Is It Time To Cull The Herd?

  • Category: Running Your Business

One of my favorite pizza joints announced they’re doing away with their deep dish options.

They didn’t say why, but we can probably assume it’s because they aren’t selling enough of them (SoCal is not exactly the center of the universe for Chicago-style pizza).

But it got me thinking—how would this change the way they run their business?

The kitchens (it’s a local chain) are tiny, so now they’ll only have to stock three pans (small, medium and large) instead of six.

They’ll prep three sizes of dough, not six, saving time, space and reducing waste.

They’ll probably only need to stock three sizes of carryout boxes vs. six, saving space and inventory carrying costs.

You could imagine training will be easier for future cooks since now they will focus on one thing, one recipe. Digital and phone ordering should be simplified—fewer choices mean fewer errors.

Over time, smaller incremental savings should add up—fewer updates to the website; less expensive menu design and printing; lower training and orientation costs.

But this analysis doesn’t just work for pizza—when’s the last time you took a good hard look at the mechanics underlying each of your offerings? It’s worth evaluating the sometimes invisible costs—in hard dollars, in your time or headspace—in maintaining each of your “products”.

That analysis might tell you that continuing to offer an implementation option isn’t doing you any favors. Or that it’s time to stop contributing content to a site that just doesn’t fit your message anymore.

You might even conclude that your equivalent of deep dish pizza is no longer worth keeping afloat.

But until you take a deeper look, you won’t know when it’s time to cull the herd.