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
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.