Marketing & Branding

75+ Inspirational Restaurant Quotes (+ Images & Video)

Are you looking for good restaurant quotes?

Then you’ve landed in the right place.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite restaurant quotes on topics like the restaurant business, teamwork, culinary tradition, and the pleasures of food. 

The restaurant industry is a unique business that relies heavily on interpersonal relationships. Quotes are a great way to influence behavior and mindset and they can help make employees feel valued, bring positive change to a business, and provide inspiration when things seem difficult.

Restaurant quotes

Now, let’s take a look at the quotes:

Quotes on the Restaurant Business
Quotes on Restaurant Staffing & Teamwork
Quotes on Natural, Organic Food & Honoring the Animal
Good Quotes on Culinary Culture & Tradition
On the Pleasures of Food
Quotes on the Health Hazards of the Fast Food
Quotes on Charity & Volunteering by Restaurants
Short Bios about the Famous Chefs Featured in the Quotes (+ videos)

Quotes on the Restaurant Business

The business of feeding people is the most amazing business in the world. ― José Andrés

One thing I always say is being a great chef today is not enough – you have to be a great businessman. ― Wolfgang Puck

One of the reasons that people enjoy coming to a great restaurant is that when an extraordinary meal is placed in front of them, they feel honored, respected, and even a little bit loved. ― Marcus Samuelsson

If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it’s the restaurant business. ― Anthony Bourdain

There are people with otherwise chaotic and disorganized lives, a certain type of person that’s always found a home in the restaurant business in much the same way that a lot of people find a home in the military. ― Anthony Bourdain

Food is one part of the experience. And it has to be somewhere between 50 to 60 percent of the dining experience. But the rest counts as well: The mood, the atmosphere, the music, the feeling, the design, the harmony between what you have on the plate and what surrounds the plate. ― Alain Ducasse

I’m not impressed by any cooks who can brag about a filet mignon. A guy who can take the neck of a shank or can use tripe to make into something delicious is really interesting to me; that’s impressive. ― Anthony Bourdain

There’s the common misconception that restaurants make a lot of money. It’s not true. If you look at maybe the top chef in the world, or at least monetarily, it’s like Wolfgang Puck, but he makes as much money as an average crappy investment banker. ― David Chang

To want to own a restaurant can be a strange and terrible affliction. What causes such a destructive urge in so many otherwise sensible people? Why would anyone who has worked hard, saved money, often been successful in other fields, want to pump their hard-earned cash down a hole that statistically, at least, will almost surely prove dry? Why venture into an industry with enormous fixed expenses (…), with a notoriously transient and unstable workforce, and highly perishable inventory of assets? The chances of ever seeing a return on your investment are about one in five. What insidious spongi-form bacteria so riddles the brains of men and women that they stand there on the tracks, watching the lights of the oncoming locomotive, knowing full well it will eventually run over them? After all these years in the business, I still don’t know. ― Anthony Bourdain

I think that more and more and more really talented restauranteurs and chefs from the fine-dining world are going to try their hand at fine casual. They’re going to say, ‘Why not us?’ ― Danny Meyer

People need to understand. If they go to a show on Broadway and find seventy people working but only fifty spectators, how much would the ticket cost? That’s what El Bulli’s about. There are seventy actors who are playing for just fifty spectators. Is the price expensive? It’s relative. How much does a normal dinner at a five-star hotel restaurant cost? Four hundred dollars. It’s the same as El Bulli. But you can also think of it this way: How much would it cost to eat something that nobody else is eating? ― Ferran Adrià

There are people with otherwise chaotic and disorganized lives, a certain type of person that’s always found a home in the restaurant business in much the same way that a lot of people find a home in the military. ― Anthony Bourdain

Find what’s hot, find what’s just opened and then look for the worst review of the week. There is so much to learn from watching a restaurant getting absolutely panned and having a bad experience. Go and see it for yourself. ― Gordon Ramsey

Put your head down and work hard. Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard graft and not giving up. ― Gordon Ramsey

I think every chef should have a food truck. It’s a good way to test the markets, to invest in meeting the future restaurant goers. ― José Andrés

You’ve always got to work to your highest ability level. When times are great and restaurants are jamming, that’s when some restaurants get sloppy and take things for granted. Never take things for granted. ― Michael Symon

