The Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success

No restaurant can enjoy long-term restaurant success without carefully upholding the Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success. Thanks to years of study and growth, I’ve been able to hack into this success code and am eager to share it with you. My dominant goal in From Rags to Restaurants: The Secret Recipe, is to be of service to you, to help and add value to your restaurant, family, associates, guests and community. I love people. I love this industry, and I love to serve, so it is with great joy I serve as your personal restaurant success hacker. Get ready for a big download of information!

To set the stage for the Five Irrefutable Laws, we must first have context. Our context is strategy, tactics, accountability, results, or STAR.

Restaurant success
Restaurant success

Every action we take in the day-to-day management of our restaurants must be strategic—in other words, part of the plan. Strategy is your plan, plain and simple. Decide what you want to accomplish and write it down. Tactics are simply the activities you will take to achieve your strategy to complete your plan. Accountability is your promise to yourself. Keep it. Results—and this is the crucial factor—is what you review and feed back (or drop if the result is unsatisfactory) into this powerful closed-loop system for continuous improvement. Each time results are fed back into the strategy, the STAR context becomes stronger, more focused and better executed—in other words, more successful.

Within the STAR context, we can now discuss the Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success: leadership, operations, financials, products/services, and marketing.

1. The law of leadership: the ability to influence. Our job as business leaders is to model personal growth and expect successful behavior while we develop and hold ourselves and our associates accountable.

2. The law of operations: every aspect of the business is systematized to efficiently and effectively meet stated goals through planning, policies, procedures, and measured performance.

3. The law of financials: with integrity and diligence, financials and products are tracked, monitored, and adjusted to assure financial health, fitness, and profitability.

4. The law of products/services: our products must be reliable and we must diligently serve our guests and associates with courtesy, appreciation, respect, and kindness.

5. The law of marketing: the business must use multimedia tools to communicate in a timely manner with guests and associates in relevant, meaningful ways.

In the restaurant, guests and associates are the centerpiece of the Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success and live at the focal point, the intersection of the law of leadership, the law of products/services, and the law of marketing. The foundation of the Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success are the law of operations and the law of financials. No business of any kind stands long without strength in those two critical footings.

Successful restaurateurs will see themselves and their restaurants reflected in the image below. Those seeking true restaurant success will find it through building core competencies in each of the Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success.

Restaurant success
Restaurant success


A special thank you to Danny Salerno, my son in law for providing the graphics!

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