If you ask Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer, he'll tell you he's not in the food and beverage business. He's in the "reaction business." It's a concept he wrote about in his book Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions (New Harvest, 2013).
"A plate of food hits the table, lands right in front of you," Taffer explains. "One of two things happens. Either you sit up and look at it and react to it, or nothing happens. If nothing happens then that restaurant is stuck in mediocrity forever.
"The cook in the kitchen might think he's making an entree. He's not," Taffer continues. "That's not product. He's making a human reaction. ... The product is the reaction."
The same goes for creating new products and services. You can create some gadget that you think is great, but if it doesn't create a positive reaction among your customers, then what's the point? "Understand that those reactions that happen around you drive your future more than you do," he says.
Reaction management translates to the office, too. "If you can get your boss to react the way you want [him or her] to, you're going to get a promotion, aren't you? You're going to get that job you want," Taffer says. "How do you get them to react to you in a way that gets you promoted? When you figure that out, you'll get promoted."