I’m convinced that the main reason we’ve become so obsessed with restaurants is due to our basic need to get out of virtual space and into a real one. We’re not going out to eat merely to share food; we’re there to sit at the same table together, slow down, breathe the same air. ― Ruth Reichl

Let’s face it: if you and I have the same capabilities, the same energy, the same staff, if the only thing that’s different between you and me is the products we can get, and I can get a better product than you, I’m going to be a better chef. ― Thomas Keller

Restarant quote by Anthony Bourdain

Quotes on Restaurant Staffing & Teamwork

Line cooking done well is a beautiful thing to watch. It’s a high-speed collaboration resembling, at its best, ballet or modern dance.
Anthony Bourdain 

Fortunately, I knew the cardinal rule of getting on with one’s fellow cooks. It applies in any kitchen and can be summed up in two short words: bust ass. ― Jacques Pépin

It’s amazing the relationships you forge in a kitchen. When you cooperate in an environment that’s hot. Where there’s a lot of knives. You’re trusting your well-being with someone you’ve never before met or known. ― Alexandra Guarnaschelli

Each one, teach one. I want to believe that I am here to teach one and, more, that there is one here who is meant to teach me. And if we each one teach one, we will make a difference. ― Marcus Samuelsson

Although the skills aren’t hard to learn, finding the happiness and finding the satisfaction and finding fulfillment in continuously serving somebody else something good to eat, is what makes a really good restaurant. ― Mario Batali

I’m working harder than ever now, and I’m putting on my pants the same as I always have. I just get up every day and try to do a little better than the day before, and that is to run a great restaurant with great food, great wine, and great service. That’s my philosophy. ― Emeril Lagasse

If you have a good experience in a restaurant, you tell 2 people. If you have a bad experience, you tell 10 people. ― Anthony Bourdain

There’s a bond among a kitchen staff, I think. You spend more time with your chef in the kitchen than you do with your own family. ― Gordon Ramsey

If you go to chefs all across America and ask them, ‘What’s your biggest problem right now? It is finding people to cook in their restaurants. They’re having an enormous, countrywide problem here staffing their operations. ― Anthony Bourdain

Cooking is an honest profession where you cannot hide and let others do the work for you. You have to show up, work hard and prove you can do it faster and better. And find a mentor who will recognize your talent and push you in the right direction. ― Marcus Samuelsson

I can tell in two minutes if I should hire someone in the kitchen. Two minutes. It’s his desire. It’s that open-eyed, attentive expression. If he doesn’t have it … I mean, I can teach a chimp how to cook dinner. But I cannot teach a chimp how to love it. ― Mario Batali

Restaurant quote by Anthony Bourdain

Chef Quotes on Natural, Organic Food & Honoring the Animal

When you meet the farmers and go to the farms, you see that they treat their animals like their family. It makes a big difference. ― David Chang

The nature of human beings is to eat meat and fruits and vegetables, and therefore we have to kill animals. I don’t have a problem with that. But it’s a sacred moment. It’s a gift of life. ― Eric Ripert

Everybody wants to support his own region and economy and farming. If we can preserve the land and if we can preserve the ocean, we all know, deep inside that we’re doing the right thing. ― Eric Ripert

When you serve lobster, you’ve taken a being’s life away. Therefore if you create a recipe, you have to be very dedicated to elevate the lobster, to make it good and tasty of course, but at the end of the day it’s a matter of paying homage. ― Eric Ripert

There are a lot of products still to be discovered in the world and experimentation, for example with seafood and fish. There are thousands of products that we’re not eating right now that maybe will be cultivated in a good agriculture situation, a sustainable, ecological way. Maybe there will be textures or flavors we hadn’t even thought of. In the Amazon there are 400 fruits that are not cultivated right now. They’re just incredible fruits. Textures, tastes that we don’t know right now. ― Ferran Adrià

I love simple food. I like to serve the entire animal, not only because it somehow provokes a customer to think about it, but also because to honor of the animal that has been killed for us to eat, you have to eat the whole thing. It would be silly to just eat the chops and throw everything else away. ― Mario Batali

Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it – not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits. ― Anthony Bourdain

