Business Perspective Chart

With all the action that goes into daily life in the ZCoB, it’s all too easy to lose our way and end up in the wilderness. We use this chart to help us stay focused and to keep things in perspective.

Zingerman's Business Perspective Chart

Vision: Zingerman’s 2020

This is where we’re headed over the next decade or so. The details of our vision are laid out in Zingerman’s 2020. Zingerman’s 2020 lays out our long-term organizational direction. It gives us a picture of what success will look like. It gives a yardstick against which we can measure strategic decisions. It gives something exciting and uplifting to set our sights on. We have created Zingerman’s 2020 in the belief that it makes room within the ZCoB for entrepreneurial folks who have a creative and strategically sound vision.

Results on 3 Bottom Lines: Great Food, Great Service, Great Finance

While Zingerman’s 2020 provides us with a long-term vision of where we’re headed, we can’t just wait ‘til the year 2020 rolls around and then see how we did. To the contrary, we need to be able to measure our success and our progress every day, every week, every month. Our three bottom lines are how we do that. On a day-to-day basis we are here to do three major things:

  1. Bring great food to our customers,
  2. give great service to everyone we interact with, including our peers in the community, and
  3. deliver great financial performance for the organization. If you’re spending time on something that isn’t contributing to one or more of our bottom lines, take another look at what you’re doing. It may not be an effective way to spend your work time. Of course, lots of things go on while we’re working to hit those bottom lines. That’s what you see in the middle of the chart.

Guiding Principles

Our principles define the way we relate to each other, our community, our suppliers and our customers while we are working to hit our bottom lines en route to making Zingerman’s 2020 a reality. The principles talk about things like our commitment to creating a great place to work; to giving back to our community; to rewarding long-term relationships; to each other’s success; to proper sanitation techniques; to having fun while we’re working.


We have lots of systems at Zingerman’s. Everything from written recipes to financial statements and a 1001 things in between. Our systems are set up in order to help deliver the most effective bottom-line results possible while staying true to our Guiding Principles. In choosing to work here we make a commitment to work according to those systems, or to work constructively to change and improve them.


The culture is the “way it really is.” We know that despite our best efforts, systems are never implemented 100% of the time. It’s a normal part of organizational life that systems and culture are always in conflict. When there are gaps between our systems and our culture, it is up to each of us to work to get them back into alignment.

Our Mission

Where is our Mission in this chart? Everywhere—toward Zingerman’s 2020, to hitting our three bottom lines, our principles, systems and culture—we all remain committed to “Sharing the Zingerman’s Experience…to enrich as many lives as we possibly can.”