Celebrity Chefs Fail Too! Don’t Believe Your Own Hype


As a business visionary it is easy to fall under the spell of your fluff. If not careful you may fall victim to it. It seems that even celebrity chefs get caught up in their own hubbub and find that even their stardom can’t sustain a doomed business.

Guy Fieri and Cat Cora Padlock their NYC Restaurants for Good

Eater NY reports that Food Network icon Guy Fieri’s long panned Times Square restaurant, “Kitchen and Bar” has finally closed it’s doors after five years of offering less than stellar experiences. It likely only stay opened as long as it did because Fieri’s name was attached to it. Food critic reviews were harsh early on and according to the article it never quite lived up to the hype. But celebrity chef sycophants opened their wallets despite the subpar food offerings and mediocre service. Poor customers experiences shared over the years apparently led to a decline in covers and the restaurants ultimate demise.

Cat Cora’s southern cuisine eatery “Fatbird” shuttered only after 7 months

According to EaterNY, it’s own food critic Robert Sietsema “found not much to be desired, with servers bringing incorrect orders, a mint julep made with salt instead of sugar, rubbery deviled eggs, and more.” Cora also found herself in litigation suing her business partner for uncompensated use of her name, likeness, and recipes. Just another one bites the dust.

What Happened?

Seems like these two food mavens were caught up in their own hype, so much so that they ran restaurants, which churned out food that apparently wasn’t worthy of their high valued names. Could they have believed even if they offered crappy service and underrated food these restaurants could thrive on their names alone? Apparently so. Newsflash, it takes more than hype to successfully operate any business. They believed their perceived brand would hold them over. Branding is indeed is a perception - however you MUST deliver on it. Consumers are the first to let you know that you haven’t.

And Cora’s dispute with her business partner? You would think she would be savvy enough by now to only enter into business arrangements that would be fair and equitable. It seems she took her eyes off of the road and leading to her getting the shaft in the process.

Your Customers Define Your Brand

As a business owner or leader there is one thing that crosses all industries – your customers ultimately define who you are. Whether you have a product or service all you can do is position it to be consumed at its best, whether it is great or not is decided by the consumer. This leaves you 100% in control of what and how you bring your offerings to market. If critics hate your menu – that is your fault. If customers consistently complain about poor service – this is your fault. If customers don't like how your widget works - this is your fault. If prospects don't understand why they should buy from you - this is mostly certainly YOUR FAULT.

It’s Never About You

Building a business strictly on your hype is a gamble. You must have something else beyond the fluff that make your goods and service worthy of your customers hard earned cash. Keeping your customers in focus at all times is a smart approach. What do THEY want? What do THEY like? What are THEY ASKING for? What do THEY most NEED? What do THEY EXPECT?

Your brand may PRECEDE your business, but it also may DECEIVE you in thinking it is Teflon. If you are interested in developing a sustainable brand (not one built on hype and empty meaningless words), consider scheduling time to discuss the possibilities.

Pick a date and time below that works for you for us to discuss the possibilities. What do you have to lose accept for your business?

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Shakira M. Brown is a awarding New Jersey public relations expert, marketing and branding specialist. Note: Ms. Brown is not/not affiliated with the entertainer with the same first name.Small Business – Marketing – Branding – Web Strategy Essex County, NJ/Morris County, New Jersey/Union County, NJ/Bergen County, New Jersey/Middlesex County, NJ,  NJ/Gloucester County, NJ/Camden County, New Jersey/Mercer County, New York, PA, MD, CT, Florida, California, Illinois, Texas