Kitchen Nightmares was a great show that my wife Mary and I recorded and watched but now can only see in reruns. The show itself was quite an experience from bad attitudes to tired food and grossly un-kept kitchens to complete denial by the owners. Every episode was filled with drama, tears and a lot of bleeps!
Here is the basic premise: Chef Ramsey is invited by a struggling restaurateur to help turn around their struggling restaurant. Most of these restaurants are on the brink of bankruptcy... hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and months...even days from closing.
After watching several episodes I have learned his basic strategy:
1. Address the Leadership Problem. I am amazed at the defensiveness of these owners. Their uncoachable attitudes. Their unwillingness to change or receive advice from an expert that they brought in to help them.
2. Attack the Quality of Service. Chef Ramsey inspects the cleanliness of the kitchen, the quality of the food and service. On every show he gets the owner to personally clean the kitchen. He addresses attitudes of the service staff. He brings in all fresh food.
3. Fix the Atmosphere. On every show they completely overhaul the restaurant decor. This changes the first impression of those within the community.
4. Make Everything Simpler. Complexity is the curse of many restaurants. Too many items on the menu affects the quality of the food. Chef Ramsey brings in a simple menu based around fresh, colorful, easy to make food.
5. Find a Marketable Idea for the Restaurant. Ramsey goes out in the community to find a marketable idea to create buzz in the community.
6. Create Buzz in the Community. He gets all of the restaurant staff to go out in the community to serve food at a locally sponsored event. They hand out old fashion fliers. Improve their signage. They even wear corny tee-shirts. He invites local celebrities to come to the relaunch; anything that creates a stir in the community and says something new is happening.
7. Relaunch. All the buzz that is generated is purposefully pointed to a relaunch of the restaurant. New attitudes, new decor, new menu, new improved service...and that means new customers.
8. Provide Ongoing Coaching. Sometimes Chef Ramsey will provide a coach/consultant to work with the owner and staff to keep up the quality of service.
The overwhelming majority of churches around the world are like these struggling restaurants. Filled with bad attitudes, tired facilities, and demotivated leaders. The people in these churches have an overwhelming feeling that things are not right but they don't know how to change it or where to start.
Here are a few reflective questions as we continue our focus on Church Health this month:
- What attitudes are keeping you, as the spiritual leader, from moving your church forward?
- Do you really know the quality of service you are bringing to your people?
- What does the physical atmosphere of your location say to members, new visitors and your community?
- What could you do to simplify the focus of your church?
- When is the last time you asked your community what it needs and how could your church help in meeting that need?
- What type of buzz is being generated by your church?
- Do you have the strength to pull off a relaunch of the church's mission and vision?
- Are you open to having a consultant or coach work with you?
Do you need help in seeing your church nightmare become a sweet dream? We would love to help you. Contact Converge MidAmerica