Mrs. Rowe’s Top Ten Restaurant Business Rules

Mrs. Rowe had no formal business or culinary education.
Yet, when her first husband left her in 1946 with three small children, she
started her own restaurant in Goshen, Va., which was so successful that she
paid off her loan within six years. In 1952, she joined forces with her new husband,
Willard Rowe, whose restaurant in Staunton was failing. It was saved
by Mildred’s innate business sense and culinary acumen. Today, Mrs. Rowe’s
Restaurant, Staunton, Va., is a multimillion dollar operation serving more than
half-million customers a year.

 Here are Mrs. Rowe’s top ten restaurant business rules:

  1. Treat
    customers like family.
  2. Don’t
    serve alcohol without food.
  3. Close
    at a decent hour.
  4. If
    there are lines of people waiting to get in, you need to raise your
  5. Clean
    and clean again.
  6. You
    need to be there to keep an eye on the business.
  7. Don’t
    be afraid of competition, it can only make you better.
  8. Every
    penny counts, so count every penny.
  9. Keep
    it simple.
  10. Keep it fresh and real.

More of Mrs. Rowe's story is in Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley (Ten Speed Press, 2006).

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