Quality Is King—the Pizza Restaurant Example

Last week I wrote a blog regarding the 2 types of quality: absolute and relative quality. A hose of reactions was my part. We have never heard of relative quality? Can you give an example and yes,I can.

In 1987 the professors Robert D. Buzzle and Bradley T. Gale of Harvard university published the book: "the PIMS principles: linking strategy to performance". I associate this book with the story of the 2 pizza restaurants: 1 flourishing, and 1 not so booming. In the main street of a university town there were 2 pizza restaurants. Next to each other: one serving medium quality pizzas, and one serving excellent pizzas. And to be precise: the one serving the medium quality pizzas was the flourishing one.

Now, how can this be? This should be against all odds! The one with the excellent pizzas put out a sign each day stating the pizza of the day, and some time later the other restaurant put out also a sign presenting the same pizza, but then stating that it used more ingredients at a higher price.

This demonstrates that the 2nd one was a better businessman. He knew that his customers perceived a better pizza having more ingredients and were willing to pay a premium price for that. In reality his pizzas were not so good, the restaurant not so clean, and the service not so good. But all these factors are relating to absolute quality, coupled to the internal process of the restaurant. They are not related to the perception of the customers.

What this story tells you, is that it is always the relative customer perception of quality that should drive process improvement. And to control the improvement you can use a 6sigma like methodology and you how do you manage your projects and how do you overcome your challenges.

Please let me know and share your assessment experiences. Contact Hans Lodder.