At Perfect Venue, we know that running a restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart! The long shifts and intricacies of owning and managing a restaurant can intimidate even the most seasoned restauranteurs. But with the right tools and motivation, you can ensure that your eatery is a viable business.
While there is no one ‘right way’ of running a restaurant, it can be helpful to gain valuable insight from industry giants and experts. One of the easiest ways to access their knowledge base is through the top restaurant management books on the market. If you’re ready to elevate your managerial game, our list of top restaurant management books is worth glancing through.
What Can You Learn From Restaurant Management Books?
When you open a restaurant, there is no one guide to success. But, with the right advice, attitude, and approach, you can give yourself a good starting point from which to work.
Even if you’ve been in the restaurant industry a while, it’s always good to get different perspectives from people who have succeeded and failed before you. It can open you up to doing things differently, which might be just the shake-up your business needs.
One of the places to turn to get expert information or help with framing your mindset is from industry professionals or mentors who have walked the path you’re going down. Many write books about their experience as a way of sharing valuable advice with up-and-coming entrepreneurs seeking to make their mark in the industry.
The information in these books can provide guidance and insights on various aspects of business. It can help you get started in the industry or reshape your restaurant business to ensure it flourishes. You can also think of these books as a restaurant manager’s handbook with tips on what to do - and what mistakes to avoid.
There’s no way to know everything about running your restaurant. A lot of your success will come through trial and error. But, if you’re equipped with a library of tried and tested information, you’ll be able to navigate hardships and establish a booming business.
14 Best Restaurant Management Books to Read
1. Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer
Danny Meyer is a critically-acclaimed restauranteur and the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group. In his book, he shares his years of expert knowledge to help restaurant owners succeed based on his ideas of ‘Enlightened Hospitality.’
Your staff and customers are the cornerstones of your restaurant. Meyer uses his Enlightened Hospitality philosophy to show how building good relationships with your employees and guests can help transform your restaurant business and ensure its long-term success.
Meyer also emphasizes the importance of putting your customers first and engaging with your staff to create a restaurant with phenomenal service delivery. After all, the customer is always right!
This book is great for new restauranteurs and established restaurant owners who want their business to stand head and shoulders above the rest of their competition within the restaurant industry.
2. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain’s memoir is filled with more than 20 years of restaurant experience. From learning the basics to earning his title as a restauranteur, Bourdain’s book is a tell-all about the hardships - and positives - within the restaurant industry.
Bourdain’s straight-talking approach leaves nothing to the imagination, and he gives budding restaurant managers a behind-the-scenes look at what restaurant management and ownership are really like.
Filled with tales of his personal failures and triumphs, Bourdain’s passion for the restaurant industry will inspire any restaurant manager to take their business to new heights.
3. Restaurant Success by the Numbers by Roger Fields
Part of becoming a successful restauranteur is making your business more financially efficient. Even with fantastic food and exceptional customer service, most restaurants fail within a year of opening. Luckily, ex-accountant Roger Fields has written one of the best restaurant management books to help restaurant owners grasp the ins and outs of creating a financially secure business.
Although it specifically targets aspiring restauranteurs, Fields’ restaurant management book is a must-read for even the most experienced restaurant owner. The book contains tips for opening a successful restaurant, staff management, and increasing your profit margin to keep your successful food service operation’s doors open.
4. Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire by Barbara Lynch
Winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for exceptional work within the culinary and hospitality fields, industry giant Barbara Lynch’s memoir is one book you need on your bookshelf this year. This enthralling read details Lynch’s life - from her colorful childhood to getting her start within the restaurant industry.
Lynch’s fierce dedication and passion for the culinary arts is an inspiration to aspiring restauranteurs and will help to inspire restaurant managers and owners everywhere. Filled with the highs and lows in the hospitality industry, Lynch tells it like it is and doesn’t hold anything back.
5. Front of the House: Restaurant Manners, Misbehaviors & Secrets by Jeff Benjamin
If you have any experience as a restaurant owner, you’ll know just how different front-of-house and back-of-house operations are. While most restauranteurs worry about keeping their kitchen running smoothly, Jeff Benjamin’s book explains the importance of running a tight front-of-house ship.
Benjamin masterfully gives readers insight into how restaurant owners can get a leg up by focusing on the customer. His tips, tricks, and industry secrets will help restauranteurs to excel in customer service and turn first-time diners into regulars.
This book covers important but often overlooked aspects of restaurant management, like staff management and customer satisfaction. It teaches restaurant owners how to create an exceptional front-of-house experience for guests, servers, and managers alike.
6. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
This must-read for restauranteurs is a memoir of the life of world-renowned chef Gabrielle Hamilton. If you’re looking for a motivational book to inspire you, this is it! Hamilton’s honest and daring take on her career and what it took to become an industry legend details her humble beginnings in her family’s kitchen and how her drive and dedication launched her success.
