Keep Tradition, or Keep Up With The Times?

Various aspects of the business world are changing everyday. Technology has become part of many businesses, big or small, and advertising is done not only through television and radio, but through social media as well. Personal devices like phones and tablets can be used as credit card machines and cash registers, and any document a business wants to keep on file can be secured digitally and physically. Some would argue that keeping up with the times, and being open to changes in the business world is a good thing. Others reject this idea and opt for more “old school” methods out of respect for tradition. Is one way better than the other in regards to maintaining a successful business?

One pizza restaurant seems to believe in pure tradition. Bronx Pizza in San Diego is all about simplicity: no credit cards, no phone orders, and a one size fits all mentality for their delicious pies. They don’t even have fancier toppings like pineapple and jalapenos. Just good, traditional pizza anyone would enjoy.

This is just one example of a business that is known for their more simplistic style. There are countless other pizza shops, bookstores, bars, etc. around the U.S. that maintain a sense of tradition that keeps long time customers coming back, and new ones coming in. Things become less complicated for the business owner and the customer when tradition sticks around. Instead of having millions of specifics and options, these types of businesses go for broader options that cater to a wider consumer demographic. The general attitude is that if you don’t like what we have to offer, then go somewhere else. While some may think this is a negative attitude to have towards business, others can respect it because you know that the business will always stay true to what it was built on.

On the flip side, other businesses feel that tradition isn’t the way to go, and feel that being flexible to change and some other complexities can help them thrive. This isn’t seen as much in smaller businesses, but all the same, the preferences can vary no matter what type of business is being referred to. Think of any large chain restaurant. Their menus are constantly changing depending on current trends but also in order to attract various customers. Having the exact same menu all the time isn’t good for their business. Some restaurants like TGI Friday’s and Chili’s even have devices that let you pay with a credit card right at your table without having to wait for your waiter or waitress to come back. They attract customers to this device by also having games on it for younger crowds as well as showing pictures of their food and specials they may offer. In this type of setting, complexity is more of a positive. Menu items can be altered to fit one customer’s tastes, and endless amounts of items allow for customers to return and try new things.

Others seem to balance to two in a way that works for their business. Take McDonald’s for example. They have had major success over the years with their burgers. But they have a large enough menu that customers can pick and choose what they would like to order as well as customize the toppings on their burger, the type of drink they want, etc. However, some business ventures over the years have not worked out in their favor, which is to be expected.

One move they made recently was some simple and somewhat traditional, and allowed for more success: all day breakfast. Normally their breakfast menu is quite large, but they make the all day menu simple by having a select few of their more popular choices available, and this idea has brought them a lot more success in last several months.

So what’s the better path to take? Stick with tradition and simplicity, or be ready and open for changes and new ideas? The answer is both. Tradition is what drives a lot of businesses all over the country, but small changes that help keep your business in the loop can also be very beneficial. It all depends on your goals and ambitions for the future of your business, what kinds of customers you want to cater to the most, and the overall message you want to send through your business out into the world.


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