Restaurant Man Book Review

[caption id="attachment_6422" align="alignright" width="300"]restaurantman_joebastianich_bookreview Source: Daily News[/caption] Restaurant Man is a book I found after reading and reviewing Yes Chef by Marcus Samuellson and I came to enjoy it from the very beginning.  Why?  Well here is why:
As many of you know I am composed of the following amongst other things:
  1. New Yorker
  2. Foodie
  3. Triathlete
When I saw that Joe Bastianich (of Master Chef fame) wrote a book I quickly purchased it.  Joe is a New Yorker, a foodie/wine enthusiast, and a triathlete.  I was drawn to this boom like a moth to the light.
I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised and quickly brought back to New York along the way.
The title of the book "Restaurant Man" is a description of a successful restaurateur.  He is a cheap f'er, who keeps his eyes on everything.  This was a lesson that Joe's dad taught him at a young age.  He taught him that everybody was out to screw you in the restaurant business and that you had to keep an eye on everything.
I think this lesson is one that is not taught or learned by everybody because 50% of restaurants go out of business within one year of opening.  Trying to juggle all of the balls and keeping an eye on all the employees while watching the bottom line is not easy.  Joe goes into detail about how you can do this and anybody interested in opening a restaurant or even a simple catering business or food truck should read this book.
There are no punches thrown as you can tell from the curse words.  Joe wrote this book right from his mouth.  He does not sugarcoat anything and for me that was the appeal.  It was as if I were sitting down with an old friend in a Manhattan bar and we were just talking about the life and times of this Restaurant Man.
Mr. Bastianich is the partner of Mario Batalli in 25 restaurants, the 'grocery store' Eately and the son of his famous mother Lidia, who is also a world-renowned chef.  This group, but mostly Joe and Mario, have created what I call a dynasty in the restaurant business.  To own and operate 25 establishments, all different and not a franchise is astounding and a testament to their business practices.  If you can open one and be successful than congrats.  If you reach 25 then you bet your kitchen that I am listening and going to apply those lessons to my business.
Having eaten at Otto in New York and in Las Vegas I can say that their level of excellence is taught throughout their business.  With different people managing and running the restaurants you could expect to see differences, as this is not a McDonald's with the same menu in every city.  Different menus, different options and yet a commitment to keeping the highest standards is sought and kept.
If you are a budding restaurateur or just have an interest in how to run a successful business I suggest reading this book.  If you are a New Yorker living in Seattle, Los Angeles or anywhere other than New York you should read this.  This book showcases how to run a business to meet the various tastes of different clients. How to establish your business as the premiere business in that industry and how to stay there.

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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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