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Restaurant Owners Uncorked: Twenty Owners Share Their Recipes for Success Paperback – February 28, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I'm with a company called Schedulefly, and restaurants are our customers. When one of my business partners and I decided that we'd like to open a restaurant one day and began outlining a concept, we realized that as cool as that sounded, we didn't know what it takes to be successful in such a tough industry.  We decided to start interviewing restaurant owners to find out how they do it.  The interviews were so full of great advice and wisdom, we knew we needed to find a way to share them

This book is a collection of those interviews - the stories of twenty restaurant owners from all over the U.S., and one from Canada.  They all tell how they got started, what's worked for them, what hasn't worked, and the pearls of wisdom they've learned along the way.  They're all very open, honest and candid about what the restaurant business is like - both the pros and the cons.
I hope you'll find Restaurant Owners Uncorked to be easy to read and entertaining, and that you'll learn what it takes to succeed in a fun but tough industry

Enjoy your read,
Wil

From the Back Cover

One tip from each owner...
Go Where the Universities Are
Focus On What's Happening Inside Your Four Walls
A Good CPA Is as Important as Good Food
Pay Managers On Profits
Edgy Marketing Gets Free PR
Know Your Community Intimately
Compete For Talent, Not Customers
You Can Dominate In Small Towns
Have a Hook
Serve from the Heart
Give Incredible Benefits
Check Your Ego at the Door
Feed Customers Like They're Friends
Be Transparent with Your Staff
Focus On Volume Over Margins
Keep Your Fundamentals Simple
Never Cut Corners
Evolve or Die
Hire Integrity Over Experience
Hire Sales People for Every Position
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456474820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456474829
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most of the so called "entreprenurial" books are filled with rhetoric from an author describing how he or she started a successful company. Most also contain a lot of what I like to call "fluff" and cliched advice. This Gem "Restaurant Owners Uncorked" contains e)none of the above.

The author of this book is a skilled Software entrepreneur (First Research, ScheduleFly), but admirably and humbly never touts his own experiences or opinions. Instead, through brilliant open-ended and consultative questioning, Wil Brawley guides 20 other successful restaurant entrepreneurs down an exciting path in which they each share tactical advice and nuggets that any business executive will learn from (including myself). Each chapter is it's own journey including do's, dont's, and what it takes to win. If you are thinking of starting any business, this book is a must read. BEWARE - Once you begin it's impossible to put down, except to run and grab a highlighter or jump online and purchase more copies for your colleagues.
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I followed the creation of this book through the weekly posting of excerpts that the Schedule-fly website Blog provided. As a small business owner NOT in the food industry I was initially surprised by the common sense approach and situational similarities my business experience shared with these folks being interviewed. I have a couple of friends that have started coffee shop and cupcake stores recently so I was excited to share this read and great insight with them. The pressure of location to hiring the right people to getting new folks through the door and then making sure they come back because they feel you have set yourself apart from the other choices that consumer has are difficult... To see these owners with such different backgrounds and approaches answer the important start-up questions unscripted reassured me in some areas and told me where we need to improve in others. Definitely recommend this book for all small business owners who like to think outside the box..
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As someone who's been in the industry for a bit but just about to open their first spot, this book is absolutely amazing. It's not something written by some consultant who was indispensable to the growth of Applebee's or a professor who's done a study of 300 restaurants but hasn't opened one himself.

This book talks to a wide variety of owners, in a wide variety of market-types, and comes away with so many great things to keep in mind as you delve in to the world of restaurant-opening and operating. You get candid conversations with owners about how they succeeded and what exactly they screwed up (and you can avoid it yourself).

The book is done in interview form so it's not an author's interpretation of what they thought was the owner's most important information. To the contrary, the weakest part of the book is when the author does a few short "key points" at the end of each interview to give you the takeaways. Take those or leave 'em, you'll probably get something different than he did.

If you have a restaurant book library, this needs to be in it. If you only read 3 books before you open a restaurant (please read at least 3), then this needs to be one of those 3.
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Over all this was a good book with some good insights from owners or various types of restaurants. It was a good read however I did have two problems with the book which is why it's only getting 4 stars.

Issue # 1: Hello Cupcake on page 204 lacked a lot of in depth information that the rest of the chapters had. The common question asked to all of the other owners, why is the failure rate so high, got a poor response. The fact that Hello Cupcake has only been in business since 2008 and the book was written 2010 and published in 2011 was a poor choice for a business doing well over the long haul. It may have been better if the author would've explained the need or reason, such as doing it purpose to document a new busines that's just getting going. Even by itself it may have beeen ok but when placed next to restaurant owners that have been doing this for decades it felt out of place.

Issue # 2: A large majority of the chapters touched on the fact that the owners use Schedulefly, a web based software that is run by the author and his partners. Constantly seeing talk of Schedulefly made me wonder if the criteria for being included in the book was simply using Schedulefly as a customer. This probably was not the case but it's not the best thing to think of when reading. When some of the owners talked about Schedulefly it felt as though their responses were solicited rather than them genuinely liking the product so much they felt the need to mention it.

This is a still a good book and with some updates could be a great book. There's a lot of good information however it may or may not apply to your restaurant depending on your regional location. Most of the insights in the book are accurate.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, and not because I own a restaurant or aspire to someday. I liked the book because every interview, without exception, contained valuable business advice that can be applied by any small business owner, regardless of industry.

What also makes this book different is that it isn't full of Brawley's theories, rather the content comes "straight from the horse's mouth" (in this case, there are about 20 of them)... all seasoned veterans who share their successes, and in many cases their failures too.

If you aspire to own a restaurant someday, I consider this required reading. If you like sitting down with really smart people over a cup of coffee or a beer, then this is right up your alley, because the book is essentially a collection of conversations with enlightened business people who know what they're talking about.

Caution: Don't read this book on an empty stomach - you'll likely empty your fridge.
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