At the base level, a burger is a piece of meat and a bun with something on it. It's simple but it seems to make a lot of people happy.
The most important thing you can do is make the distinction between customer service and guest hospitality. You need both things to thrive, but they are completely different.
It's the job of any business owner to be clear about the company's nonnegotiable core values. They're the riverbanks that help guide us as we refine and improve on performance and excellence. A lack of riverbanks creates estuaries and cloudy waters that are confusing to navigate. I want a crystal-clear, swiftly flowing stream.
You wouldn't have the same art on the walls at every restaurant or the same waiter uniforms. Neither should you have the same service style at every restaurant.
Every restaurant needs to have a point of view.
When the economy goes sour, there are three different kinds of restaurants that do well: the smaller-scale neighborhood restaurants that don't ask much of you; those that have banked enormous goodwill by offering great value during the boom; and those with proven records of excellence, a sure thing.
The part of capitalism that doesn't work for me is when capitalists make decisions in the way that Adam Smith suggested, which is that as long as you do everything in the interest of the investor, you're going to actually make the best decisions for all other stakeholders. I don't happen to agree with that.