Owning a restaurant is lovely, but restaurant management can get overwhelming. According to Perry Group, 70% of restaurants that make it past their first year close down within three to five years. In total, 90% of independent restaurants restaurants close during the first year, with five years the average live-span.

On the bright side, 90% of businesses operating past first five years would go on to stay in business for at least ten years.

Knowing how to keep the doors open, customers coming in, and the staff hardworking is truly important. The customer is always right, and some of them may try to take advantage of this. It’s easy to assume you can keep your composure until the heat of the moment.

Restaurant owners, new and old, will face the same problem. But there’s good news! Some of the most successful restauranteurs have shared their experiences and advice in books. Short of hiring them in consultant roles, this is the best way to tap on their accumulated knowledge.

Here are eight of the best books on restaurant management. We’ve also included small tags under each book to describe what each book focuses on, like Hospitality or Managing People, or Interviews and Case Studies.

8 Restaurant Management Books to Learn from the Experts and Book Your Business Solid

Setting The Table
Restaurant Success by the Numbers
Restaurant Owners Uncorked
Front of the House
Making the Cut
Chasing the Heat
The Profit Recipe
The Chipotle Effect

Setting The Table by Danny Meyer

The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

Photo credit: Union Square Hospitality Group

Hospitality. Company culture. Managing People. Customer service.

This book connects hospitality to human relationships and experiences. Danny Meyer is a New York City restaurateur and the CEO of Union Square. This book, Setting the Table, embodies Meyer’s description of what success means to him.

He believes hospitality should start with treating your employees well as this would have a ripple effect on your customers. Meyer’s beliefs that hospitality should be fun and this book is a reflection of that perspective.

His philosophy goes against the norms of traditional businesses. But many restaurants have used his lessons and advice to succeed. He believes that in the end, it only makes sense to create positive, elevating results for human relationship and experience.

According to Amazon, 75% of the reviewers rated the book 5 Stars.

A reviewer, Jon Cannon is part of this 75% who gave this book the highest rating on Amazon. He says the book provides theory and application. He thinks Meyer’s book would benefit restauranteurs and everyone else interested in hospitality.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

  • Treat your employees well
  • Your relationship with your employees has a ripple effect on your business
  • Excellent customer service comes naturally to restaurants that treat their employees well
  • Hospitality business must be fun to thrive
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Restaurant Success by the Numbers by Roger Fields

Photo credit: eBay

Survival beyond the first year. Business success. Restaurant management.

This book focuses on how restaurants can get past their first year, and remain in business long after.

Roger Fields is a partner at Merchants Accounting Services, a restaurant owner, and consultant. Restaurant Success by the Numbers” is a how-to guide with several personal examples and stories from other startups. He simplified otherwise tricky processes of location, menu, hiring, ambiance, staff, and profit.

Carry out the proper feasibility study to determine if your restaurant would satisfy your set goals. Work with reports and statistics, don’t just hope for the best.

The Amazon rating of this book is 4.5 out of 5 Star

To Trudy McCormack, Restaurant Success by the Numbers is like conversing with a successful friend. Trudy found some pieces of advice helpful and took notes while reading. Meanwhile, Tamara L Cole thinks that the information is essential if you’ve been in the industry. Albeit, it can serve as reminders and refreshers for you.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

Set actionable goals that suit your restaurant’s size and type. And then go to work!

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Restaurant Owners Uncorked by Will Brawley

Photo credit: Carousell

Business lessons. Interviews

Brawley’s Restaurant Owners Uncorked shares the experiences of 20 restaurant owners. This book is a must-read if restaurant management success matters to you.

Will Brawley is a partner at Schedulefly. His book, “Restaurant Owners Uncorked” compiles the interviews of 20 experienced restaurant owners.

Imagine having a business dinner with twenty speakers. All of which are professionals in your field of interest. They talk about the pros and cons of the profession and share how it affects them.

If you own a restaurant or aspire to own one, this book will give you practical advice. Meet Chris Sommers, a former technologist who was invited to the white house to make pizza. Hear from a Hell’s kitchen cast, Scott Leibfried and a host of others.

The rating of this book is 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

One Amazon customer thinks Restaurant Owners Uncorked is “absolutely amazing.” The interview style makes sure you hear it directly from the restaurant owners. Albeit, this reviewer believes the author shouldn’t have given takeaways at the end of each interview.

He thinks readers might get a different interpretation from the author and dilute the message of the interviewee. In this reviewer’s opinion, if you only read three books before opening a restaurant, this should be one of them.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

  • A good CPA is more important than the food you serve.
  • Go beyond engaging your customers, remember who they are.
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Front of the House by Jeff Benjamin

Restaurant Manners, Misbehaviors & Secrets

Photo credit: Goodreads

Best practices. Psychology. Business Tactics

This book talks about what happens behind the scene of the art of great hospitality.

Jeff Benjamin is a managing partner of Philadelphia acclaimed Vetri family of restaurants. Front of the House gives an insider’s view of essential aspects of hospitality like, the server’s opinion of you, reserving a table, what you can do to get ejected from an excellent restaurant.

