The Story of Le Pan Quotidien

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article about Alan Coumont – founder of Le Pain Quotidien.

It’s an excellent business and one that I frequent whenever I can. The reason I consider it an excellent business is because it meets a certain set of criteria that I believe makes it more likely that a company will succeed:

  1. It has recognised demand and provides a relevant product.
  2. It delivers its product with unwavering consistency.
  3. It reinvents and reinvests continually.
  4. It attracts, employs and trains outstanding operatives.

With revenues in excess of £250 million, it’s no small venture – but what I like is that the founder recognised very early on that the strategic financial side of things was not his forte and, more importantly, not his passion. Alan Coumont stated that this side of the business ‘was not fun’ and that he would prefer to spend his time talking with farmers and suppliers and tasting new products that he will eventually deliver to his customers.

I think that is the key lesson for anyone in business. As far as possible, and without detriment to the operations of your organisation, you should outsource, offload and delegate those things that (a) you are not good at and (b) you do not enjoy. Running any organisation, be it a £1 million creative agency like ours, or a £250 million chain of restaurants, can be a tough and pressured existence and one small perk that you should always be able to afford yourself is to concentrate on the things you’re good at and things that you enjoy. The fun things!

Dan Barber

Author Dan Barber

Chief Operating Officer

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