Like all businessmen I am sitting down reviewing the year just ended and working out how 2013 will be different. Under my direct control my restaurant (the excellent Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell) has moved from loss into profit. It has missed its budget but still that is a starter. Not quite as good as our Manx kipper pate starter but still good enough. But next year will have to be better. And so I will work with my colleagues to ensure that it is. We plan. We think of changes. But if I am reading the thousands of business articles that are published every week, we are missing something in not looking to engage in dramatic innovation. This is deliberate.
Yes there will be some innovation. We introduced a couple of new soups onto the menu just before Christmas and also a new egg vegetarian pizza – the Woodlarks pizza. I will be introducing two new pizza dishes with the next menu in the summer and a new pudding dish as well. And as of Januaary we move to stocking just one range of beers, the award winning Curious Range made on a vineyard in Kent. But this is evolution not innovation. A company always needs to refresh and broaden its product offering – that should be a constant process. Innovation is taken to mean wholesale changes to the way one operates.
Innovation is by its nature disruptive and you need to ask yourself can your business cope with wholesale disruption in what will be a tough year for us all. In most cases I suspect that the answer is no.Comments