Grilled Cheese Sandwich Business
Most of the value is in the cheese, the bread and the accompanying tomato soup. Mmm, that all tastes toooooo good. And when customers taste the food, they think “that was a great sandwich” and very rarely think “some Chef made that.” We rarely see the Chef to begin with. The quality of the ingredients is essential. It’s the reason Italian food is so good when, surprise, you actually go to Italy. The Chef is still important however.
Just like a good grilled cheese sandwich, you need great employees to help create awesome products. However, the cheese is not going to convince the bread to get into the frying pan together. You need that Chef. The Chefs are the management. What frustrates workers is that they are the ones that produce the quality outcome as the cheese the bread and tomato soup. It doesn’t seem fair and it probably isn’t that the cheese and bread don’t get the credit for the amazing meal. The chefs do. From Steve Jobs to George Lucas to Richard Branson, the chefs get a the bulk of the credit and the value from orchestrating the meal that is any business. They just sit in the kitchen while customers eat the cheese and bread and tomato soup that are the true value of the transaction. This is why social democratic values will always live on. It doesn’t seem fair that the cheese that makes the sandwich awesome gets paid less than the chef. It’s really hard to see whether the Chef made the meal awesome or the ingredients themselves are where the value lies…..
The difference in business (if there is one: sarcasm) is that sometimes the cheese is smarter than the Chef. But if the chef doesn’t listen and just wants the cheese to stay flavourful, then management misses out on something awesome. In fact, recognising when someone who is not a manager is way smarter than the managers can lead to the opposite effect which is that the Chef replaces that cheese. I think I’ve taken this metaphor too far….