And Tim, the trainer says, “I think we should leave.” The Mark, the marketer says, “I think we should stay after all the Health Department score is 98!” Guy, the guru says “No this place is GREAT! Look at all the reviews and testimonials!”
Who would you trust?
Before the answer let’s look the differences in them. Mark, the marketer is someone that does some internet research, talks to a few people in the business and prints a book trying to establish themselves as an “expert”. (Every publishing website says writing a book defines the author as “expert” and a published author gains credibility.) Once the book is published, now the “expert” claims to be a ‘teacher’ because people have read the book and maybe asked a few questions. The next step is to create a re-hash of a chapter in the book, call it a course and sell it. Remember, this person has little to no experience in the business, just research on the internet and an ability to write. There is at least one website that passes itself off as “# 1 site for food trucks” that was started by a guy that specializes in internet marketing. He wrote a few blog posts posing as a food truck expert and then hired someone to continue the blog posts and interviews. Research “passive income” you’ll find the owner, his story about starting this site and admitting no experience in the food industry except knowing how to eat! His motivation? Money!
Guy, the guru is even worse. This is a person that follows a tired and true formula for self-promotion mixed with a charismatic personality. You have probably read several of these stories. A person has a great life; some crisis creates a failure to suffer through then the person grabs some completely different business opportunity and makes tons of mistakes, yet, in spite of himself, becomes successful. Next step is to quit or sell that business, write courses or DIY plans and then promote the plans and courses to death with blogs, books, videos, emails and websites. All the while extolling how easy the business is if you just follow the “blueprint” or join a private group. Throw in a little self-denigration to demonstrate humbleness and viola you are Guy, the guru. As Guy, the guru, your personality draws people in and they will promote you blindly to other people based on your story and personality. Guy, the guru claims superior knowledge of food, vending and business in general. Guy, the guru offers free tidbits of information that demonstrate expertise and always lead back to click here or search my website for more information. The minions of Guy, the guru never dispute wrong information because they and the uninformed visitor don’t know any better. Thus, a maddening cycle of disinformation creates a sale which creates followers which encourages more incorrect information. There are at least 4 websites that do this. They have common traits in pricing claiming, “my customers (minions) say this course/plan/software/book is worth more so the price is going up soon” or they have 18 different prices for trailers/carts each marked out with an ‘X’ and the lowest price is when you join a private, double secret, outlaw, wanderer group that happens to vend. Now that group costs “$500 a year or join today for a one-time cost of only $400 for a lifetime subscription” and get $1000 off the trailer??? Is anyone dumb enough to fall for that? Unfortunately, yes. If the cart/trailer can be sold for that deeply a discounted price, don’t you wonder where the profit is??? Maybe that’s why Guy, the guru’s first businesses failed? Let’s say the discounted price is a lost leader and is really sold at breakeven. That means the profit is in the $400 subscription. Hmmm, $400 profit on a cart? Not bad but as a member the next cart you buy is also discounted thus no profit for the cart seller. We know there is profit built into the price no matter how deeply Guy, the guru pretends to discount the cart. Guy, the guru assigns “value” to a product then pretend to “discount” said product. Quite frankly Guy, the guru is a parasite that needs to constantly sell you something, a course, a book, a new “shiny” piece of overpriced equipment with a “business in a box” add on. One recent guru bait and switch was introducing a “new piece of equipment” along with a sure-fire business-in-a-box training program that would bring new amazing amounts of business just because you posted a picture of the new equipment on Facebook. That marketing nightmare took a build-up of several weeks’ worth of emails culminating in 11 straight emails inviting you to watch what ended up being a 90-minute demonstration video with the total program and price reveal at the end. This “new” cooker, a pig roaster, paired with the aforementioned biz in a box nonsense came to nearly $10,000. Oh, wait, except the product is from 2007, manufactured in Canada and sells for under $6000 at Cabelas. Guess what the chef that created this cooker also has a “business in a box” option for, you guessed it, $10,000. All that build up and hype for a 10-year-old overpriced product. In case you can’t tell I hate Guy, the guru types.
Tim, the trainers are people that actually are in the business, practice the business daily and have been trained by people from within the business. They read and research because they want to be the best in their chosen field. Tim, the trainers are in business and may even fail like Guy, the gurus occasionally, BUT they don’t jump industry ship and start a completely different business in a different industry. They pick themselves up, dust themselves off and fix what went wrong. Unlike the Guy, the guru that pouts like a baby and quits an industry that they obviously didn’t understand in the first place (remember they failed), Tim, the trainer stands up, fights and wins. Industry/business trainers are in the field preforming the tasks they are teaching. Tim, the trainers are on the cutting edge of their chosen field. They have to be, otherwise the trainee ultimately fails. Therein lies the difference. Mark, the marketer sells information and doesn’t really care if the student fails. His only goal is the next sale and gaining a new email address for their “list”. Guy, the guru provides some useless “free” information via live stream video and encourages his minions to spread the word on the next product awesome product. Tim, the trainer, on the other hand, provides information, explains the how and why (because he is still in the business) with feedback on performance of the trainee. The goal is for the trainee to improve. Mark, the marketer and Guy, the guru blame the student when the student fails. Tim, the trainers provide ongoing feedback and follow up on trainee performance often preventing or lessening failures. Question is: If you have to pay for information who would you rather get it from?
Back to the story, who would you trust? Guy, the guru likes the reviews because they are the life blood of selling on the internet. Except that many reviews are generated in exchange for something. Many companies offer freebies for high rated reviews. Guy, the guru often gives away training products asking for “honest reviews”. Mark, the marketer likes the health department score, because it is a researchable opinion. Except the Mark, the marketer has no field experience to understand the scoring, they just know the grade. Restaurants are only required to post the most recent inspection if they are even required to post them at all. Inspection grades are actually history, something that happened in the past. What really matters to you, as a guest, is NOW! Tim, the trainer wanted to leave based on something observed in the present. All it takes is one observable instance of not following health codes to make someone sick.
Let’s say upon entering the building you observe an employee exit the bathroom and go straight to the register to take your order. Mark, the marketer and Guy, the guru may notice, or they may not, both are NOT active in the industry as they provide information from research or memory. Tim, the trainer IS active in the business and noticing trainee action is required in order to give feedback. Tim, the trainer also understands each employee action reflects training and company focus. This employee was poorly trained, and the focus is on something other than food safety. According to FDA codes a double hand wash is required when an employee goes to the bathroom. Once inside the bathroom and once when returning to the work station. If you are thinking the cashier doesn’t handle food so food borne illness is not possible, you would be wrong. Norovirus is the virus that cost Chipotle millions (7% of the company value) in one day and is easily transferred by human contact. The cashier washes their hands and leaves touching the bathroom door handle picking up the virus from someone that did not wash their hands. Then the cashier passes it on to you when you handle the change or receipt the cashier just touched.
You might just get sick following the advice of marketers and gurus, or make your guests sick, or the more likely scenario - go out of business.
I have had a passion for helping people since an early age back in rural Kentucky. That passion grew into teaching and training managers and owners how to grow sales, increase profits, and retain guests. You’ll find a ton of information here about improving restaurant and food cart/trailer operations and profits. Got questions? Email me at Bill_Moore@live.com