24 Incredible Tips from 24 Amazing Restaurant Experts: Part II

Danny Meyer

Good food is one thing. Know why your customers go out to eat says Danny Meyer of Union Square Cafe.

Back again! Wielding more tips from top performers in the restaurant industry, beginning with (lucky?) number 13.

These are just short clippings of my favorite tips. I’d recommended reading the longer articles (linked in each tip) to any restaurant owner, at any stage.

Check back with the first post for more tips if you missed it.

13. Know why people really eat out

Food is important, but usually people eat out for deeper psychological reasons. They want an emotional experience – to be served, to interact, to feel uplifted or adventurous. Knowing your customers’ psychology beyond just “I’m hungry” or “I don’t feel like cooking” will make you a better restaurateur. (tweet this)

From: The Secret To Danny Meyer’s Good Taste

Expert: Danny Meyer of Union Square Cafe

14. Stay healthy

“There are no sick or personal days. Even if you’re one of those people who can get by with just a few hours of sleep, you’d better be in great shape as well, because staying on your toes all day is challenging.” (tweet this)

From: So You Think You’re Opening A Restaurant

Experts: Tim & Nina Zagat of Zagat

15. Have patience

“You can’t learn everything in a year or two. You have to learn the basics. It’s amazing how little people know!” (tweet this)

From: Wolfgang Puck on why the sit down dinner is over

Expert: Wolfgang Puck of Cut

16. Create a process

A lot of restaurant owners or managers will deal with each task individually. Thinking through processes and standardizing is the key to saving time and resources. Write it down, and refer to the steps until it’s natural. This applies most to staff situations too.

“There is nothing worse than attempting to manage a bunch of individuals trying to do the same thing, each in their own way” (tweet this)

From: 3 Ingredients To A Kick-Ass Restaurant

Expert: David Koji of DineAbility

17. Hold onto your sense of humor

Especially when dealing with customer complaints or more stressful issues at your restaurant. Knowing how to smile and not take things too seriously keeps a positive vibe. The customer avoids a tense situation, and you deflect some of the pressure from yourself. (tweet this)

From: A Successful Restaurant Involves More Than Just Good Food

Expert: Nicholas Lander, Restaurant Correspondent for the Financial Times

18. Never ignore/delete bad online reviews

“Nobody expects a restaurant to always be perfect, but an honest response and quick offer to resolve the situation is what differentiates a good restaurant from a bad one.” (tweet this)

From: 13 Best Practices For Restaurants On Facebook

Expert: Ashley Tyson of 4Food

19. Serve what you know

Kind of like that saying “write what you know.” Food tastes that much better when it comes from a personal experience or passion. Whether its buffalo wings, home-cooked Italian meals or raw foods, the closer you are to the cuisine, the better you’ll be at making it work. (tweet this)

From: Don’t Just Wing It

Experts: Jordan Busch and Sara Sawicki of Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings

20. But never choose sides

“Maharlika is set up in a way that there is a wink and a smile to Filipinos, but a non-Filipino can enjoy the experience and not feel locked out.” (tweet this)

From: Starting A Restaurant On A Budget

Expert: Nicole Ponseca of Maharlika

21. Be your own compass

When creating or shaping your restaurant, think about what would attract you as a customer. Be honest with yourself – would you choose your restaurant over the competition? Until you can say “yes,” keep adjusting according to your own personal dialogue. (tweet this)

From: Chatting With Danny Abrams

Expert: Danny Abrams of the Mermaid Inn

22. Publish a cookbook

“I was struck by how fully and faithfully a chef’s personality can translate from restaurant to page.“ (tweet this)

From: The Power Of Chef Cookbooks

Expert: Frank Bruni, Restaurant Correspondent for The New York Times

23. Stay hungry

Don’t lose steam. Follow the advice of one of the world’s top chefs and restaurant owners.

“Hungry means to try to learn more, always try to work hard, try to understand more from others, don’t be afraid to ask questions, make mistakes and learn from your mistakes.” (tweet this)

From: The Energy Of The Dish

Expert: Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu

24. Be ready to adapt

Especially in such a volatile business environment and economy, there’s no way to predict everything in today’s restaurant business. Owners and managers need to stay flexible and ready to adapt to industry changes. They need to be willing to respond to the unknown. (tweet this)

From: Rocky Waters Of The Restaurant Business

Expert: Bill Chait of Short Order

And we decided to throw in a bonus quote…

25. Know when acknowledge your successes

“As chefs, we are our own worst critics, and we criticize ourselves to death. We don’t often champion our successes so sometimes we have to take a step back, have a glass of champagne and say, ‘look at what we’ve done.’” (tweet this)

From: What’s Next For French Laundry

Expert: Thomas Keller of French Laundry

Did we miss your favorite tip?

Be sure to share your favorite in the comments below!

Photos by Crain’s

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