Simon Sinek popularized a phrase a few years ago. “Start with Why.” When you’ve discovered your “Why,” you’ve defined the purpose for your life. Clearly, Jo Clower has found her “Why.” She is a gracious host. Her warm personality greets people at the door of Wrong Turn Pizza. Like many people, Jo works hard between Thursday and Sunday. Wrong Turn Pizza is a restaurant that serves as a welcome place along the Hatfield McCoy Trails in southern WV. In 2019, more than 56,000 trail passes were sold to riders along the Trails. Many of those riders came to Rock, WV, and stayed in one of seven campgrounds around Wrong Turn Pizza. Jo envisions this as a place where people experience acceptance and second chances. Her Why will likely change many lives. And, in addition to the Why, there are two “Who” questions.
1. Who am I?
Jo has a bigger plan for her life and Wrong Turn Pizza” Eventually, the restaurant will be a part of a substance recovery program to help people experience a second chance. It is a part of a much larger “Who” for the owner. Jo cares about helping people improve their lives. The patrons know this. Jo’s friends know this. In addition to the understanding of self, it is important to know your customer well.
2. Who will be buying what I’m selling?
For some businesses, a study of the community is helpful. But, that’s not the only question for a restaurant serving tourists. Instead, Jo needs to listen to the stories of the riders. Most riders arrive on Thursday, have dinner at WTP, and return multiple times through the weekend. Interestingly, the traditional lunch hour is the slowest part of the day. Riders visit Wrong Turn for breakfast, grab food for the trail, and return for dinner.
In 2019, I suggested Jo give each of the seven campgrounds a different colored coupon. So, when the customer brings the coupon, she knows where they are staying. This has helped Jo to understand which campgrounds might be interested in collaborative weekends and events. Some restaurants have difficulty breaking even in 7 days per week. For Jo, her week is limited. She must be very careful to control her food costs and her inventory. She must be diligent about portion control. She must pay careful attention to her payroll. Jo has learned to use social media very well. When she is at the restaurant by herself, she fixes herself a meal and announces on social media that she has made a special meal that will be available until she runs out. She exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit of adjusting well. For the first time, local residents are stopping for these meals.
So, in the case of Wrong Turn Pizza, Jo understands the “Who” that have out of state license states and also the neighbors in Rock, WV. Jo’s commitment to “Who” she is and understanding “Who” she serves tells me that Wrong Turn Pizza is going to continue to have bright days ahead. Accounting, management, and marketing are the machines that help to fulfill the “who” and “why” of existence. But, that’s another subject for another time.