Practical How-to Information for Restaurant Managers, Owners and Operators Who Are Serious About Succeeding in the Business


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crewRESTAURANT STARTUP & GROWTH magazine is dedicated to presenting the BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES in all aspects of running an independent restaurant business.

Founded in 2003, Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine is owned by RS&G, LLC, a subsidiary of Specialized Publications Company, Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the official magazine of


Achieving Extraordinary Results With Ordinary People | How to Unleash the Power of Culture & Systems | How to Create More Loyal Guests & Positive WOM

workshopIn less than 5 weeks,, the official website of Restaurant Startup & Growth will be conducting a special 3-day workshop for a small group of independent restaurant owners and their key decision makers in San Antonio, Texas. This event is for operators who have already created a good restaurant business but now have a strong desire to become even better and achieve significantly better results.

CLICK HERE on the link below for more information.…/2015-Workshop-Achieving-Ex…

If you have any interest in attending, please let us know and we will be happy to hold a spot(s) for you while you make plans. This workshop sold out in January and we only have a few spots remaining. We encourage you to go to the workshop information page and let us know if you have any questions.

 Our 2015 Covers

(Did you miss one of these issues? Call 816-741-5151 for article reprints or back copies.)

If you own, operate or manage an independent restaurant or emerging chain — or are thinking of getting into the business — click here to sign up for a free trial subscription. Click here to learn more about

busy kitchen

The definition of efficient prep work changes by day part. The basics are the same for each meal, but to really cut costs you need to look at the specific challenges of breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Here are some tips.


Food trucks can adapt naturally to catered events and boost sales; however, attracting and keeping clients might require a new perspective and skill set. Read how catering can increase food truck operation sales and profitability.


i9As a restaurateur, your business is an easy mark for an I-9 audit. An experienced immigration attorney explains why this is the case and how best to prepare for and survive one.

franksAs the #1 hot sauce brand, Frank’s® RedHot® Sauce continues to evolve with consumers’ demands. Frank’s® RedHot® Sriracha Chili Sauce and Frank’s® RedHot Asian Sweet Ginger Sauce were created to tap into the latest trends and satisfy consumers’ desire to experiment with flavors. Learn more about Frank’s RedHot Sauce…

Think you had problems in the startup phase? This owner made proverbial lemonade out of lemons!MarchRSG2015BBR1

The Bar & Grill of Merriam KS is a recently opened concept that encountered aggravating and pleasant surprises during the launch. The owner found a way to leverage the latter.

Cafe Sol3The hydroponic herb garden in the front window of Café Sol in downtown Grand Junction Colorado casts an eerie glow in the evening hours …

…just enough to draw the curious to the window and create some conversation about the new restaurant inside. “It was totally by accident, but the herb garden in the window is the best brand advertising we have going,” says chef and owner Nick Santos.

cHILIMember and reader Mark Keilhoz, operator of a Skyline Chili franchise, knows that restaurant operations require supervision and constant scrutiny. He found a variety of tools on that, along with many other benefits, help him keep track of the small details that make a big difference to his bottom line. For member and reader Patrick Saurette, the owner of the Marc RestauraMarcnt Group Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — operator of the four-year-old Marc Restaurant, a French bistro — the resources he discovered on have added some much needed focus and perspective particularly during this startup phase

Member and reader Misty Young and her husband Gary used the balance of their savings and cashed in their retirement accounts to purchase a small, 45-seat breakfast café in Truckee, CA. With no restaurant experience, they put it all, and then some, on the line.

MistyYoungTheir story, as told by their eldest daughter, Shila, is as heartwarming and inspiring as it is instructive. What they lacked in resources they more than made up for in resourcefulness, hard work and dogged determination. See how they pulled together as a family to create so much more than “just” a successful family business.

