Get All Access for $5/mo

Why Man vs. Food Is Worth Watching How the Travel Channel show soared to success thanks to the host's winning personality.

By Carol Tice Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I am not a fan of eating contests. They seem to symbolize the worst of American excess. Despite that, I've gotten hooked on Travel Channel's show Man v. Food.

What makes this show appealing, even if the quantities of food consumed are often appalling? Man v. Food has seen four successful seasons with a fifth airing soon, and seems to air nearly round-the-clock, all thanks to the charming personality of host Adam Richman.

Like any good leader, the affable Brooklynite brings personal qualities to his role that make you want to follow what he's doing. How has this man conquered not just food, but TV?

Here are the facets of Richman's personality that have made the show a hit:

1. He's likable. Unlike so many haughty restaurant celebrities, Richman won't be found shouting angrily at anyone or telling them the dish they slaved over is inedible. He's polite and charming. His mom even appears in some episodes. Given the general trash-talking tenor of most reality TV, Richman succeeds by being refreshingly nice.

Related: 10 Secrets of Successful Leaders

2. He's curious. This man doesn't just swoop down on an Amish diner or a Southern shellfish shack and inhale vast quantities of food in record time. First, he talks to the owners and learns their story. Where did they learn to cook this food? Why is this their passion? What ingredients create the unique flavors? When he sits down to partake of the local signature dish, he's fully briefed on what makes it special, and so are we.

3. He's brave. A leader should be willing to take on the tough challenges, as Richman does when sweating through a meal rife with ghost chilies or tackling a 12-egg omelet. Even while you're moaning, "Ewww, gross!" from the safety of your couch, you admire that he's crazy enough to try it.

Related: 98 Brave New Franchises

4. He's gracious. Sometimes, a food challenge defeats Richman. But he's never a sore loser, always thanking his hosts and conceding defeat graciously.

5. He shares the spotlight. Though Richman's mug is ever-present on the show, he makes each episode a celebration of the towns and eateries he visits. Richman has also evolved the show into a new iteration, Man v. Food Nation, in which local participants shoulder some of the food challenges. This key decision, to stop doing all the overeating himself, should help ensure long life for both Richman and the Man v. Food brand.

How does your business reflect your personality? Leave a comment and let us know your key traits.

Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.