Richard Maun – Sausage Service

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Sausage Service

24 June 2018

Norfolk is a wonderful place. Not flat, as many unsuspecting touring cyclists find to their cost, once they encounter the rolling chalk landscape. Chalk sweeps down through Norfolk all the way into Buckinghamshire, but unless you’re into maps it’s unlikely you will know this, which is why cyclists get caught out when their easy holiday becomes much more arduous.

Norfolk is centred around Norwich, from a population perspective and to borrow from the signs on the road networks fringing it, it is a fine city.

A city surrounded by market towns and endless fields, Norwich is a pretty place. Old, like York, and stuffed with ancient buildings and a fine Norman castle. Well worth a look if you’re passing, which you won’t be, as Norwich is not somewhere people can casually amble past on the way to somewhere else.

It also houses a multitude of excellent restaurants who tend to be supplied by local producers. To celebrate the hard work of diligent farmers and honest chutney magicians the city holds a food festival every year.

One highlight of this wallet depleting event (local gin is too easily purchased) is the Battle of the Bangers. Nine butchers cook and serve free sausages to hungry and discerning festival goers and the best sausage, in a public vote (or sausage-off) is crowned the champion.

Visiting and sampling this event the other week I asked a butcher how many sausages they were cooking that day.

‘About 15 stone,’ she answered, rather pleasing me in not using the new fangled ‘kilos’ as a measure of their efforts. That’s a lot of cooking and cutting up.

It was interesting to see how different butchers worked the crowd. Some simply plonked down plates of food and left people to help themselves. Others went into the crowd to explain their recipe and entice people to vote for them.

One commented when he saw me reaching for a second slice and said:

‘Hmmm, haven’t I seen you before?’

This felt a bit rude, given it’s a free event and people were ambling up and down the stalls effectively helping themselves to a free lunch.

Contrast this with the butcher who was encouraging people to take more than one piece in order to ‘really enjoy the flavour of our classic old recipe.’

I helped myself and had to agree that his firm’s bangers were something else. He got my vote and the votes of most of the public and won a handsome victory.

This made me wonder if the winning sausage was actually down to a combination of excellent flavour and cheery, good natured customer service.

The butcher who was annoyed at me had a good sausage for sure, but in a closely fought competition there has to be an extra point awarded to a competitor who cooks hard and still smiles at the crowd all day.

We form our opinions based on all the elements we are faced with, when making buying decisions. An average car sold by the most helpful dealer is perhaps an easier purchase than the best car sold by a surly dealer.

The most enjoyable band at an event may be the one that works the crowd the best and not the one who can play the most complex music.

Whenever we think of our own ‘sausage service’ we would do well to reflect on the total package our customers are receiving. If we rely only on flavour to secure a win, or an order, we may well be disappointed.

Next week: How To Ruin A Business


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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact