A Stubborn Point of View

Le Bernardin, a three Michelin star restaurant in New York City, was ranked the #1 restaurant in the United States for the seventh consecutive year.

In February 2023 New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells gave the restaurant a glowing review, and a coveted 4-star rating.

The owners of Le Bernardin have a clear vision for how the restaurant should be run.

As Pete Wells writes:

“They” are Mr. Ripert and Maguy Le Coze, who own Le Bernardin and have stubbornly insisted on sticking to their way of doing things. (No great restaurant stays great for that long without stubborn owners.)

Although stubborn may be a strong word, it’s a trait Product Managers should think about.

Specifically, do you have a point of view?

Sure you can A/B test every possible combination, but do you have conviction in an idea? Do you have a point of view for how something should be?

The owners of Le Bernardin have a clear point of view on things:

Take the sauces, probably the defining feature of French restaurant cooking. Ms. Le Coze insists that they be applied to the plates generously, so there is enough to eat with a spoon. Six full-time cooks prepare something like three dozen sauces on any given day.

Mr. Ripert told me in a phone interview that sauces are the reason Le Bernardin has never gone in for arranging food on boards, stones, logs and other objects. He prefers china because china excels at holding sauce in one small area so you can spoon it up and love it.