Cooking up success!

August 16, 2013 07:53 pm

Misty Young. The Pilot/Don Iler
Misty Young. The Pilot/Don Iler
Misty Young always knew she had a book in her. 

After expanding the Squeeze In, her breakfast restaurant in Truckee, Calif., from one location to several around Reno, Nev., Young knew she wanted to share the knowledge she had gained while turning her business into a success story. 

At the same time, her success was being recognized throughout the country on websites, television and in a variety of magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She even competed in the “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network. 

Young sat at her computer in front of a large picture window at her house overlooking the ocean in Harbor, and started typing away, finishing her book, “From Rags to Restaurants: The Secret Recipe,” in nine months. 

Young has lived in Harbor with her husband Gary since February 2011, leaving the day-to-day operation of the restaurants to her daughter and son-in-law in Nevada. The couple check in on the business regularly; that is when Misty is not traveling around the country for interviews or training seminars. 

The Youngs moved to Harbor because she says “it’s the greatest town in the world.”

“People don’t seem pretentious; we really love it,” Young said. “We tell our friends who don’t know Brookings that we live in a maritime fishing village on the deep southern Oregon coast, and they always schedule a visit immediately.”

The book, which was released in July, is loaded with tips and advice for restaurant owners to help their business, as well as Young’s story about her road to success. 

By using examples that helped make her restaurant successful, Young shows how restaurant owners can tackle the problems that prevent them from making their business thrive and increase sales. 

“So many restaurant owners are hurting,” Young said. “There’s not a restaurant school to teach you how to be successful. So many struggle.”

Young said by taking action and following her “five irrefutable laws of restaurant success,” owners can have the tools to make their business successful. She says owners need to provide leadership, systematized operations, tracked and monitored financials, reliable products and services and use marketing to communicate to guests and workers about the restaurant. 

Young said that by focusing on the systems behind the restaurant and its operations, owners can measure and report on what is happening, and in turn increase the success of the restaurant. 

For example, after buying the Squeeze In, Young looked at the systems behind the restaurant and pinpointed giving away for free the salsa made in house was hurting the bottom line. So she began charging extra for the salsa, which at first provoked resistance. Eventually she got her employees to get on board with charging for the salsa.

Young also said that employers need to take care of your customers, but also need to take care of their employees, by being a good listener and treating them with kindness and compassion. 

While writing the book, Young laid out parts of the book on a counter, helping her to visualize it. 

“Writing a book is a big deal. It’s weird exciting and tough,” Young said.