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  • M J Flanagan

Hospitality, Restaurant & Hotel Books - Top Ten Best (Part One)

Having worked in Hospitality for over 30 years, it will always be my first love. The magical world that somehow turns chaos into incredible experiences. I believe whole heartedly that it is the best industry in the work in, it is hot, heavy, sexy, fun, hard work, and gloriously bonkers. I have chosen each of these books because they are my favourites however it was hard to choose as there are so many more, please watch out for my second blog coming soon. The stories and lesson in these books will help those in hospitality become even better as they will be learning from the best and for those not in hospitality it is a fascinating insight into what makes hotels, restaurants, and bars so successful. During lockdown I interviewed thirty hospitality professionals in the UK and many ( not all, as some of them were published after 2020) were on their what is your favourite book list.






















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Owner of Eleven Maddison NYC, Will Guidara shares how he and Daniel Humm created the top restaurant in the world. his lessons in customer experience, leadership, team building and personal growth will motivate and inspire you. I have already read it twice and it has become THE hospitality, restaurant book to read. You will be able to use his stories to illustrate excellence, the importance of putting the guest ( customer) first, and how to over come disappointments and failures.

A must read for every hospitality or customer service professional





The Heart of Hospitality is a hospitality management resource like no other, put together by leading customer service expert Micah Solomon, a regular contributor to Forbes. Filled with exclusive, first-hand stories and wisdom from the top professionals in the industry. Micah gathers their wisdom on how to deliver excellence, formulate a plan for success, hiring and keeping the right people and how to over come obstacles. Although American he interviews titans of the hospitality, restaurant and bar industries. Grab a highlighter, some index post its and start learning from the best, through practical examples and stories.




If you loved Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, you'll love this.

This is so relatable to anyone who works in Catering not just about relationships between staff but of guests as well. Edward Chisholm’s skill with descriptive prose is outstanding. The way the characters are described I felt I knew them all, he conjures up visions of Paris which made me feel I was right there, beside him in the restaurant, walking the streets or in the bars at night. There’s humour too at times making me laugh out loud. You will not be able to put it down, I love it.




Many join hospitality as they love people, they are not mathematicians and don't do numbers. However to get ahead, understanding even the financial basics is crucial. David's book demystifies the finances in a way you can understand. A must read for anyone moving up the ladder or opening your own hospitality business in restaurants, bars and hotels and wants to have a more commercial outlook. The Prosperous Hotelier will help you master those basics and then take you as deep as you want to go. You just have to decide you can and get started!




The Bar Shift - Dave Nizel and Dave Domzalski


Every bar or food and beverage manager or prospective manager should read this. A very easy read with short chapters that don’t waffle on and tell you exactly how things are. In it's 41 lessons it gives a framework for leadership, understanding the financials, setting operation standards, managing people, guest service and being more resilient. Although an American book it is still relevant in the UK. With a 4.5 rating others agree.






I loved this book, although Victoria honed her career and became a sommelier in the US, you can still relate to her stories, the service examples and how as a female in a male dominated sector of the industry overcame prejudice and discrimination. There are so many service lessons and nuggets of inspiration you can use to inspire your own team I suggest you grab a highlighter and some index tabs and get reading. above all it is a great, easy read, one for the holiday.







Hospitality from Within dives into the foundation of what it takes to deliver thoughtful and genuine service. Created by hospitality expert Sarah Dandashy, this book explores the nuances of service, what it means to form real connections with guests and colleagues, and provides the emotional framework to effectively build these relationships. You'll learn The seven pillars of hospitality, applicable lessons and tips on working with guests

Lessons and quotes from some of the industry’s top concierge and professionals around the world.





Following his untimely death, his long time assistant Laurie has interviewed nearly a hundred of the people who shared Tony's orbit in order to piece together a remarkably full, vivid, and nuanced vision of Tony's life and work. From his childhood and teenage days, to his early years in New York, through the genesis of his game-changing memoir Kitchen Confidential to his emergence into fame and notoriety, and in the words of friends and colleagues as well as his family, we see the many sides of Tony - his motivations, his ambivalence, his vulnerability, his blind spots, and his brilliance. Deeply intimate, featuring a treasure trove of photos, Bourdain: In Stories is a testament to the life of a remarkable man in the words of the people who shared his world.





The must have hospitality book! restauranteur Danny Meyer shares his journey when opening his highly successful Union City restaurant group. It is a guide book for every hospitality professional on how to deliver exceptional service, build an amazing team, over come obstacles, deal with pressure and develop a consistently good product. He uses stories to inform us, it is honest, pragmatic and relatable with a wealth of lessons he has learnt along the way. I would pair this with Unreasonable Hospitality as Will Guidara started his career with Danny Meyer so it is almost like the next chapter.





Sous Chef takes you behind the scenes of a busy restaurant kitchen, putting you in chef's shoes for an intense, high-octane twenty-four hours. Follow him from the moment he opens the kitchen in the morning, as he guides you through the meticulous preparation, the camaraderie in the hours leading up to service and the adrenalin-rush as the orders start coming in. Thrilling, addictive and bursting with mouth-watering detail, this searingly honest depiction of a day in the life of a chef is so relatable, as must read for foodies, front of house and would be head chefs.

























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