Kenny Rogers Roasters
So here I am writing about a chicken place? What does chicken have to do with business? I started this blog to offer valuable information and insight to anyone who would like to hear it. Today is different though. This blog poses a question to you. I have been wondering what makes good companies go out of business. Over the years I have known of many companies that had a good business model, a solid product or service and couldn’t seem to make it. While I understand that there are many things that play into a company’s success outside of actual product and service, sometimes you just have to sit back and say, “ hmm….”
I can’t think of a better example than Kenny Rogers Roasters. For the younger folks I am not talking about the hybrid “Roaster” you can still find in gas stations and malls that serve a dried out old nasty piece of chicken, I am talking about the actual brick and mortar restaurants, that used to exist before Kenny Rogers Roasters went under.
Many of you can remember the slogan “It’s the wood that makes it good”. Kenny Rogers had one of the first and best rotisserie restaurant chains. I can remember walking in to the restaurant and hearing my stomach growl as soon as I would smell the burning hickory. To date, I don’t think I have had better rotisserie chicken and ribs, not to mention, the amazing corn muffins and chocolate cake.
If that wasn’t enough, the wait staff was always dressed well and very pleasant. The restaurants were extremely clean, and you never had to wait for your food. Most of the locations would be in high traffic areas, and seemed to always be packed full of satisfied customers. There was even a Seinfeld episode about how addictively good Kenny’s chicken was, if you make it onto Seinfeld, you have to be good!
So this brings me back to my question. How can a business that does everything right, go out of business? You have to assume that someone like Kenny Rogers would have had substantial resources for the business management side. That should have kept the business model and financials sound. Everybody knows that it wasn’t the cheapest place to eat, so I know they could have made profits when compared to the competition. When you take that into account along with great locations, great customer service, superior product, and a huge following, how do you fail? Seriously, how does Pollo Tropical and Boston Market take your market share?
I know that by this point everybody is expecting some insightful explanation from me, but the truth is I don’t have one. This scenario has always intrigued me, and I am hoping one of my many followers could help shed some light on this topic. I really want to know how companies that seem to do everything right fail. Let’s discuss, and thank you in advance for any comments.