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Book review – Five Essential Ingredients For Business Success

14 September 2012 by
Book review – Five Essential Ingredients For Business Success

Five Essential Ingredients For Business Success
By Chris Parker
Ardra Press, £14.99
ISBN 978-0-9548678-7-4

The problem with so many business manuals is that they can actually be rather boring, providing little to truly engage or inspire the reader. For most people pursuing a career in hospitality, the reality is that the best way to see how a business should operate is by learning on the job - rather than reading about it.

What Chris Parker does in his new book is provide the reader with the next best thing to working in a successful environment - he gives an insight into the day-to-day operation of not just one, but three of the UK's greatest restaurants and hotels: Gidleigh Park, Le Manoir au Quat'Saisons and the Waterside Inn.

Thankfully, the narrative from Parker - a management trainer and lecturer in sport and leisure management at Nottingham Trent University - is quite unlike the dry prose I have read in other business books. Instead, through a plethora of brilliant anecdotes combined with an introduction to the inspiring cast of characters who run each business, he gets under the skin of the three exemplary properties to discover what makes each one tick.

At the heart of the book are the five ingredients which Parker highlights as being essential for business success. They are not necessarily the only essential elements to create a sound business - for instance, Parker, recognises that great financial management would be another one which he doesn't delve into here. However, it is his belief that if the five ingredients he focuses on are in place, then it is more likely that financial success will follow.

In emphasising the importance of each ingredient - passion; knowing who you are and making sure everyone else does too; identifying how your location positively influences your business; learning everything you can about your customers; and understanding and exceeding customers' expectations - Parker uses the three businesses to bring each point vividly to life.

The result is a thought-provoking read which is both entertaining and educational. Anyone interested in making their way in business - whether in hospitality or any other sector - cannot fail to be inspired.

If you like Five Essential Ingredients, you'll also enjoy this:
The Art of the Restaurateur Nicholas Lander

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

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