The Thanksgiving Menu’s Business Tip

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Cooking Day!  What?  You’re waiting until tomorrow to get going?  Well, maybe you’re better organized than I am.  Today, in between phone calls, emails, and project work, is spent baking the pies, turning the stock we made yesterday into gravy, prepping vegetables, making the appetizers, and many other little things so that we can get tomorrow’s feast in front of everyone all at once and on time.  Those of you with frozen turkeys should have them thawing (maybe in your bathtub if space is an issue?).

The menu we offer this year is the same as last year’s and most prior years.  Frankly, I find it kind of boring to make.  But therein lies the business lesson.

You see, I prepare the menu that’s not really what I want:  it’s what the family wants.  Oh sure – I got them to approve the switch to fried turkey over roasted years ago (after offering a side by side choice one year) and I get to play with one of the dressings but mostly it’s the same meal because everyone likes it.  Every year I ask them what changes they want and every year they don’t want any.  That’s fine.  They’re my guests – my customers.  I made the choice to offer them a product – Thanksgiving dinner.  The rest is all about them, as it should be in any business.

Paying attention to consumers once you’ve decided to make something is so basic but often overlooked.  Yes, we need to make consumers aware that there might be choices they’ve overlooked (fried turkey) but we can’t impose our will unilaterally if we want them to return (although hopefully the family would show up anyway) and be happy.

You wouldn’t serve steaks to vegans.  So why do we offer business products and services that are “my way or the highway” in nature?

Enjoy your holiday and the “three F’s” that make this day so fun.  Let me know what you’re making for the meal and don’t tell me “reservatoins”!

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