Two years ago we self-published our book, “Restaurant Owners Uncorked: Twenty Owners Share Their Recipes for Success.” We felt like it would be useful to people who were considering starting a restaurant, but we had no idea how much people would like it, how many copies it would sell, and so on.
Suffice it to say we’ve been constantly pleased with the number of books we sell every month (around 300) and the feedback we’ve received. There are 17 customer reviews on Amazon (14 people gave us 5 stars and 3 people gave us 4 stars). I check the reviews frequently to see what people are saying, and I often respond to thank them. Here’s the most recent one, a 5-star review titled “Absolutely Amazing”…
“As someone who’s been in the industry for a bit but just about to open their first spot, this book is absolutely amazing. It’s not something written by some consultant who was indispensable to the growth of Applebee’s or a professor who’s done a study of 300 restaurants but hasn’t opened one himself.
This book talks to a wide variety of owners, in a wide variety of market-types, and comes away with so many great things to keep in mind as you delve in to the world of restaurant-opening and operating. You get candid conversations with owners about how they succeeded and what exactly they screwed up (and you can avoid it yourself).
The book is done in interview form so it’s not an author’s interpretation of what they thought was the owner’s most important information. To the contrary, the weakest part of the book is when the author does a few short “key points” at the end of each interview to give you the takeaways. Take those or leave ’em, you’ll probably get something different than he did.
If you have a restaurant book library, this needs to be in it. If you only read 3 books before you open a restaurant (please read at least 3), then this needs to be one of those 3.”
I highlighted my favorite sentence in the review. I like that one because the reviewer absolutely nails the reason why we thought this book would be so useful. This is not a book based on theory, and it’s not a book with a central theme or a “here’s the key to success” style, but rather it’s a simple compilation of practical advice and lessons learned by a group of people who’ve had varying levels of success.
In fact the only undeniable observation I made from conducting the interviews was that there simply is no single formula for success in the restaurant business. Rather, the business is much like making pizza: there are a thousand ways to get it right – or to screw it up. Other than a few common ingredients (pizzas need dough, restaurants need to treat staff with respect), you can create your own recipe for success, and hopefully the book (and our video series) will help you figure out which ingredients you would like to include.