THE RESTAURANT OWNER’S LIFE… Good BusinessLate-night insights, random musings and ironic humor on the never-ending challenges of independent restaurant ownership by the editors of Restaurant Startup & Growth.  A blog…

WHAT OUR READERS ARE BUILDING, BUYING & REMODELING… Crafted Tap House is living up to the owner’s dreams and attention to detail. Coeur d’Alene-area guests have responded well to a locally sourced menu that features healthy options named for those who excelled at their craft. CraftedIn Kansas City, MO, Rob Magee, a native of New York and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, considered numerous concepts and ideas based on the communities in which he lived as he progressed through his career. Q39Finally, after about 15 years in Kansas City — known for its barbecue — he decided on barbecue, and launched Q39.


Why does a legendary rock star, still at the top of his popularity as a performer, launch an independent restaurant?


Mick Fleetwood explains his attraction to the business, and his vision for his concept…

AJCleared for takeoff. Concessions International President R. Anthony Joseph believes there’s never been a better time for local independent restaurants to win airport concession locations. JohnSergiThink wine. John Sergi, chief design officer for Centerplate, talks to Restaurant Startup & Growth about boosting wine sales in the independent restaurant. RobsonStartup: The next generation. Stephani Robson teaches some of the best and brightest hospitality management students in the country at Cornell University. In turn, these young future operators provide her with an education on how their generation looks at the restaurant business and what they hope to offer their peers.

MENU MAKEOVER… menuMenu engineering basics: How to make your menu your top salesperson. If you consider your menu simply a decorative price list, you’re grossly underestimating its value. A menu is your most powerful merchandising tool. Everything that makes your restaurant special and profitable flows from the pages of your menu — your atmosphere, concept, pricing and cost-control strategy, and service ethic. Couple an effective menu with a well-trained service staff that interacts effectively with guests and you’ve got a winning combination. Here are the basics… MenuMistakesIf your menu is broke, fix it! Here are 10 menu design mistakes you might be making in your restaurant and how to fix them… The Zen of Menu Sizing — How to Know if You Have the Right Number of Items on Your Menu. It is a philosophical question every independent operator needs to contemplate. When it comes to the number of choices on a menu, is it better to have a something-for-everyone smorgasbord or a laser-focused list?

PurpleCowMARKETING MATTERS… What’s your purple cow? You knew going into this business as a restaurant startup that the restaurant market is crowded with competition. What is it about your restaurant that puts it in a class of its own? Here are ways to differentiate your independent restaurant... YelpAre Yelp and other online reviews giving you headaches? Here are some tips on how to manage them more effectively.

SpecialsCHEF TRAINING AND KITCHEN MANAGEMENT… Menu ‘specials’ can develop and transform your menu. There is a reason your guests want to know about the specials. Using them more effectively to create interest that drives repeat patronage and profits… How to make your dishes visual as well as gastronomic successes? Guests expect to be wowed by your presentation, leaving chefs wondering where to turn next. With all the new food “bling-bling” flashing around today’s kitchens and menus, figuring out what makes the plate perform best for the concept, the guest and the bottom line is indeed a challenge. KGraphleadA busy kitchen can be chaos or a beautiful performance. Here, we look at the basics of organizing your kitchen for maximum efficiency.

IT’S THE LAW… To ensure “tip” revenue from customers who historically do not leave sufficient tips, some restaurants would assess an “automatic gratuity”. Whether these practices turn a “tip” into a “service charge,” has several tax and wage-and-hour implications. This is not exactly late-breaking news; however, it seems to be a source of confusion among operators. Do you “get it”?tipping

OperatorsYou have a good restaurant. Now, turn it into a great business. There’s a lot of truth in the statement, “opening a restaurant is the easy part, the real challenge is making money at it.” Turn your good restaurant into a great business...

busy kitchenWhy do some restaurants fail? It is important for independent operators to evaluate the risk factors for restaurant startup failure in light of their own businesses, and correct problems before they become fatal. Here are some key reasons restaurants fail, and how to avoid their problems...



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USARThe quality and expertise of  Restaurant Startup & Growth’s content has been recognized by industry leaders, including the National Restaurant Association. Our staff edited the most recent version of the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants, the benchmark accounting and financial reference in the U.S. restaurant industry.

Want to Change Your Results? Watch the recording of the webinar entitled, “Ordinary to Extraordinary: How to Transform Your Restaurant Into a World-Class Business”.