Why does food taste so much better in a restaurant? I’m not talking about really complicated dishes prepared with weird components. Even plain, grilled fish or a simple plate of spaghetti and clams can taste way better than what you or I can prepare even though no complicated cooking techniques are involved. Heck, make a fire, throw on a steak, season it a bit, pay attention – dinner, right? And what does this have to do with business?
I think it’s the ingredients. The fish the restaurant is grilling is, generally, better than what you see in the supermarket and in many fish stores. The meat is of a higher grade. More importantly, the chef has selected purveyors very carefully to be sure that what the restaurant gets is the best, freshest produce, unlike the way most of us grab whatever is available at the store. They go through spices and herbs quickly so they’re not laying around to get stale. In short, if the chef were to cook in your house with your ingredients, it wouldn’t taste as good.
In business, your people are your ingredients. The business chef – the executive – who has the best ingredients wins. You need to select every one of them carefully. Don’t let HR do it, and even if you trust the managers who are doing the interviewing, YOU need to make sure the finalists are all of the highest quality. Don’t settle. It’s better that a position stay open than to fill it with inferior people. A great chef would not serve anything on his menu if he couldn’t get ingredients up to his standards. “We’re out of that tonight” might just mean the chef has got your back.
What are you cooking this weekend? Whatever it is, enjoy it!