Book and Street Smarts for Restaurants

In a tough business, living through less trial and error can help tremendously. Is this the year to hire a consultant perhaps? And when was the last time you cracked a book to see a new world of possibilities? Here are some suggested reads to get you going.

Try Some Unreasonable Hospitality 

This book, written by legendary restauranteur Will Guidara, talks about what he did to take his restaurant from good to the number one restaurant in the world. It focuses on the “remarkable power of giving people more than they expect. 

Will emphasizes that the U.S. is now a service economy. Making a product is no longer enough. Efficient serving is no longer enough. You must make guests feel bigger than themselves and feel welcome. He says that you are “Not in the business of serving them dinner, you’re in the business of serving them memories.” That happens when restaurant owners slow down, listen to their guests, and give them the actual thing they want. One overheard conversation at a customer’s table can make everything click. 

Danny Meyer, an industry icon, wrote a book called Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. He speaks clearly about turning what he calls “enlightened hospitality” into a competitive advantage. His personal stories bring the concept to life in an engaging, worthy way.

Boss Without the Bossy

Many get into the restaurant business because they like to cook, or they love food. It doesn’t take long to realize that success often rides on leading people well, from hiring and training to everyday motivation.  Managing doesn’t come as easily as baking a potato, but it can be learned and improved. Julie Zhuo’s bestseller, The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You adds a little practical MBA to the day. “When you build a great team that people are excited to become part of, you know you’ve done your job well.” 

Tap Into Real World Advice

Working with a pro who’s sweated in the restaurant trenches could be exactly what you need to turn down the stress. Coaches and consultants are ready to help restaurants thrive. Here are five top reasons to work with one.

  1. A successful start. Set up a first-class digital and physical presence before opening.
  2. Better branding. Make your restaurant’s look and voice magnetic everywhere customers see you.
  3. Efficient operations. Food waste needs to stay low and guest reviews need to soar. 
  4. A cost-effective, modern menu. Stay ahead of tight margins and know-how menus are evolving to please guests. 
  5. Staff retention. New insights can help you find, train, and keep the best talent.

Then, just find your best match. Who have they helped and what are the reviews? Do they have a specialty that suits you? Do you need more help in the kitchen or the business side?

Help is All Around

Many local restaurants informally help one another as neighbors. Belonging to state and national restaurant associations can make a difference. Tuning into industry podcasts and YouTube channels can offer a new perspective. 

We’re here too. If you’re mulling over a patio enclosure, our experts are always ready to answer a question or help put you on a good path, regardless of whether you work with us. People often want to know about patio enclosure financing, material longevity, design aesthetics, proper installation, heating and cooling for patio enclosures, lighting, and more. There’s likely no question we haven’t heard before, so ask away.

In an industry that works harder than most and works hard to keep us all happy, it’s good to know there’s support all over. It can be as easy as grabbing a book, making a call, or talking to someone who can relate.