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Restaurant Success by the Numbers: A Money-guy's Guide to Opening the Next Hot Spot Paperback – 1 Jun 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (1 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580086632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580086639
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Over the years, in talking to some of my clients-both successful operators and people whose businesses have failed-I have found that despite all the horror stories about restaurant failure, far too many people still get into the business because of the romantic aspects. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mixologyhelder on 4 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is nithing out of this world and there is way better books than this one but if you have a small restaurant and you dont want to focus to muh on professionalism, then this book will be great for you since it allows you to go there very fast but not deep enough
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 58 reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Best book there is on the subject! 16 May 2010
By Monica Main - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in the process of starting a sports bar and grille. I have every book I can get my hands on in reference to this topic (including those useless "complete idiot" and "dummy" books). Although this book is geared toward restaurants (and not bars), the book is priceless and chock full of powerful information that anyone going into the restaurant and/or bar business needs to have. The nice part about this book is that it is based off of the author's personal experience and not on a pile of theoretical clap-trap as in most other "how to" books. What I like most about this book is that it goes into detail about the author's individual "case study" experience in reference to a wide variety of directly important restaurant start-up and management topics that allow the reader of the book to use in his or her own restaurant and/or bar experience. If you can only get one book on starting a restaurant (or only have time to read one, as in my case), get this one. It's the only one you really need. It cuts to the chase, gives you the information you need based on REAL experience from the author, and quickly gets down to the nitty-gritty in helping you execute and run your own successful restaurant enterprise.
54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Great info for those thinking about opening an eatery or simply want to know more about the restaurant biz 10 Sept. 2007
By Craig Matteson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Restaurateurs depend on the fact that we all have to eat, and we choose the restaurants that provide us what we want at prices we find attractive. Simple, huh? Far from it. This handy book provides the technical and financial materials that you will need if you are actively planning, dreaming about, or wondered about opening an eatery. I urge you to read this book before you commit yourself or your money to anything specific.

Roger Fields is a CPA who has also opened successful restaurants, sold them, and closed a couple that didn't live up to expectations. His being a numbers guy is very helpful, because most restaurant people come at it from the food and aesthetic side of things. However, this is much more than a numbers book. I don't want to scare you off. The point is, you do need to think about the numbers because the better you get at them, the easier it will be to understand what you need to tweak and measure to give your major investment the best opportunity for success.

The book's 15 chapters are divided into three parts. The first part is "Dreaming for Success" and gives you the basics on evaluating your idea for the restaurant and how to see if you dream has a chance in the real world before you fork over your life's savings. The second part takes up 6 chapters and about half of the book. It is on "Developing the Details" and takes you through the down to earth factors such as menu construction, the practical side of ambiance, what you are going to provide on the table, the bar, and staffing.

The third part is "Down to Business" and provides four chapters on getting the money to open your eatery (from scratch, buying a closed operation, or buying one that is already working), what you need to understand about getting the business open, how to let people know about it in a way that they want to check you out, and what you need to know about opening day and the months and years afterwards.

This book is also interesting for folks like me who never plan on opening a restaurant but want to know what really goes on in those places we enjoy eating at and what it takes to make them work. The book is very practically written with clear language and almost no numbers. However, it is about business and if you are going to be in business, this is material you really have to know. This is a great handbook for you and will help you support your dreams and ambitions with a practical structure.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Best restaurant book I've seen 25 Sept. 2008
By remke44 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roger Fields knows his stuff, and he presents it in a smart, readable way. I've looked at many books on starting a restaurant and this is the best I've read. I'm a business guy, so I appreciated the details on estimating income and expenses, and forecasting break-even. The book also has lots of great information on developing a concept, getting financing, building out your space, developing the menu, and marketing to customers. I do wish there was more info on how to properly staff -- how to manage shifts, account for no-shows, etc.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Reality Check for Dreamers 25 July 2011
By Bomb Man58 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently read an article about a number of professional people who were thinking about going into the restaurant business as a 'sea change' after watching a cooking 'reality show' that gradually eliminates the contestants as the weeks progress. Apparently, according to this article, some people do attempt opening up their own restaurant after spending some time day-dreaming about it.

Author Roger Fields was once a Certified Practicing Accountant who changed from accounting to managing restaurants and he writes about his experiences in completing that change.

In this book the author aims to bring such dreamers firmly back to reality by making some early jabs like: 'An Even Brighter Future'; 'Do the Math'; 'The Romance of it All'; 'The X Factor' and 'If Only I'd Known Then'. These sections are early flags to the wistful dreamer to read...Chapter One commences by observing: "...far too many still get into the business because of the romantic aspects..."

From here the author takes the reader through the hard yards of establishing a restaurant, focusing on such topics as: Establishing what your restaurant will provide in terms of food-a speciality restaurant, fine eating, or just a plain eating place. He then looks at other critical considerations like where you will locate, the type of clientele you hope to attract, decor of the business, setting out how many tables and layout, furniture, crockery, table settings, glassware and establishing the kitchen.

Other considerations are training the staff who will work there, security of money, prevention on theft, wastage, portion sizes, food concepts, do you need a chef? Together with other considerations to give you the competitive edge.

I liked this book because it gives the wistful dreamer a short, sharp jab of reality from the opening paragraphs, then continuously highlights the need to avoid dismay through prior planning and preparation, mixed with a good dose of awareness.

For someone new to the game, trying to sit down and think through all the likely problems of opening up a restaurant will vary from person to person, depending upon their previous experiences and background. This book lays it all out on the table and is recommended reading particularly for those people who probably gaze off into the far distance and dream of running a restaurant without considering all the facts beforehand.

The book is divided into three main parts: 'Dreamining of Success' that covers the concept, target customer market, location of the restaurant and estimating your turnover balanced with what you will be expected to pay out.

The second section looks at 'Developing the Details'-menu, ambience, the bar, the kitchen and the people who will work in the business.

The last section 'Getting Down to Business' examines getting the money to set up, setting your restaurant up and going beyond your opening day.

In summary, a well thought out and written book, full of great advice from someone who has transitioned from another profession into the restaurant business. This book is a practical guide for anyone contemplating opening any type of a restaurant, who thinks that opening one is simply just throwing a table cloth over a few tables and waiting for the crowds to surge in. It is hard work and many of these places do close because the owners didn't think things through to the n th degree. Well recommended for those witful dreamers. Well done, Roger Fields!
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
THIS IS A GREAT BOOK! 16 Aug. 2007
By Patrick J. Pawelek - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a comprehensive manual for starting and operating your own restaurant, all the while being succesful. Having been in the restaurant business for about 11 years now, I have never found such a complete resource. Fields points to many key factors that are necessary to consider at every step of the process. The read is very easy and entertaining. It is accesible to the business-novice and anyone who might be curious as to what it takes to start your own succesful establishment!! Five Stars!
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