Last modified on June 27th, 2022 at 1:54 pm

When you run a restaurant, chances are good that you’re always looking for ways to motivate your employees – and your patrons! Enter quotes: sometimes funny, sometimes inspiring, a good saying can be an easy way to convey a message.

Whether you want to inspire your employees to perform better, commiserate with your staff, or make your customers chuckle, we have a quote for you. Below, we have gathered some of the best quotes about restaurants for employees and customers alike. These quotes can be used as part of your broader marketing plan – such as in an email or on social media – or simply spoken out loud during a staff dinner.

Budget Branders understands the importance of making connections, which is why we are committed to working collaboratively with our clients. We know what it is like to run a small business – and how difficult it can be to stay at the top of your game. If you’re interested in custom branded disposable products for your restaurant, reach out today for a free quote on cups, bags, bowls, and more.

Restaurant Quotes for Employees

Working in a restaurant is hard. It’s all too easy to get burned out when the kitchen is slammed, customers are demanding, and you’re on your feet for hours.  While an inspirational quote isn’t a substitute for things like fair wages and a good working environment, it can help to boost morale and make your staff feel seen.

We’ve broken down some of our favorite quotes into three categories: sayings about the industry itself, inspirational quotes, and sayings about customer service. With more than 50 quotes to choose from, you’re sure to find something to motivate your staff!

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Quotes on the Restaurant Industry

  1. “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, Chef.
  2. “The business of feeding people is the most amazing business in the world.” – José Andrés, Chef and Founder of World Central Kitchen.
  3. “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, Chef, Author and Television Show Host.
  4. “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, Chef and Television Host.
  5. “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, Chef and Television Host.
  6. “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, Chef and Television Host.
  7. “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, Chef.
  8. “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, Chef.
  9.  “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, Chef.
  10. “One thing I always say is being a great chef today is not enough – you have to be a great businessman.” – Wolfgang Puck, Chef.
  11. “Customers don’t always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren’t enjoying it. Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call “the third place”.. a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect.. they found we were filling a need they didn’t know they had.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.
  12. “A restaurant is a fantasy—a kind of living fantasy in which diners are the most important members of the cast.” – Warner LeRoy, Businessman.
  13. “A good restaurant is like a vacation; it transports you, and it becomes a lot more than just about the food.” – Philip Rosenthal, Television Writer and Producer.
  14. “If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it’s the restaurant business.” – Anthony Bourdain.

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Inspirational Quotes

  1. “Although a great restaurant experience must include great food, a bad restaurant experience can be achieved through bad service alone. Ideally, service is invisible. You notice it only when something goes wrong.” – Dana Spiotta, Author.
  2. “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer, Author and Motivational Speaker.
  3. “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, Chef.
  4. “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, Chef and Television Host.
  5. “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
  6. “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.
  7. “Be a positive energy trampoline – absorb what you need and rebound more back.” – Dave Carolan, Coach.
  8. “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.
  9. “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. 
  10. “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis, Conductor.
  11. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison, Inventor.
  12.  “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou, Author.

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Customer Service Quotes

  1. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft.
  2. “Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell, Author.
  3. “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” – Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart.
  4. “Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti, Store Owner.
  5. “Rule 1: The customer is always right. Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, re-read Rule 1.” – Stew Leonard, CEO of Stew Leonard’s.
  6. “Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin, Inventor and Author.
  7. “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.
  8. ”Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” – Donald Porter, Vice President of British Airways.
  9. “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Allesandra, Author and Speaker.
  10. “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” – Jan Calzon, former CEO of SAP Group.
  11. “Merely satisfying customers will not be enough to earn their loyalty. Instead, they must experience exceptional service worthy of their repeat business and referral. Understand the factors that drive this customer revolution.” – Rick Tate, Author.
  12. “Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell, Founder of Chip Bell Group.
  13. “Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer.’ – Dale Carnegie, Writer and Lecturer. 
  14. “Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” – Kevin Stirtz, Author.
  15. “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, Activist, and Ethicist.
  16. “Every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company.” – Michael LeBoeuf, Author.
  17. “It’s a very, very tough market. So unless you do a really good job, you buy the right products from the manufacturers, you service the customer, they keep coming back, they bring their friends in, it’s all about numbers, numbers, numbers.” – John Ilhan, Founder of Crazy John’s.
  18. “If you love your customer to death, you can’t go wrong.” – Graham Day, Business Executive and Lawyer. 
  19. “The most important adage and the only adage is, the customer comes first, whatever the business, the customer comes first.” – Kerry Stokes, Businessman.
  20. “Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.” – Leon Gorman, CEO of L.L. Bean.
  21. “Friendly makes sales – and friendly generates repeat business.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, Author and Speaker.
  22. “Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do, if you are to bring it to your customer interactions.” – Betsy Sanders, Executive and Speaker.
  23.  “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” – Zig Ziglar, Author, Salesman, and Speaker.
  24. “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney, Founder of Disney.
  25. “You are serving a customer, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work.” – Laurie McIntosh, Educator and Author.
  26. “Hospitality is central to the restaurant business, yet it’s a hard idea to define precisely. Mostly, it involves being nice to people and making them feel welcome. You notice it when it’s there, and you particularly notice it when it isn’t. A single significant lapse in this area can be your dominant impression of an entire meal.” – John Lanchester, Journalist.
  27. “It all comes back to the basics. Serve customers the best-tasting food at a good value in a clean, comfortable restaurant, and they’ll keep coming back.” – Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s.