Restaurant quote by Anthony Bourdain

Good Quotes on Culinary Culture & Tradition

I realized very early the power of food to evoke memory, to bring people together, to transport you to other places, and I wanted to be a part of that. ― José Andrés

Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go. ― Anthony Bourdain

Once you become an elaborate and well-developed culture, anything from Rome or the Etruscans, for that matter, the food starts to become a representation of what the culture is. When the food can transcend being just fuel, that’s when you start to see these different permutations. ― Mario Batali

I’ve seen zero evidence of any nation on Earth other than Mexico even remotely having the slightest clue what Mexican food is about or even come close to reproducing it. It is perhaps the most misunderstood country and cuisine on Earth. ― Anthony Bourdain

Going to Southeast Asia for the first time and tasting that spectrum of flavors – that certainly changed my whole palate, the kind of foods I crave. A lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me. ― Anthony Bourdain

Wholesome food is wholesome food anywhere. I may not like something but, generally speaking, if it’s a busy, street food stall serving mystery meat in India, they’re in the business of serving their neighbors. They’re not targeted toward a transient crowd of tourists that won’t be around tomorrow. They’re not in the business of poisoning their neighbors. ― Anthony Bourdain

The restaurants express the spirit of the chef, the spirit of the city, the country. ― Alain Ducasse

Tokyo would probably be the foreign city if I had to eat one city’s food for the rest of my life, every day. It would have to be Tokyo, and I think the majority of chefs you ask that question would answer the same way. ― Anthony Bourdain

Culture and tradition have to change little by little. So ‘new’ means a little twist, a marriage of Japanese technique with French ingredients. My technique. Indian food, Korean food; I put Italian mozzarella cheese with sashimi. I don’t think ‘new new new.’ I’m not a genius. A little twist. ― Masaharu Morimoto

If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them wherever you go. ― Anthony Bourdain

All of these concoctions that we think are Mexican, are in no way reflective of the deep, incredibly old, complex and sophisticated deep regional cuisine of Mexico. Or the new modern Mexican cuisine, which has really been exploding over the last few years. I think we just have a completely misrepresented view of how good, how complex these flavors are. I think we could learn a lot more. It’s a great cuisine that’s really moving forward, faster than any other. ― Anthony Bourdain

Tokyo would probably be the foreign city if I had to eat one city’s food for the rest of my life, every day. It would have to be Tokyo, and I think the majority of chefs you ask that question would answer the same way. ― Anthony Bourdain

Asian food is very easy to like because it hits your mouth very differently than European food does. In European food, there may be two things to hit – maybe sweet and salty, maybe salty-savory, but Asian kind of works around, plus you have that distinct flavor that’s usually working in Asian food. ― Tom Colicchio

It’s a myth that generally Asians are mostly vegetarians. The Japanese are the kings of red meat, but it’s expensive. The Chinese and Vietnamese love their pork. Many Indians, especially the Muslims, can’t live without their lamb. ― Wolfgang Puck

The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about – or as a ritual like filling up a car – but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon. ― Anthony Bourdain

Restaurant quote by Ferran Adrià

On the Pleasures of Food

For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we’ve all had to become disappears when we’re confronted with something as simple as a plate of food. ― Anthony Bourdain

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. ― James Beard

Early moralists who believed that taking too much pleasure at the table led inexorably to bad character-or worse, to sex were (in the best-case scenario, anyway) absolutely right. ― Anthony Bourdain

I’ve long said that if I were about to be executed and were given a choice of my last meal, it would be bacon and eggs. ― James Beard

To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. ― Anthony Bourdain

Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster. ― Ferran Adrià

Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning, save perhaps the smell of coffee brewing. ― James Beard

The best food I’ve ever eaten in my life has come from the poorest communities. ― Jamie Oliver

Stop being a vegan and start enjoying what you eat. ― Jamie Oliver

Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself. ― Anthony Bourdain

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. ― M. F. K. Fisher

The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight. ― M. F. K. Fisher

France eats more consciously, more intelligently, than any other nation. ― M. F. K. Fisher

Bacon is like a good pair of Levi’s―it never goes out of style. ― Michael Symon

Just because I like sushi, doesn’t mean I can make sushi. I’ve come to well understand how many years just to get sushi rice correct. It’s a discipline that takes years and years and years. So, I leave that to the experts. ― Anthony Bourdain