Being in the kitchen is stressful, especially on busy nights. But this can’t be compared with what the front of house staff has to handle. Just think of the always right customer.

This book has 4.6 out of 5 Stars on Amazon. From the reviews, most people think it’s a good read. But the readers that enjoyed it the most were in the hospitality industry or aspiring to start a restaurant business.

A Kindle customer who is a FOH manager thinks its a great read. According to this customer, it offers excellent ways to resolve situations positively.

Another reviewer, AnnapolisGirly who isn’t in the restaurant business, said it felt a little promotional. But she recommended it to a local restaurateur in her neighborhood who was excited.

Key Restaurant Management Lesson

Learn the essential skills for front of house success, including conflict resolution and how an experience FOH manager

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Book #5: Making the Cut

What Separates the Best from the Rest

Written by Chris Hill

Photo credit: Chris Hill

Entrepreneurship. Management. Case studies. Stories

Chris Hill’s Making the Cut is about what it takes to be successful. Hill is a skilled entrepreneur and manager. The book is a collection of stories and lessons from the best chefs around the world.

Not without his own story of course!

The chefs in this book include Dominique Crenn, the best female chef in the world, Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani, Frank Stitt and Jeremiah Tower.

If you intend to take your restaurant business seriously, this is a book to read. You’ll get advice, inspiration, and direction in your journey to success.

The book has a 93% 5 Star rating on Amazon. Magdalena thinks his advice is intelligent and from experience. She found his writing friendly, conversational and helpful in her profession.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

  • Commit to doing your best.
  • Take every day as a challenge and strive to be better than the day before.
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Book #6: Chasing the Heat

Written by Leonard Gentieu

Photo credit: Goodreads

Recipe. Inspiration. Case studies

Gentieu’s Chasing the Heat talks about the struggles of the middle-class and building something big for yourself in spite of challenges.

Leonard Gentieu is a chef, entrepreneur, restaurateur, and a teacher. In this book, he describes his fifty-year journey in the kitchen. From washing dishes to his flourishing charter cruise business.

The book contains short sections that he calls “A Day From Hell.” These portions describe the terrible experiences that he had. He also shares recipes that match the stories.

His tone is a mixture of humor, optimism, and frankness. It’s informative and inspirational, yet intriguing.

The book has a 97% 5 Star rating on Amazon.

One reviewer, Laurie, thinks it’s inspiring and entertaining. She said it felt as if she “was sharing a glass of wine  with a good story-telling friend.”

Another reviewer, Marie A. thinks he’s an excellent writer. She said the stories about his experiences came alive.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

  • You are a result of the choices you make.
  • Use your present state as a stepping stone to where you want to be.
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Book #7: The Profit Recipe

Written by Cesar Quintero

Photo credit: Amazon

Business process. Managing people. Business tactics. Restaurant trends

The book is about using top restaurant trends to increase your customer base with little investment.

Cesar Quintero introduced the healthy food delivery system, Fit2Go. In “The Profit Recipe,” he showed essential trends that most restaurants aren’t seeing.

The book talks about the effect that IT and software has had on restaurants in recent times. And how restaurants can increase customer base with little investment.

It’s an engaging book that gives practical steps to run your restaurant. 80% of the reviewers on Amazon rated it 5 Stars

A reviewer on Amazon, Wendy C, said the book is an excellent read for any entrepreneur, especially for people in the restaurant business.

Key Restaurant Management Lessons

  • With a bird’s eye view, you can start processes that are easy to follow.
  • Processes help your employees deliver excellent products and services.
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Book #8: The Chipotle Effect

Written by Paul Barron

Photo credit: Pinterest

Case study. Customer service. Business tactics

The Chipotle Effect delves into how a small organization can move at the pace of the fast-changing social customer.

Paul Baron is a restaurateur and entrepreneur; he founded QSRweb.com, foodabletv.com, FastCasual.com, and RSMindex.com.

This book argues that you must know how customers think to attract them. Based on this premise, the Chipotle Mexican Grill designed their services to address their customers’ taste.

Most restaurant owners want the result of the Chipotle Mexican Grill but are too slow to get it. To get that effect, you must have a vision, act fast and see what others aren’t seeing. Especially on your customer’s needs.

He proposed an equation that would help you master this effect. His idea of the technology, design, and future of the restaurant industry draws on recently observed trends.

On Amazon, this book’s rating is 3.2 out of 5 stars. William H. Bender and Jeffrey Lemus, part of the 60% who rated this book 5 Star thinks the book is restaurant management asset to own.

Key Restaurant Management Lesson

  • Understand your customers
  • Match your services to your customers’ needs
  • Move fast!
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Wrapping Up

Restaurant management requires more than just hard work. You must use the right information to point your energy in the right direction. Choose a convenient time to learn from those who have gone ahead of you, and take the lessons and experience from them.

Nicholas Godwin

Posted by Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin helps businesses tell profitable stories that their audiences love. He's worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. You can catch Nicholas on TechContentLabs or say hello on Twitter. See image attached