It’s A Numbers Game

A little while back calories were added to menus in pubs and restaurants in a bid to curb obesity.


The idea was that by knowing how many calories you’re eating; you’d be more inclined to make better choices about what you eat.


In fact, it was a legal requirement if you have a team of 250 or more, meaning that big chain pubs and restaurants all started displaying calories on menus.


There was a bit of opposition (and still is) for various reasons, but the fact remains that it was a requirement and was implemented around the country.


So, fast forward to this week when I took a client out for dinner with my wife, when she noticed that the calories had been removed from the menus.


Our local is part of a larger chain, so we were perplexed.


It turns out that they’d asked permission to remove the calories from the menu as a group, but they’re still displayed on the website (we double-checked that just to be sure).


Here’s the thing though – I asked WHY they asked for them to be removed…


The answer? Because people were complaining.


The menu isn’t the lowest in calories but it’s nice pub food… and the reality is that people simply didn’t want to see how much they were eating.


Rather than making better choices, they were simply finding another way to ignore the numbers.


If I can’t see them, they can’t be real, right?


The same thing happens in business all the time but with a different set of numbers – money.


So often we avoid having the hard conversations about what really matters in business, which is the bottom line. The number that sits at the bottom of a page or in a spreadsheet or in a nifty bit of software.


For all the engagement, leads, clicks, and whatever other metrics you can measure, the only one that really matters is the one at the very end.


People choose to bury their heads in the sand rather than face the numbers and make better choices. It’s interesting psychology and it says A LOT about how people think and what their attitudes are towards the reality of their situations.


Imagine not knowing how many laps were left in an F1 race or how many runs were required in a cricket match… you’d be hamstrung by your lack of awareness.


I’m not sure I’d cope well in an F1 race or an international cricket match even if I did have all the available information – but I’d certainly be much worse without it!


And it’s the same in business.


To give yourself the best chance of succeeding, you need to look at the real numbers. Facing those tough questions can illicit the best response from yourself, your team, and your business – but you have to take ownership of it.


I’d love to know if you’d prefer the menus to have the calories or not…





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