Go to the grocery store and buy better things. Buy quality, buy organic, buy natural, go to the farmers market. Immediately that’s going to increase the quality of the food you make. ― Michael Symon

To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. ― Anthony Bourdain

Take a trip to the forest and experience the greatness of getting on your knees and picking your own food and going home… and eating it. ― Rene Redzepi

Italian food is all about ingredients and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy. ― Wolfgang Puck

I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure. ― Anthony Bourdain

Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime…Please, treat your garlic with respect…Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don’t deserve to eat garlic. ― Anthony Bourdain

Pastry is different from cooking because you have to consider the chemistry, beauty and flavor. It’s not just sugar and eggs thrown together. I tell my pastry chefs to be in tune for all of this. You have to be challenged by using secret or unusual ingredients. ― Ron Ben-Israel

Fast food quote by Anthony Bourdain

Quotes on the Health Hazards of the Fast Food Culture

Oh yes, there’s lots of great food in America. But the fast-food is about as destructive and evil as it gets. It celebrates a mentality of sloth, convenience, and a cheerful embrace of food we know is hurting us. ― Anthony Bourdain

America’s most dangerous export was, is, and always will be our fast-food outlets. ― Anthony Bourdain

It’s why Ronald McDonald is said to be more recognizable to children everywhere than Mickey Mouse or Jesus. Personally, I don’t care if my little girl ever recognizes those two other guys—but I do care about her relationship with Ronald. I want her to see American fast-food culture as I do. As the enemy. ― Anthony Bourdain

As a chef and father, it kills me that children are fed processed foods, fast food clones, foods loaded with preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup. ― José Andrés

I cannot stress a greater importance than to teach the young generation about the risks of unhealthy eating. A great way to pique their interest in nutrition is to involve them more in the cooking process. They not only will learn to cook for themselves, but also develop a lifetime of healthy habits. ― Marcus Samuelsson

Restaurant quote by José Andrés

Quotes on Charity & Volunteering by Restaurants

I don’t know any group of professionals that mobilize as fast and as often as chefs do when there are people who are in need. ― José Andrés

I launched The Emeril Lagasse Foundation to provide culinary training, and developmental and educational programs to children in the cities where my restaurants operate. I think everyone has a responsibility to give back to the community if they can, and to help future generations learn new skills. ― Emeril Lagasse 

Short Bios about the Famous Chefs Featured in the Quotes (+ videos)

José Andrés

José Andrés is a Spanish chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen, a charity providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. José was awarded a National Humanities Medal at a 2016 White House ceremony for his work with World Central Kitchen. (Source).

Ferran Adrià

Ferran was the head chef of the El Bulli restaurant in Spain and is considered one of the best chefs in the world. El Bulli had three Michelin stars and was known for its creative molecular gastronomy. (Source).

David Chang

David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, podcaster, and television personality. He is the founder of the Momofuku Ko restaurant that is rated with two Michelin stars. He has also produced two original series for Netflix. (Source).

Tom Colicchio

Thomas Colicchio is an American celebrity chef.  He has won five James Beard Foundation Awards for cooking accomplishments. Colicchio has also been the head judge on every season of the TV show Top Chef. (Source).

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian chef, restaurateur, writer, and actor. Born in Austria, Puck moved to the United States at the age of 24. Puck was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2016. (Source).

René Redzepi

René Redzepi is a Danish chef of the two-Michelin star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Noma was voted the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Redzepi is known for his reinvention of a new Nordic cuisine. (Source)

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson is an Ethiopian Swedish-American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and television personality. In 2009, Samuelsson was the guest chef for the first state dinner of the Barack Obama presidency. His restaurant, Red Rooster opened in 2010 in Harlem. (Source).


Every restaurant needs great people to succeed. It’s easy to say that, but it’s hard to make it happen. One of the biggest challenges in the restaurant industry is retaining good employees.

Motivational quotes can be an important part of encouraging a positive atmosphere in your restaurant and keeping staff happy. Having quotes printed around the restaurant can boost morale and help staff feel valued.

If you liked this post you can also take a look at my article on chef quotes

chef quotes
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Jan is a writer and content creator at with a focus on the restaurant and food service industry. Drawing from his background in tech and UX design, Jan breaks down complex systems into digestible, actionable insights.

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