The Bottom Line
How to Open and Run a Successful Restaurant is written more as a memoir, and less as a functional how-to guide. Author Christopher Egerton-Thomas writes from the point of view of someone who spent many years in the restaurant trenches. Unfortunately, he brings too much of his own experiences and stories into the book. Much of the advice in this book for would-be restaurant owners is aimed at restaurants in large cities, rather than those in less urban areas. And what works for a restaurant in New York City might not be appropriate for a restaurant located in rural Ohio, Iowa or Montana.
- Covers all aspects of opening a new restaurant.
- Includes in depth coverage of important areas, like buying equipment, and getting financing.
- Verbose language and lots of it.
- A lot of unnecessary side stories.
- Poor layout- everything is written in chunky paragraphs, making it hard to find information.
- Covers every aspect of the restaurant business.
- Has a thorough section on how to set up a restaurant bar.
- Goes over the pros and cons of different types of business partnership.
- Discusses the risks of openign a restaurant why restaurants fail.
Guide Review - How to Open and Run a Successful Restaurant
This book covers all parts of opening and running a restaurant. But all that handy advice is well hidden in the wordy, flowery writing style of Egerton-Thomas. While it is apparent that Egerton-Thomas knows the restaurant business very well, it is hard to find the point of his stories, much less practical advice, some of which is questionable at best. For example, he suggests that if a restaurant owner (or staff) were held up by gun point (I’ve only seen or heard of that happening in Pulp Fiction- but whatever, I’m sure its happened somewhere) Egerton-Thomas suggests that “If you are the victim of armed robbery, hand over the money instantly and without question…no heroics!”
Well, let’s hope no one is going to sacrifice themselves for what little cash is in the till. And he suggests that restaurateurs should “warn departing customers to be careful. Certain robbers stake out bars, waiting for slightly befuddled customers to leave.”
Good way to garner a solid customer base, “Watch out for people waiting to jump you from behind the bushes!” Of course, customer safety should be a concern, but I don’t think broadcasting the fact your business is in a questionable location is the best way to go about it. (Read here on how to choose a successful and SAFE location
While interesting to read, if you like restaurant war stories (for a better read I suggest you pick up a copy of Anthony Bourdaine’s Kitchen Confidential), this book is not well written for those looking for the nuts and bolts of opening a new restaurant.