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Restaurant Quotes for Customers

You might not see the usefulness of quotes about restaurants for customers. Yet these sayings can be used in clever ways to boost your branding. Perhaps you can use a quote about loving food with a picture of one of your dishes on Instagram. You could even incorporate quotes into your restaurant decor to add a bit of interest – almost like the fun facts that you find on the underside of a Snapple lid.

Some of these sayings might make your patrons laugh, while others may inspire them to visit your restaurant. So choose carefully, and come up with creative ways to use these quotes to your advantage!

  1. “In a restaurant, choose a table near a waiter.” Jewish Proverb
  2. “Going to a restaurant is one of my keenest pleasures. Meeting someplace with old and new friends, ordering wine, eating food, surrounded by strangers, I think is the core of what it means to live a civilized life.” – Adam Gopnik, Writer.
  3. “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw, Author.
  4. “Fame itself… doesn’t really afford you anything more than a good seat in a restaurant.” – David Bowie, Singer.
  5. “When you go to a restaurant, the less you know about what happens in the kitchen, the more you enjoy your meal.” – Jeffrey Wright, Actor.
  6. “If you want a reliable tip, drive into a town, go to the nearest appliance store, and seek out the dishwasher repair man. He spends a lot of time in restaurant kitchens and usually has strong opinions about them.” – Bryan Miller, Television Writer.
  7. “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” -James Beard, Chef and Author.
  8. “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” -M. F. K. Fisher, Food Writer.
  9. “The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating.” – John Walters, Broadcaster.
  10. “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – Oscar Wilde, Author.
  11. “I want to enjoy my life, and food is a big part of it.” – Gwyneth Paltrow, Actress.
  12. “My weaknesses have always been food and men – in that order.” – Dolly Parton, Singer and Philanthropist.
  13. “People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child, Chef, Author, and Television Host.
  14. “Every restaurant is a theater, and the truly great ones allow us to indulge in the fantasy that we are rich and powerful. When restaurants hold up their end of the bargain, they give us the illusion of being surrounded by servants intent on ensuring our happiness and offering extraordinary food. But even modest restaurants offer the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while. Restaurants free us from mundane reality; that is part of their charm. When you walk through the door, you are entering neutral territory where you are free to be whoever you choose for the duration of the meal.”  – Ruth Reichl, Restaurant Critic and Author.
  15. “Life is like a restaurant; you can have anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price.” – Moffat Machingura, Author.
  16. “If I could have dinner with anyone who lived in history, it would depend on the restaurant.” – Rodney Dangerfield, Actor and Comedian.
  17. “It’s easier to be faithful to a restaurant than it is to a woman.” – Federico Fellini, Director and Screenwriter.
  18. “The trouble with eating Italian is that 5 or 6 days later, you’re hungry again.” – George Miller, Filmmaker.
  19. “There is a difference between dining and eating. Dining is an art. When you eat to get the most out of your meal, to please the palate, just as well as to satiate the appetite, that, my friend, is dining.” – Yuan Mei, Painter and Poet.
  20. “Stafford’s Law of Dining Out states that the second you finish ordering something in a restaurant, food will immediately arrive at an adjacent table that looks ten times better.” – Stewart Stafford, Author.
  21. “The other night he took me to dinner. We were having a wonderful time when he remarked, “You can certainly tell the wives from the sweethearts.” I stopped licking the stream of butter dripping down my elbow and replied, “What kind of crack is that?” – Erma Bombeck, Author and Humorist.
  22. “Good food will always welcome you back with a smile.” – Anthony T. Hincks, Author.
  23. “Look at your waiter’s face. He knows. It’s another reason to be polite to your waiter: he could save your life with a raised eyebrow or a sigh.” – Anthony Bourdain.
  24. “One time, I went to a restaurant and I asked the waiter for some food for thought. He left, came back, and tried shoving a sirloin in my ear.”  – Travis Jeremiah Dahnke, Writer.
  25. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf, Author.
  26. “The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Philosopher.
  27. “It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” – Julia Child.
  28. “Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.” – Benjamin Franklin.
  29. “Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled.” – Frederic Raphael,  Screenwriter.

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