Having enjoyed Bananas Foster and other fattening fare at Brennan’s in New Orleans, we can attest to Ella Brennan’s skills.
Mrs. Brennan invented the “celebrity chef” in nurturing Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, two Food Network stars.
But she held their egos in check and concentrated on making her family’s restaurants memorable for 5-star food and fun.
“A restaurant is not a church, where you have to be quiet and kneel,” she said.
She wanted every meal to be boisterous.
Any pretensions were punctured by jazz bands swaying between the tables and 25-cent martinis at lunch. She wouldn’t let her waiters put on airs and the menu described French dishes in plain English.
Long before other restaurants saw the need for national reputations, Ms. Brennan cultivated friendships with journalists. She once helped scrub a lodging for visiting reporters. They rewarded her with glowing reviews. The Chicago Tribune called her the “doyenne of brunch.”
She scoured newspapers for stories about other industries that might contain lessons for her restaurants and held weekly brainstorming sessions with her staff.
I tell you all this because you need to become the Ella Brennan of your business.
Take her ideas and run with them.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com