Becoming A Steakhouse

It’s Foodie Friday, and my mind is turning to steak. While I enjoy grilling steaks as much as the next person, most of our efforts here at Rancho Deluxe can’t compare to the product put out by a good steakhouse. It got me thinking about why that is, and it turns out there are some really good business points one can take away.

Steak at Peter Luger's

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first I attributed the biggest difference to the meat itself. After all, high-end steak places serve nothing but prime meat, and generally, it’s been aged. As with any business, NOTHING can take the place of top-shelf raw materials. You can’t make a great product out of inferior ingredients. So on a special occasion, I splurged on an aged piece of Prime porterhouse thinking I now had the ability to replicate that great steak at home. While it was very good, it was definitely NOT the same.

Then there is the cooking method. Top steak places might use a broiler that is heated to 1,000 degrees or more. While I do have a high-end broiler in my oven, I don’t think it gets quite that hot. A charcoal grill can get quite hot using lump (not briquette) charcoal, but it’s a different experience than most steakhouses. Still, it came close in terms of providing enough heat to do the job.

So now I had the equivalent ingredients and a similar cooking tool but it just wasn’t the same. Putting aside that I was doing the cooking and not just being served, I realized that there was one more huge difference: practice. Steakhouses cook 1,000 steaks a week or more. If I do 24 in a year it’s a lot. But it’s a good business point.

There is no substitute for practice, and the more times we do things – presentations, analyses, whatever – the better we become at them. That’s noticeable to the recipient.  Having great raw materials – that includes people – and a great methodology coupled with the right tools to do the job and a LOT of practice can produce a great steak.  That formula’s also capable of producing greatness in your business if you’ll let it.  Will you?

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