Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kitchen Nightmares = PR Nightmares

I've just been tuned into the new show on Fox, Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay. I also watched some of the original show from British television. After watching this show all I have to say is WOW. I can't believe there are such ignorant people in the world. In the show Gordon Ramsay visits various local restaurants that have been started up by a variety of individuals. He critiques the restaurant in order to try to fix the problems he sees affecting their business. A good number of the restaurant managers and owners have no idea what they are doing and have flung themselves into the business without any doing any sort of research. Ramsay, who has opened restaurants throughout the U.K., tries to help the owners by fixing all the mistakes they have made in the past. He shows them how to fix the menus, the decor, the staff, the communication between employees and the food. Essentially, he's helping them with public relations. Almost none of the new business owners did anything to get the word out about their new restaurants. I guess they watched Field of Dreams too many times. "If you build it, they will come." Sorry honey, doesn't work that way. The new owners just decided on a menu, a decor, a price and opened up shop. They didn't take their publics into consideration at all. So Ramsay has to come along and slap them into reality. He goes out and talks to the public to find out what they look for in an eating establishment and what they have heard about the particular restaurant in question. He takes out samples to pass out, encourages people to come in and in one episode, puts advertisements on buses. The entire time I was watching the show I kept thinking to myself, "Have these people never heard of public relations before or what?" To me it seems so obvious but it never occurred to them. I guess I've just begun to assume that the idea of public relations is common knowledge; that everyone knows what public relations is. But, I need to take into consideration that I am a PR major and that it's only common to me because I have studied it. The show was infuriating to me. I just can't believe there are such ignorant people in the world. People who have no idea how the world works. People who sink half a million dollars into a restaurant without doing the research first.

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