Mauro R. Chef, Professor and Restaurant Executive

Los Angeles, California

I left Italy in 1984 and worked in Australia, then moved on to New Zealand. I owned and operated 4 restaurants in Auckland. A brief stint in Sweden and NYC. I finally moved to work for Michel Richard at Citrus LA as well as in Tokyo. Patina Group followed in 2000. In 2002, I started my career as an educator at Le Cordon Bleu. I retired from education in 2020.

I’m happy to provide guidance and additional expertise in the following areas:  Forecasting and Budgeting Strategy/P&L Analysis, Manage Cost of Goods Sold (Food Cost, Beverage Cost, Retail), Labor/Productivity Management and Optimization, Menu Engineering and Recipe/Costing Strategy/Competition Analysis, Team Building and Targeted Training to Increase Average Checks and Elevate Service Skills, Food service Optimization, Strategy and Execution as well as New Property Development and Openings, Integrity Audits for All Aspects of Your Operation, Sanitation and Food Safety Management.

Don’t Settle for the Obvious: Mauro Rossi’s Framework for Success

What’s behind your innovative restaurant concept? Restaurant consultant, Mauro Rossi, suggests entrepreneurs build flexibility into their planning and research. In doing so, you’ll uncover insights invaluable to your restaurant’s success.

At the start of his career, Mauro left an Italian kitchen in 1984 to cook his way across countries and continents. He traveled to Australia, then moved onto Auckland, New Zealand. There, Mauro owned and operated four restaurants before taking off for Sweden, followed by New York City. Once in the United States, Mauro accepted a prestigious position managing the kitchen for Michel Richard. This role took him to Los Angeles to work at Citrus, LA, then across the world to Tokyo, Japan.

During his travels, Mauro gave interviews and tips for publication in magazines and newspapers worldwide. Medals line his shelves from his participation in high-level cooking positions. However, as the heat of the kitchen and a desire to help others tugged him away from the restaurant business, Mauro began a career as an educator at Le Cordon Bleu. He moved from educator to manager, to the director of culinary schools.

Now retired from education, Mauro isn’t ready to give up a lifetime in the restaurant industry. He stays updated on the latest trends, new equipment, and innovative ideas in the field. Mauro is passionate about cooking but also appreciates streamlined and efficient processes. He combines in-depth expertise and global insights to help restaurant owners optimize operations, budgets, and performance.

The challenge

Throughout the years, Mauro found that not all great concepts work in all environments. Although many chefs believe that traditional and authentic fare is the only concern for a chef, Mauro begs to differ. He calls it “culinary chauvinism.” Yet, an incredible concept is often a reason chef-owners invest in a restaurant. Too often, Mauro saw failures because the ideas simply didn’t fit into the big picture.

The solution

Mauro says, “the solution requires a lot more than sheer determination or large budgets.” Instead, restaurateurs must invest in robust research. At times, a chef may find answers that don’t support their initial restaurant concept. With flexibility and a well thought out vision, restaurant owners find ways to turn their idea into reality. Those who find team members who share the chef’s vision have higher success rates. After all, Mauro suggests that “restaurants, or for that matter, all food operations, are little (well, sometimes big) theaters. It’s not just about the mechanics.”

From concept to profits: A framework for success

To test concepts and open restaurants that drive profits, Mauro suggests using the following guidelines. Since all ideas are different, it’s essential to personalize your framework to fit your location, needs, and overall vision.

1. Initial research

Research your concept, and be willing to adjust it as needed. Build agility and quality into each decision. Make the most of your research efforts using these tips:

  • Flesh out your vision.
  • Establish an agile framework that allows you to adapt quickly.
  • Develop a core managing team that buys into and supports your vision.
  • Make solid purchasing decisions, like buying the right equipment.
  • Don’t get hung up on perfection. But don’t settle for good enough.

2. Networking

Use an existing network, or reach out to those familiar with your idea and industry. Compile insights while prioritizing decisions about:

  • Management
  • Product choices
  • Systems
  • Sound accounting practices

3. Staff and culture

Spend time considering and developing your staff and culture. This effort impacts performance and sets a foundation for success. Start by asking yourself what type of culture you expect and want for your restaurant. Take steps like:

  • Develop a hiring process that ensures competent staff by looking closely at references and background.
  • Employ those who accept and thrive in your restaurant culture.
  • Create a strong and ethical human resources department.
  • Provide fair compensation.

4. Training and managing

Invest time and resources into developing the right employee policies, training methods, and retention strategies. Ways to build a strong team include:

  • Establish clear boundaries.
  • Identify key players and reward them.
  • Create opportunities for advancement at all levels.
  • Be assertive and make tough decisions.

5. Personal well being

Turning an innovative concept into a high-performing restaurant requires a deep investment. Many chefs put aside their personal wellbeing leading to burnout. Use these tips to protect your mental and physical health:

  • Treat yourself well.
  • Your presence is not necessary at all times, learn to delegate.
  • You cannot do it all, get over it.
  • Surround yourself with people that are better than you at what they do.
  • Work with your team. Your success is their success and vice versa.

Can an expert provide the support you need?

After decades in the restaurant industry, Mauro understands the challenges restaurateurs face. His unique framework and approach help restaurant owners tackle tough decisions with ease. Whether it’s building your restaurant concept or improving operations, Mauro’s expertise provides the support you need. Get advice and take action by scheduling a call with Mauro today.

“He has been an influential individual with his team in providing guidance and leadership and has been able to institute new procedures which have been of great value to his team.” Jeffrey S. Coker, M.A., CCC, CCE – Department Chair