The Secret to Restaurant Success, According to Chef Tim Love


Why do some restaurants succeed while others fail? We asked chef Tim Love, behind acclaimed restaurants like the Fort Worth, Texas-based White Elephant Saloon and the Woodshed Smokehouse, for his recipe for success.

For Tim, it boils down to the numbers. "You have 30 percent or below food cost, you have a below 20 percent labor cost [and] you've got a below 10 percent rent," explains Tim. With room in the budget for miscellaneous expenses, Tim says, "that leaves you about 20% left—that's what makes a restaurant successful." Ultimately, a restaurant has got to stay in the green, and a business savvy is essential.

The reason why a restaurant fails is not so cut and dry. Tim says it's tempting to blame one thing or another, from uninspired dishes to poor service, but breaking it down is not the answer.

Check out the slideshow above to discover why Tim Love believes some restaurants fail, what keeps him coming to back to his favorite places to eat, the smartest way to order off the menu and more restaurant insider secrets.

Then, find out 10 things you didn't know about the Western chef, learn the most difficult thing he's encountered in opening his own restaurants, get a behind-the-scenes look at his show Restaurant Startup and take a peek inside his home kitchen!