Heat

For our Foodie Friday topic today, let’s have a cup of coffee.  Actually, let’s get some inspiration from one – specifically from Jerry Seinfeld‘s new web series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.  If you haven’t seen it, Jerry goes out for coffee with another funny person – Michael Richards, Carl Reiner, and Larry David among them.  It was in the Larry David episode – Larry Eats A Pancake – that we get today’s food – and business – point.

Jerry remarks that as a pancake gets cold it becomes less appealing   “Once it cools off it loses its allure.” Why is that?  “Heat doesn’t have any flavor…what does it do?”  Larry’s response – “it warms you” is very Kramer-ish.  But it’s true – heat doesn’t have any flavor although it certainly does affect the things that do.  Many dishes are best served at or near room temperature while some foods are disgusting at that temperature.  Food that’s too hot loses flavor, as does food that’s not quite warm enough (putting aside things such as ice cream, of course).  It’s not just the intrinsic flavor of the food that affects the perceived quality.  It’s also the intangible value of the right temperature.

The same holds in business.  It’s the difference on the customer experience on Jet Blue vs. that on Spirit air.  Two discount airlines with many of the same features and requirements (there’s a charge for everything!) but the “heat” of one is perfect and make it delicious while the other is served cold and isn’t something I’ll go near again.

We need to pay attention to the “how hot” as much as we do to the “what.”  Heat can “warm you” or it can burn you.  It can mask flavors or enhance them.  Focus on the “heat” factor you’re generating and you’ll be surprised how appealing the same old stuff can seem.

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