TOP 3 Successful Restaurant Traits That Other Businesses Can Learn From


The Restaurant industry is and will always be “tough” (see also “hard”, “impossible”, “unforgiving”, “just don’t do it”).

My response to those that remind me of this industry “fact” is inevitably "Show me an industry that isn’t competitive and I will show you a crowded market.” The reality is that the restaurant industry is extremely challenging but that doesn’t mean that it is any different from any other industry out there.

The rules in which the worlds best restaurants live by can and should be adopted by those who wish to be some of the worlds top businesses. The dynamic and demanding nature of the restaurant industry is such a pivotal testing ground for what works and what doesn’t in business.

All other industries that exist would be very smart to keep a keen eye on the data and information produced by this industry as it tells us so much about consumer habits, human behaviour and psychology, and of course how to head into the fray when all those around you are running for the hills

Here are my TOP THREE successful restaurant traits that other businesses can learn from:


    If you’re a fast food joint and you love being a fast food joint, do that and do it better than anyone else, whatever that looks like to you. To give some context here is what I believe fast food is not; it is not white table cloths, it is not lit candles, it is not fine wines, it is not a heavily researched and executed cocktail list and it is not a spot where guests can expect to have their car valeted. That just isn’t fast food, and that is OK and it’s actually awesome. Those fast food spots that embrace everything about fast food from the initial vision of their concept and it’s day to day execution, they are the spots that are packed on the daily because they speak to a niche and their customers know what they are going to get from them every single time. They are being authentic, consistently authentic. This can and should be copied and implemented by other businesses and other industries. When the core values of your business, and your “why” are authentic and real, and unwavering you will not only be able to have a clear vision for your business but you will also speak to a very broad audience that will love and appreciate your authenticity. Be 100% authentically you.


The restaurants that are your go-to’s, you know the ones when you have friends visiting your city you cannot wait to introduce them to? These are the ones with the systems and processes in place that allow them to knock it out of the park on the daily. Sure ALL businesses, especially restaurants have systems and procedures, right? Yes that is probably a very accurate statement, however how many of those businesses, or specifically restaurants, are as sharp today as they were on day 1 when they opened? How often are the assessing and reassessing their business systems and procedures? The restaurants that are recognized as being some of the best in the world do this so very well. They do systems and procedures as well as they cook pasta (…because their is likely a system and procedure for that). The key to success in business, especially restaurants is a very well thought out and executed set of systems and procedures that is consistent. It is all a big machine, and that machine runs on a set of efficiencies, efficiencies that even when they fail, there is a procedure for that. The commitment to the given restaurants systems and procedures will directly impact it’s success and longevity. Those in other industries can take a lesson from so many of the incredible amount of diverse demands on a restaurant and just watch how it reacts, the really good ones especially, they will blow you away with how well they operate in all situations.


Simply put the restaurants that are committed to numbers 1 and 2 above are the ones that you will be reading about in the “Cities Best” feature in your local paper. These business teach us a lot but especially the dramatic difference between being interested in something vs. being committed to it. In ALL business this is a complete game changer, yet again I feel like restaurants showcase this better than any other industry. A restaurant and it’s leadership team that is committed to having a 100 mile menu, or committed to not using animal proteins on their menu are taking a stand for something very definitive, and to do that and be successful you have to be and stay committed. Being “interested” just won’t work. Look at all of the restaurants that open with a bang and then 12 months later they are gone, why is that? Sure there are numerous variables at play here but to me so many of these open and close stories are made up of people that were very interested in the idea of owning and operating a restaurant, but not truly committed to it. Unfortunately that “interest” will undoubtedly wane, and when it does those businesses, their employees, and their customers suffer. Committing to your business is imperative for it’s success. Show me a restaurateur that truly loves food, wine, people, art, music, farming, people and entertaining and is committed to fuelling that fire, and I will show you the recipe for a world class restaurant and a very successful business.

The restaurant industry is an interesting and ever-changing experiment that I am very happy to be a part of and I love working with my clients to ensure ALL of the above are actioned in their business every single day. And while it can get tiring for those that are constantly working above and beyond their means, I promise if you exhaust the THREE actionable items up above you will be well on your way to success in business and in life overall.


***I am currently accepting clients for my Spring & Summer sessions so be sure to fill out the CONTACT ME form to set up a time to discuss working together.***