Producing Results Blog

A Tale of Two Restaurants…and You

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Today we’re going to talk about two fast-food restaurant chains. They both serve similar products, but one makes way more money than the other. Let’s see if you can guess which one is the big winner:

Restaurant Chain #1:

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  • Virtually synonymous with its product
  • Thousands and thousands of locations throughout the entire country
  • Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year

Restaurant Chain #2:[unordered_list style=”red-x”]

  • Virtually unknown in half the country
  • Fewer than half the number of restaurants as Restaurant Chain #1
  • Every location closed nearly 15% of the year


Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Obviously, the chain bringing in the most money—to the tune of nearly a billion dollars more than its rival—is…Restaurant Chain #2.

YOU: “Huh? That doesn’t seem right. And you say it’s obvious?”

Well, yeah. It’s obviously going to be the counterintuitive one. Otherwise, why would I have set it up like this? You must get fooled at movies a lot.

Motivational Speaker Bill StaintonSo, if you haven’t guessed by now, Restaurant Chain #1 is KFC, and Restaurant Chain #2 is Chick-fil-A. They both sell chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. And despite all of KFC’s advantages (like, for example, the fact that every Chick-fil-A is closed every Sunday), last year Chick-fil-A outsold KFC by nearly a billion bucks, according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

There are a number of explanations for this: higher per-store traffic, higher average check amount, big breakfast business. Plus, they make a really, really good chicken sandwich! But I don’t really want to talk about why Chick-fil-A is so much more successful than its competitor.

Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton
I want to talk about you and your business.

See, Chick-fil-A could easily have used its disadvantages as excuses, and maintained a respectable #2 position in the fast-food chicken business. But they didn’t, and today they’re the leaders.

Your Competition Loves Your Excuses

So what about you? What disadvantages are you using as excuses?

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  • “My competition is bigger than me, and has more locations.” So does Chick-fil-A’s.
  • “My competition has more name recognition than I do.” So does Chick-fil-A’s.
  • “My competition is personified by an avuncular guy in a white suit and a goatee.” So is Chick-fil-A’s. [Note: this last one may not apply to your specific situation.]

Look, the point is this: you can make excuses, or you can make money.

Is it easy? Probably not.
Is it quick? Probably not.
Is it a barrel of fun? Probably not all the time.

But it is possible.

How do I—and more important, how do you—know it’s possible? Because Chick-fil-A did it.

Here’s the bottom line. You don’t lead by comparing yourself to the competition. You lead by taking care of business. Your business.


About the Author:

For 15 years, Executive Producer and Hall of Fame speaker Bill Stainton, CSP led his team to more than 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings.Today Bill helps leaders achieve those kinds of results--in THEIR world and with THEIR teams.
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