Chef-ing and Marketing: same minds

So I've had an epiphany about a chef in my life: Kim Trulson and I have a strikingly similar approach to business and service. At first I was surprised that our respective careers in culinary services and marketing would coincide so smoothly, but now I totally get it.

* Clients: Chefs must keep their client base in mind always, catering to the needs and desires of their clients. A marketer might be skilled, but if they cannot produce the desired results, they've not been successful. A chef might make a glorious filet mignon, but if it's not a match to their client base, it's not a match.

Kim regularly polls her clients and listens to her servers to further innovate in creating her menus. A chef or marketer (with a few celebrity exceptions) cannot get too cocky or arrogant, demanding that their clients recognize their brilliance - the chef or marketer must always be strategic in response to the situation of their clients.

* Deadlines: Chefs have strict schedules (and marketers should). I remember a great interview on NPR about a cooking show on the Pentagon Channel, The Grill Sergeants. One of the Grill Sergeants said something to the effect of, "I have three no-fail missions daily."

Kim builds backwards from her deadline (mealtime) to ensure that each of the courses are prepared and ready, with enough of a cushion to both lessen waste while also being prepared for an influx of unexpected guests. Unfortunately, not enough marketers plan for and execute their deadlines - a great lesson to learn from chefs.

* Fire: Speaking figuratively, chefs and marketers are in a passionate business - their clients and colleagues each have a different vision of "what right looks like," and many adamantly so. Speaking literally, well, chefs are surrounded by fire (and I can't think of a positive scenario in which marketers are… though I’m sure some of you would disagree).

So, there it is - chefs and marketers. I didn't see it before, and now it feels so clear.

Kim, thanks for being such a great colleague - it's an honor to serve alongside you. I learn from you daily and am reminded to be better. Thank you, Kim.


  1. This post speaks to me! Love it, Brenda. Thanks for the insights!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts