Patterning Your Dealership’s Business Model After Armani & Wolfgang Puck


From the Edi­to­r­ial Team at Dealer Digest Daily

This dis­til­la­tion of ideas from Wolf­gang came from an arti­cle in the Decem­ber 9th issue of Fortune.

It’s impos­si­ble to think of Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine with­out think­ing of Wolf­gang Puck. The man who pop­u­lar­ized open restau­rant kitchens, Puck, 64, intro­duced fine din­ing to the masses on TV and became one of the first celebrity chefs (a term he despises). Through his pri­vately held com­pany (rev­enues exceeded $400 mil­lion last year), he has par­layed his name into restau­rants, frozen piz­zas, appli­ances, cook­books, and more.

What Wolf­gang Had to Say About Being Like Armani:

I pat­terned my busi­ness model on how Gior­gio Armani did things. He has haute cou­ture, which is like fine din­ing in food, and a line below that, like our cafés in air­ports and Dis­ney­land. He also does licens­ing, and we do the same thing with our canned soups. I said if he can do it in cloth­ing, I can do it in food

Wolfgang’s Advice:

Talk to Your Cus­tomers. I feel that when peo­ple come to my restau­rant, they’re com­ing to my house. You want to be gra­cious to them. At home you have to feed them for free. Here they have to pay.

Stick to What You Know Best. I owned 10% of Eureka Brew­ery & Restau­rant, which opened in 1990. We had so many prob­lems bot­tling the beer that I had to leave. The restau­rant was suc­cess­ful, but the brew­ery lost a lot, and Eureka went into bankruptcy.

Hire Young Peo­ple. Young peo­ple bring more ideas. There has to be evo­lu­tion con­stantly. If we stand still and don’t pay atten­tion to what’s hap­pen­ing today and tomor­row, we’ll be in a graveyard.

Here’s the orig­i­nal For­tune story – we sug­gest read­ing all the way to the bottom.