John A. Sansone
Due to the high failure rates of restaurants in the United States, many studies have come up with various reasons to explain the underlying causes of such a phenomenon. One key study by Parsa (2005) suggests, “Restaurant failures have been attributed to economic and social factors […]” and “Restaurant failures can be studied from economic, marketing, and managerial perspectives.” In particular, lack of capital is a major contributing factor for restaurants failure and researchers agree that a restaurant without a sufficient amount of capital will not survive because of three major expenses: overhead, labor, and food cost. Today’s service industry is indeed categorized by financial distress and this is very visible among owners and operators everyday. However, accurate and consistent internal management decisions may allow a restaurant to maintain financial stability. Managing and developing strong customer relationships overtime can help create a loyal following and that can translate into healthy and sustainable growth for the business.
What roles do internal management practices and external market factors play in achieving sustainable success in the fine-dining restaurant industry? This research study will attempt to unveil how Left Bank Brasseries, a well-respected restaurant in Northern California, have sustained its success for twenty years. Using primary data collected from the management team in the form of interviews, this paper will identify the core competencies of the company and how it navigated this highly competitive landscape over the years. Particular attention will be paid to its financial performance, management practices, and levels of customer satisfaction and how these are related to the restaurant’s brand, which is essentially modeled on the French cuisine but managed the American way.