February 23, 2012
Just Say No
An OnlyOnce reader submitted this story to me a couple months ago:
Went to a small, high-end restaurant last night. There were ~10 people there when our party of 9 arrived. Another group of 10 arrived soon after – amusingly, the chef declined to allow them to be seated. I asked him why afterwards – he turned down at least $1,000 worth of business. (like 30% of what he could have made that night).
His answer : Our quality would have suffered, and then they would have walked away thinking less of us.
Wow. What a revolutionary idea. Turning down money in light of maintaining your reputation and quality of service.
I’ve had this experience before — have you? It’s a phenomenal statement, full of courage, and also common sense. But how often do we entrepreneurs practice it as oppose to just saying “more more more” when presented with revenue opportunities? This is particularly difficult in the early stages of a business’ life, when customer dollars are harder to come by. But probably worth doing 9 times out of 10.