From her childhood kitchen, Hamilton’s passion has taken her to kitchens all over the world, including Turkey and Greece. She is also now a successful restaurant owner with a popular New York restaurant.
Whether you’re looking for encouragement or simply want an easy read, Hamilton’s memoir is a fantastic read for anyone in the restaurant industry.
7. Restaurant Owners Uncorked: Twenty Owners Share Their Recipes for Success by Will Brawley
There’s no better way to learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry than by consulting the experts. In this book, more than twenty owners of successful restaurants share their trade secrets to help budding restauranteurs.
These experts share the secrets behind their accomplishments and achievements within the hospitality industry and explain what to do - and what not to do - in order to come out on top. They also share the highs and lows of working in the restaurant industry and cover everything from menu design to employee management.
8. The Restaurant Manager’s Handbook by Douglas Robert Brown
No list of the best restaurant management books would be complete without this award-winning pick. This book is an essential guide for restauranteurs, both new and old, and is the holy grail of restaurant management!
Brown’s handbook into the restaurant industry covers everything from finances to management styles, menu planning, and even sourcing your ingredients. It contains a comprehensive and exhaustive list of tips and tricks on owning, running, and managing a restaurant.
This book is an excellent introduction to the restaurant industry for newbies, but it can also help established restaurant owners to refresh their businesses and elevate their skills.
9. Making the Cut: What Separates the Best From the Rest by Chris Hill
Chris Hill is well-known for his managerial and business acumen and has achieved incredible success in the restaurant industry. His book is a fantastic resource for anyone serious about furthering their career in the sector.
Restaurant managers can find invaluable advice and top industry tips in his collection of tales. Gathered from real individuals he has met on his road to success, these stories from hospitality workers and experts will help to encourage restauranteurs to improve their skills and elevate their businesses.
10. How to Rock Restaurant Management by Katelyn Silva
Katelyn Silva is an expert in all things restaurant management. So it’s no wonder her book is on every restauranteur’s reading list! Restaurant management is a demanding and often thankless job. It can be tough to stick it out through long shifts. But with this book, you’ll be managing your restaurant and staff like a pro.
Silva’s book will help teach restaurant managers how to streamline their operations, so they can focus on turning a profit and watching customers line up outside their restaurant’s doors. How To Rock Restaurant Management compiles everything you need to know about taking a leadership role within your business and how to use your new organizational skills to your advantage.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in the business for a few years, Silva’s book is one of our top resources for finding success.
11. Without Reservations by J.W. Marriott
When you think of the name ‘Marriott,’ you think of success! Without Reservations is the inspiring tale of how the Marriott brand got its start. It’s also filled with tons of important insight for anyone working in hospitality.
The book outlines the triumphs and hardships that hotel tycoon Bill Marriott faced on his road to fame and gives restaurant owners an inside look into what it takes to excel in an often cutthroat industry. Marriott also focuses on the key to his family’s success: the people!
Whether you’re managing a high-end restaurant or a smaller local eatery, there’s nothing more important than keeping your staff and customers happy.
12. Delivering The Digital Restaurant by Meredith Sandland & Carl Orsbourn
In our fast-paced modern society, keeping up with new technologies and ever-evolving standards can be tricky. But if you want to keep your business running smoothly, your restaurant needs to be equipped to adapt to change.
Delivering the Digital Restaurant is an important read for restauranteurs looking for a fresh perspective and insight into the digital age and how it affects the hospitality sector. Staying relevant is an integral part of keeping up with your competitors, too.
So if you want a leg-up on the competition, it’s time to settle in and get reading!
13. The Secrets to Restaurant Management and Staff Training by Christine J. Lueders
Christine Leuders has a wealth of knowledge to share with aspiring restauranteurs. With over 30 years of experience, Lueders has developed a knack for training and educating restaurant owners on how to streamline their business and improve their managerial skills.
In The Secrets to Restaurant Management and Staff Training, Leuders shares her knowledge and industry secrets to running a prosperous business. She also highlights the lack of employee and manager relationships within the industry and how to effectively form these relationships for the betterment of your business. Your employees are the backbone of your business, so it's essential to support and encourage them.
14. How to Start, Run & Grow a Successful Restaurant Business by Tim Hoffman
If you're new to the restaurant business, this is one of the best books on restaurant management! Although owning a restaurant can have challenges, Hoffman's in-depth guide to opening a restaurant and laying the foundation for a successful business will help you start on the right note.
This book examines the vital aspects of operating a restaurant - from creating a concept and understanding finances to hiring your first team of superstar employees; this pick has it all! It contains all the tools you’ll need to execute your dream of owning and running one of the best restaurants around.
With our list of the top restaurant management books in 2022, your reading list will be chock-full of valuable tips, tricks, and tools to take your restaurant to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for years, there’s always something to learn.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get reading! For more restaurant business tips and insights, keep an eye out on the Perfect Venue blog.