Restaurant Man Book Review


Source: Daily News

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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  1. BDD says:

    Ahhh Yes, Joe. I am a huge Chef Ramsey fan (I just learned he has runned numerous marathons), Both Gordon and Joe are mean on that show, one of the many reasons why I like it

    You would laugh at the last good book I read

  2. Brianna Sue says:

    Not a single expletive deleted. Fascinating story of a son who worked in parent’s restaurant in Queens. He was forced to go to Europe in the summers visiting his mother’s friends homes restaurants and wineries. He developed an excellent palate. His knowledge of restaurant management is steller – margins, front of house, back of the house, customer service, suppliers.
    Brianna Sue recently posted..RedXMy Profile

  3. Sara says:

    I am a fan of Joe, but didn’t know he was a triathlete or that this book existed. I definitely want to read it – thank you for the review!

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