Monday, November 06, 2006

Know your customer, eh?

The Globe and Mail’s underwhelming Small Business mini-site has an interview with Jim Treliving of Boston Pizza (yes, he’s one of the Dragons’ Den, but enough of them!). It’s one of those “Best Mistake” interviews, which are usually fun.

Treliving says his mistake was getting out of touch with the communities where he was opening new restaurants. Having wrongly assumed that success in Canada implied further success in the U.S., he finally moved to Dallas to oversees Boston Pizza’s expansion in the States.

"A lot of Canadian companies expand down to the U.S. and are not successful, and the reason probably is that they don't send one of their chief executives, or people who have been in the business for a long time. They sort of hire people down there, then you have to keep showing them the culture that you want," he said.

What did he learn? “Take more time and review what and how you are going to attack the problem.

It musta worked. BP's American division, Boston's The Gourmet Pizza will open its 45th store this week, with plans for 20 more.

For the whole story, click here.

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