Lessons for soloists from My Kitchen Rules
I’ve recently become addicted to My Kitchen Rules (MKR), not because I have any culinary aspirations of my own, but because it has many business lessons to teach us. Well, that’s my excuse anyway – and I’m sticking to it.
Presentation really, really matters
People eat with their eyes first, so if your dish looks unappetising, you’re facing an uphill battle before you start. The same goes for your logo, your website and other aspects of your brand: people really do notice, and will start to form an impression of your business from the very first eyeful.
Adding sauce adds brownie points
As far as French MKR judge Manu is concerned, all dishes need sauce. This might be debatable among chefs, but is definitely worthy of consideration for soloists. Can you add something extra to the products and services that make up the bread and butter of your business? It doesn’t need to be much, but if it differentiates you from your competitors or gives clients a taste for doing business with you, then it will certainly be worth the time and effort it takes to whip it up.
"No matter how skilled you are at your craft, if you haven’t got the skills to sell it, you’re stuffed. "
Being obnoxious makes you memorable; it does not make you a winner
It’s sad but true that the best (and most publicised) bits of MKR are the catty things certain contestants say about their competitors’ personalities and food. Perhaps those teams are under the impression that any publicity is good publicity, but if so, they’re deluded. If I accidentally found myself in a restaurant run by them, I’d be out the door lickety-split, scared they might poison my dinner if I looked at them the wrong way. Lesson? Leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths is not the way you want to be remembered.
Sooner or later you’ll need to sell something
The contestants on MKR think they’re there purely to cook, but a recent episode saw them at the markets, trying to spruik their fare to passers by while simultaneously putting food on plates. In this environment, the key to success was capturing people’s attention and then building rapport with them quickly. The business lesson here is that no matter how skilled you are at your craft, if you haven’t got the skills to sell it, you’re stuffed.
I could share more insights, but I’ll stop there because MKR’s about to start and I need to pour myself a glass of wine.
What business lessons have you learmt from reality cooking shows?