My latest idol is Gordon Ramsey, which I’ve been following in his many TV series Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmare (both US and UK). Both me, my sister and mother are totally hooked on him. Unfortunately I don’t get the same response from people around me when I discuss him. They don’t understand why we like him.
I find him fascinating cause of his success. He have build a luxurious restaurant empire from nothing. Not only is he a perfectionist, energetic and a great chef, but a great entrepreneur and business man, through experience. He is used to work with the best, and expects the best out of everyone we meet.
He is famous from TV for being a real loud-mouth, repeated swearing, straight to the point and (in some peoples eyes) the devil impersonated. Sure, its showbiz and it makes the program more interesting. Many people are offended by his behaviour, but I believe he have the status to expect the best of the best. And all the swearing, demeaning comments and disrespected way he talk down to people get a much stronger impact. But at the end of the day he is a businessman. But lets not forget, this way of his is part of the Gordon Ramsey Brand! And that’s a very powerful force. Its part of his authenticity and verification, why he often is right. Instead of tapping every one on the head and pet them, he kick them in the ass, for their own good. He tries to get the best out of people, but some simply can’t take it. No one can deny the result he gets. He have the experience of both failure and success, that have brought him to were he is today.
Unfortunately, as TV and media always does, they focus simply on his swearing and down talking way. Many of the people who participate in his program often are real idiots or simply doesn’t have what it takes. If we break down what Hells Kitchen is all about, its not about a dream for a nobody. He is searching for a new business partner! Not only does he look for a great chef, but someone who can run a business successfully. Actually, this show could apply to any business. Hells Kitchen is more straight forward entertainment.
Kitchen Nightmare on the other hand is more interesting to analyse and a testament to his entrepreneur skills and marketing knowledge. He travel all around UK and America to help struggling restaurants come back from the brink of death. Usually its the same problem on every place he visits. Broken or no communication, very bad food, lacking administration, focus on the wrong thing and plain stubbornness against change or pure stupidity. They make simple mistakes, but fail to see them.
When he travel around to help struggling businesses he analyse everything surrounding the restaurant. Quality of the food and service. The feeling, atmosphere and design of the interior and exterior. How the restaurant market itself and who’s their core audience. If the menu works and fit the profile of the place. He often go around to scan the town his in, to scan the market and if there’s a restaurant type not present, a hole in the market to be filled. He show how important change is for survivor in a very competitive market, and what it means to truly run a business. He really think as a marketer, taking every aspect into account. And at the end of the day, he want to secure the happiness and experience of the customer!
Even if its part of his brand, to me a bit… hard against people who don’t live up to his expectations, he also want to help people success. Sure he have his methods, but they give results. He travels around to help people in need, when he could spend that time to his own restaurants. I don’t think he would waste time on others if he didn’t believed in them or were forced to. His not obligated to do any thing for other businesses, but he still do, and it really test his patience. His not only a master chef, but a true businessman!