought would be useful but indeed useless. It remind me of my own bad habit of not regularly cleaning my tables/phones/laptops/offices/etc. I realise the seriousness when I started cleaning my old iPhone. There are 200+ apps need to be updated and most of the apps are indeed useless. I erased many apps. So as many uninformative WeChat moments from friends who I seldom know. Notifications which are so annoyed and I still haven't got the chances to clean them all. So many things which we thought might be useful are in fact affecting our quality of lives. In the future, more information will come, most of which will be useless. We need to really regularly clean up our minds to keep it fresh and sharp.  There are also cases when people cannot let go mentally, e.g., their past successes, or their parents who passed away, etc. No matter the illy old staffs are mental or physical, we will have to get them go. Otherwise, you will be buried with all these bad things and never improve. 
  • Never be lazy, take responsibilities to the team. This happens to some restaurant owners who do not have good self disciplines. This sometimes happens to me, too. I think we've got to regularly diagnose these issues by ourselves and our peers. It is a mistake that could have been solved easily.
  • Don't over burn yourself. There are two cases where I find the owners are extremely hard working, but working on the wrong things and burn themselves too much. One is a Japanese restaurant owner and another is a steak restaurant owner. They want to work things out, but just focus on the wrong thing.  It's difficult to solve unless someone more experienced can point things out. I sometimes also full into this track which is very dangerous. Thankfully I have some mentors who can guide me through a bit along the way.
  • Don't hide anything, all the failures have reasons behind. 
  • Embrace changes, always upgrading, don't be too stubborn. This is super important, especially to the young entrepreneurs who don't want to fall into the trap.
That's most of it. Though that's a good TV programme, I think I've got to control myself of not watching it too much. Too many entertainments will be harmful to my life.

The two programmes regarding the "Bad Boy's Bakery" and "Gordon's escapes" are also quite interesting. The "Bad Boy's Bakery" is indeed a entrepreneur story which would be a cool lesson to learn for those who'd start a F&B business. I'm more amazed by the story behind why Gordon decided to make such a programme and the social impacts behind it. Gordon's brother has issues with drag addiction and his father with alcohol addiction. He hope he can do something to make the prisoners' lives more rewarding by empowering them with baking and cooking skills. The "Gordon's escapes" is more of an adventure programme which shows how Gordon finds his inspirations on his cruises from other cultures.

In summary, I learnt something from the F&B industry owners on how they fail and hopefully I can be smarter in operation and make a successful company.


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