Reporter's Notebook

Words of wisdom from MUFSO 2011

MUFSO 2011 will soon be a fleeting memory, but here are some words of wisdom worth pondering and remembering gathered during the course of the three-day conference:

“Avoid the seduction of growth. Growth is what seems to be the end for so many people, but growth is a byproduct. It’s the byproduct of having something of quality, an individual store that actually works.”
– Ron Shaich, founder and executive chairman of Panera Bread Co. and winner of the 2011 Pioneer Award

“Nothing plays out in the short term in the restaurant industry.”
– Ron Shaich

“Growth and success are not the same thing.”
– Glenn Kaufman, managing member of The D Cubed Group, a private market investment firm

“I listen to my customers, but not too much.”
– Jason Boso, founder of Twisted Root Burger Co., a 2011 Hot Concepts! Award winner

“The pit is smaller than the plum.”
– David Pogue, technology columnist for The New York Times

“Embrace one-of-a-kind ideas in a world of me-too thinking.”
– Bill Taylor, author of “Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry and Challenge Yourself”

“You have the opportunity to be that first boss to hundreds of thousands of people; never take that responsibility lightly.”
– Don Fox, chief executive of Firehouse Subs, as he thanked his early bosses while accepting the 2011 Operator of the Year Award

“Nobody alone is as smart as everybody together.”
– Bill Taylor

“Use funnel vision versus tunnel vision.”
– Sally Smith, president and chief executive of Buffalo Wild Wings

“Try to listen and learn.”
– Ron Shaich

“Sometimes innovation is doing the basics again in a new way.”
– Kerry Kramp, president and chief executive of Sizzler USA

“LTOs are both good and bad; they can build sales, but they don’t do anything for the brand.”
– Scott Bergren, chief executive U.S., Pizza Hut and Yum! Innovation

“A new flavor is not innovation — it’s an improvement.”
– Scott Bergren

“Throw out the impossible.”
– Sally Smith

And likely a favorite for all of those in attendance:

“The key for your industry is more sex.”
– Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop.com and author of “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions”

Contact Robin Lee Allen at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @RobinLeeAllen

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