Last week I wrote about a minimum viable menu for a Fast Food restaurant.  I stand by my suggestions even more so after re-reading McDonald’s: Behind the Arches.  The book is a great behind-the-scenes look at the burger giant, it also talks about how the restaurant evolved from offering a simple menu of fresh food served quickly into the behemoth it is today.  Well, 1985, since that is when the book was first published.

I want to focus on how one moves along the product offering spectrum.  When you are a young company, a limited offering is perfect, especially if it has an audience.  It allows you to hone your craft.  To deliver things rapidly, while figuring out how to maintain quality.

Often companies do not take that approach, they leap in with a wide offering.  Hoping an audience will find SOMETHING they want, but why or how would they? It is hard to master LOTS of things.  Why would people come to your business for anything if you haven’t yet gotten good at one thing.

McDonald’s early menu was super simple.

So many people want to go broad in what they offer, be it fast food, digital services or even blog posts. They do this for many reasons.  Perhaps they just can’t focus,  they hit a difficult roadblock or maybe they are just afraid of missing out on another opportunity.

A lot of the best companies started out mastering one thing.  Be it getting hamburgers in people’s stomach rapidly or delivering books to your home.  From there they developed new expertise in other areas and added them to a growing menu of offerings.

We provide food that customers love, day after day after day. People just want more of it.

Ray Kroc

So for your own sanity, if you are starting a fast food restaurant or a blog, keep things simple.  Decide what you are about and then start working at it.  You might fail this time around, but in the meantime you will develop expertise and a deep understanding of how to focus. 

Success is a combination of luck and hard work. So apply yourself towards mastering your basics and hopefully the thing you have decided to master, will be the thing people are buying.