Want to Run a Restaurant? Two Books Offer Recipes for Success

    By | Small Business

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    If you start a restaurant, odds are you will soon flop. Research indicates that 60 percent of restaurants fail within three years of opening. More than 25 percent fail in the first year. The problem? Inexperienced owners underestimate what it takes.

    Two new books on the market offer would-be restaurateurs guidance on all aspects of running a food service business, including finances, location, licenses, marketing, management, ambiance, customer service, and, of course, the menu.

    Idiot’s Guides published “Starting and Running a Restaurant,” by restaurant consultant Jody Pennette and food writer Elizabeth Keyser, in September, 2015. The 300-page guide, available in paperback for $22 or on Kindle for $11, takes readers step-by-step through restaurant startup. It includes pre-opening and operational checklists as well as advice on negotiating a lease, hiring and firing staff, safety and hygiene, throwing a launch party, and fostering a culture of hospitality.

    Last week the online restaurant reservations platform OpenTable shared its industry wisdom too with “How to Open a Restaurant: The Modern Restaurateur’s Guide to Starting & Growing a Restaurant Business.” The 120-page digital download, by hospitality consultant Alison Arth, includes insights on fundraising, purchasing and pricing, creating a brand, building buzz, and utilizing restaurant technology. Michelin-starred restaurateurs including the restaurant groups of Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer and James Beard-nominated chefs Gavin Kaysen and Aaron London share “if I only knew” anecdotes with Arth.

    In tandem with the e-book launch, Open Table announced a contest to help fund an industry pro’s dream project with a Kickstarter campaign and an “Ultimate Restaurant Starter Kit” that includes:

    • $15,000 cash to put toward the project
    • A full set of professional All-Clad pans
    • A set of 25 Hedley & Bennett aprons
    • 25 annual memberships to the online content from Journee, a community for restaurant professionals
    • A 12-month subscription to OpenTable’s flagship Guest Center hospitality solution
    • Access to OpenTable’s Diner Network and a credit on cover fees

    OpenTable will select three finalists to raise $35,000 in Kickstarter funding for their own concepts. The one that raises the most funds will win OpenTable’s “Ultimate Restaurant Starter Kit.” 

    The contest is open to restaurant professionals nationwide who enter for a chance to be selected as a finalist by downloading the e-book and submitting their ideas via an online entry form. Submissions are being accepted until April 1, 2016.

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