The Art of the Restaurateur
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The Art of the Restaurateur [Hardcover]

Nicholas Lander
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Successful London restaurateur himself, Lander explores just what skills and qualities a restaurateur needs to rise above the pack and achieve greatness in this highly diverse and competitive profession. Profiling 20 restaurateurs from Europe and America, Lander briefly tells their stories and then tries to identify each one’s special gifts. In the case of New York’s Italian empire builder, Joe Bastianich, it’s a lifetime spent learning to minimize waste and to inspire everyone who works for him. For London’s Russell Norman, clothing is key: absolute formality in his high-end eatery and studied casual garb in his gastropub. Norman also publishes sets of written rules to ensure staff’s unwavering respect for customers. Family is often key to success as evidenced by the fourth generation of Troisgros offspring to run their fabled provincial French restaurant. Elegantly simple line drawings complement the stylishness of Lander’s prose portraits. --Mark Knoblauch


"Nicholas Lander is such a fluent writer in this fascinating book, The Art of the Restaurateur. His system of completing each profile with a salient restaurant point applicable to all is brilliant." - Danny Meyer

"Nobu wasn't built in a day. In Nicholas Lander's gorgeous illustrated book. . .Drew Nieporent and 19 other proprietors reveal what it takes (pluck, creativity, Clintonian people skills) to run a top dining establishment. A must-read for restaurant lovers." - Details

". . .serves as an excellent primer to the world of running a restaurant. In a world where chefs get all the attention, it's nice to see the incredibly difficult work of restaurateur get its due." - Eater National

"In an age of celebrity chefs, this book turns its eye on the unsung heroes of the restaurant industry. In retelling stories of the rise of our era's most famous restaurants and the owners behind them, the book studies successes and failures of each, as well as their decisions behind such as aspects as location, design, menus, and more." - La Cucina Italiana

"Most [Restaurant Hospitality] readers who read this one will likely deliver the same verdict: "Finally, a book about us!" - Restaurant Hospitality

"If you've ever wondered what goes into running a single stalwart or growing empire, now's your chance to learn." - The Wall Street Journal

". . .the book also offers food for thought on the restaurateur's art. . .Lander does not resort to the waspish prose that makes some other restaurant critics fun to read. But in these splendid establishments perhaps there was simply nothing to sneer at." - The Economist

"So many people fantasize about starting their own restaurant and few have the slightest idea of what it takes. Meet 20 of the greats including Danny Meter and Joe Bastianich to learn the elements that make for an establishment's success and staying power. (Love the illustrations, too!) - GOOP

". . .Lander offers a globe-trotting tour of gastronomic proportions. The culinary writing is restrained. . .without a hint of snobbery, and an absence of interest in all things trendy. . .Look for valuable lessons and sound advice." - Macleans

About the Author

Having been a restaurateur himself (he owned L'Escargot in Soho during the 1980s), Nicholas Lander (b. 1952) knows and appreciates the business. He has written 'The Restaurant Insider', the hugely popular restaurant column in the Financial Times, for the past 21 years, which has become a must-read for all restaurant-goers and professionals. He has met, become friends with, celebrated and commiserated with restaurateurs all over the world, and his website,, has a large international following.
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