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What We Should All Learn From Morton's

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 27, 2009 1:04:57 AM

Those who know me know I loves me some good quality steak – especially a medium rare New York Strip.  They also know that the only thing that doesn’t go well with steak (IMHO) is a commercial pitch.  So it is rare that I find myself enjoying a great steak at a business function.

Last night was the exception, as I had the unique privilege (thanks to the Washington Chapter of EO) to enjoy a fine steak at Morton’s and hear a presentation from Morton’s very own Chairman, CEO & President Thomas Baldwin.  Mr. Baldwin was hospital, gracious, entertaining, and very insightful.  I highly recommend the Morton’s experience.  They made me feel welcomed and served me as an individual, even though there were more than 70 present.

Enough with the commercial – now to the point of the blog.  Baldwin provided insights that every fast growth executive should keep forefront in their mind.  Here are the highlights – ignore them at your peril.


  • The road to good service is paved with mistakes – well handled (that insight is worth the costs of a year’s worth of Morton’s dinners).

  • In response to how a premium offering deals with today’s recession: I can’t worry about the recession – I can only worry about the things I can control.

  • In response to how Morton’s is managing during the recession:  We’re controlling our costs, cutting overhead where we can, executives are not getting raises or bonuses – but the guest hasn’t seen any of it.

  • Food is wine, wine is food – that’s our philosophy (it’s also probably why Morton’s averages 15-20% more per head than its competitors with little advertising).

  • If it’s not perfect, we don’t send it to the guest.

  • The whole idea is to be genuine.

  • They train and reward – maniacally (my word, not his).

  • People who work with you will fail.  I will fail.  The key is to keep it a minimum – and when it happens, fix it.


All those tidbits and a great NY Strip to boot - who could ask for more?

Topics: Performance, B2B Sales Strategy