I like to eat and restaurants can be heaven to me. But what makes a restaurant better than another? Joe Bastianich, chef and celebrated restaurateur, with a list of successful restaurants with his partner Mario Barali, shares a no holds bar of the secret of his success. In the tradition of his father, he is a restaurant man, one whose goal as he describes as “We buy it, we fix it, we sell it for a profit.” That’s the restaurant business.
Money flows everywhere and the margins are tight, so a restaurant man needs to get down and dirty. Bastianich goes back to his roots in Italy, where his parents would take him on a journey to the motherland. Trips full of food and discovery gave him a sense of self, but hard work is the key to his success.
In his career, Bastianich has had some highs and lows. He got to serve the Pope during his visit in 2008 when his mother was asked to prepare his meals. Bill Clinton is one of his regulars and sometimes has to tell him to pipe it down because Bill likes a good ‘ol time.
What I enjoyed about this book is that it showcases a real peek behind the nature of the secret magic of the restaurant business. By keeping it simple and focusing on the business side, restaurants can be a good business to be in. No magic, no fluff, just good business sense and lots of hard work.
Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich
2012 Viking Press 276 pp
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