Posted May 1, 2010 8:18 am by with 2 comments

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PotatoesHow much do you know about potatoes?

For example, did you know that potatoes grown above the 42nd parallel grow during the day when it’s warm, and stop growing at night when it cools down? Did you know that the longer a potato grows the more dense it is? Don’t worry I didn’t know any of this either, until I read about Jerry Murrell. Jerry Murrell, is the successful entrepreneur behind the rapidly growing Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Recently, Murrell, spoke to about how he and his sons have grown their small burger joint into a rapidly growing business that accounted for $483 million in sales in 2009. After reading Jerry’s story of success I asked myself what are the key elements that helped his business grow? Apart from what appears to be his natural business savvy approach, and his son’s willingness to grow the company, it is also apparent that Murrell is obsessed with the quality of its product.

I know what you might be thinking, Obsessed? Come on Joe, isn’t that a bit of an overstatement?

No it’s not.

Here’s a guy who taste-tested 15 different brands of mayonnaise. Bakes all of his bread in-house and ships to all 570 stores every week. They don’t offer milkshakes because they have a strict policy against frozen foods in their kitchen. When they go to make french fries they soak the potatoes, fry them, and then fry them again. They have a special technique for toasting their buns for optimal caramelization. This guy is obsessed with his product, and demands that all of his franchise holders be equally obsessed.

Murrell’s obsession has turned his small burger joint in Virginia into a fierce competitor with other fast food restaurants. He knows that no one else will make his product better for his company. No one else has invested more time, money, and passion into his product than himself. He understands that all the marketing in the world can’t excuse him for creating anything less than what he’s always done.

Are you equally obsessed about the things you produce?

As marketers and entrepreneurs we are constantly producing every day. Whether it be products for sale, blog content, web design, or programming. In the end we are all producers, and we all need to be obsessed with our products. Otherwise, we’re selling ourselves and our audience short. So next time you go to produce something new, ask yourself, “what kind of potatoes am I using?”

  • I really liked this post and It actually motivated me to re-think every aspect of my company all the way down to the little details. Looks like it’s going to be a productive Saturday!

  • Great post! I always love it when someone teaches me something new. I love soaking up all the new information that I can get. I never would have looked into any potato information either, so without this post I would probably have never learned it!
    I think more business owners should be like Murrell. Without his dedication to quality the company would more than likely not be as successful as they are. I have had their food and they hands down beat out all of their competitors! Now I know why that is. I will definitely try to implement his obsession into my business.
    Thanks again!
    .-= David Walker´s last blog ..My 30th Birthday Giveaway – Contributors Needed! =-.