What is in this article?:
- Make your restaurant a dining destination
- The importance of staff
This is part of Restaurant Hospitality’s special coverage of the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival held in Miami Beach, Fla., Feb. 21-24.
The importance of staff
Besh: Your staff is vital. As a business owner, you have to create a culture that surrounds the idea of taking care of others. That, ultimately, is what we do. You can't have people working for you who don't understand that.
Izard: As a chef, I could not longer be simply focused on the food. I had to know all the numbers associated with opening a restaurant.
Kunkel: That's right. Just because you have a line of customers out the door doesn't mean you'll make money. You have to know how to do a P & L, and you have to know how to control your food and labor costs.
Besh: After I opened restaurant number one I swore I wouldn't open another one. But I did, and going from one restaurant to three was far more difficult than going from three to nine restaurants. After you've opened several restaurants, all your controls are in place, but getting there isn't easy.
Izard: For me the hardest thing about opening the second restaurant was how I would divide my time between the two.
How difficult is it finding qualified culinary help?
Besh: We have more qualified cooks than ever before. We are a more mature culinary country and the impact that chefs like Emeril [Lagasse] and Wolfgang [Puck] have had in driving others to culinary schools can't be underestimated.
Kunkel: True, but the key is finding a chef who will fit into your culture.
Besh: Ultimately, what we all do is making a living making people happy. If you can do that and understand the business side, you'll be a success no matter where your restaurants are located.
Restaurant Hospitality editor Michael Sanson reported live from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach, Fla., Feb. 21-24. The event, now in its 12th year, attracted more than 60,000 attendees, 150 celebrated chefs, and 250 wineries and spirits producers. A component of the festival is several trade talks designed specifically for restaurant operators. Sanson’s reports from South Beach focus on those talks and interviews with top chefs attending the event.