A book that not only goes behind the scene and through the kitchen, but into the metrics that distinguish a thriving restaurant from a floundering one.
As the founder of Avero, Mogavero provides data and analysis to thousands of restaurants worldwide, and he demonstrates how crunching the numbers need not be an impediment to culinary achievement. To the contrary, he writes, “I have told you something of a white lie in saying that this book is about data. It’s really about creativity.” He makes persuasive arguments that some of the best restaurants in the country—in one particularly interesting chapter, he cites the Brennan family of New Orleans fame—make creative use of data to enhance the customer’s satisfaction in an extraordinary dining experience. Though the various chapters seem more like independent pieces than a cohesive whole (more of a buffet than a multicourse meal), the ones that give the book its title are most revelatory, as Mogavero guides readers on “a tour [that] has taken on the lore of legend for foodies, long whispered about but never penetrated by journalists or other outsiders.” Each year, he invites a party of various movers and shakers in the restaurant industry to blitz through the New York City dining scene, hitting a bunch of places—from high end to food trucks—that are doing something particularly interesting or innovative. The guests are generally begging for mercy long before the eating and drinking stops, though the experience is easier to digest on the page, and the insights help point to what diners across the country are likely to appreciate next. As the author explains, because of the ubiquity of food blogs, other sites, and social media, “trends that used to take twenty years to go mainstream now take 12 months.”
Mogavero provides a surfeit of palate-cleansing insight.