Everyone wants to have the best business around, but according to Kenny Graham, co-owner of Sydney burger restaurant Mary’s, trying to compete with others is not how to do business.
“In one avenue, I just feel that I don't really care what anyone else is doing,” Kenny says.
“You have to be really focused and sure about the product that you're trying to sell, and that it's relevant, and that it's priced well, and that it's attractive, and it's exciting for people.”
Kenny says that while business owners should still keep an eye on what other competitors are doing, getting stuck in figures about how well your business is doing versus how rivals are doing is a recipe for disaster.
“I couldn't really care less how many burger shops are on the high street, because we try and create points of difference that make people want to choose our brand over somebody else,” says Kenny.
“It's not always about being the biggest burger or the cheapest burger, or the so-called 'best burger'; it's about the experience of the customer coming into your store with the consistency, that you always get the same level of treatment and product.
“Just concentrate on yourself and be creative and keep coming up with new ideas.”
Dealing with a delivery service
Mary's is not just a simple store, limited to its physical location. It has partnered with food delivery service Deliveroo, which provides an online ordering platform.
Some time after opening the first Mary's store, Kenny and his business partner Jake Smyth engaged with Deliveroo. The relationship was so successful that they opened another store to increase their delivery options.
Of course, it is not just Mary’s that operates on Deliveroo, with many businesses offering very similar products. Kenny, however, is not overwhelmed by this.
“When you look at Deliveroo and see that ... they have clients that are in competition to us, but I mean, that's kind of the same on a high street anyway,” he says.
“It's your responsibility, ultimately.”