“And more” is not the answer. It’s the problem.

I was in Cincinnati recently and saw a sign that intrigued me.... Doughby's - Calzones, Crepes, and More. My wife loves crepes, so I thought I might pick one up on the way back to the hotel. As I got closer, I saw another sign...for sale. Doughby's was out of business. No crepes today, so I ambled down the street to join my friends at the Hang Over Easy (HOE, for short). The breakfast was spectacular. The place was packed.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.34.46 AM  vs. hoe1

Why does one business fail and another succeed?

It's easy, actually. When the Doughby team got together, they had an idea. It probably started with a great calzone.  College kids love calzones.  (They are one block from University of Cincinnati.) And then someone said, "Let's sell crepes, too. They're made with dough. " And before you could say holy mozzarella, they had a menu that included calzones, crepes, wings, salads, cookies, and more.

You've got to stand for something.

Doughby's mistake was trying to be everything for everyone. You can't do it. You have to declare a position. You have to be proud of it. You have to own it and live it. Saying "we have everything" is the same as saying "we have nothing". Plus, the idea that you're making a calzone right next to my banana/nutella crepe is just plain creepy. Italy and France just don't belong together. Chicken and waffles? That's different.

When less is more.

hoe2Hang Over Easy, on the other hand, offers an easy reason to believe. They keep it simple (breakfast and lunch anytime) and they promise a big, hearty hunk of comfort food to make your hangover "easy", if that's your problem. If you just like comfort food, that's okay, too.

Hang Over Easy actually offers more by promising less.

And because of that, they are making a lot of dough...a lot more than Doughby's.

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