I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Corporate Cowboy: How Maverick Entrepreneur Stuart Anderson built Black Angus, the Number 1 Restaurant Chain of the 1980s by Stuart Anderson on April 10, 2014
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Restaurant Management: First Hand Lessons from the King of Steak Houses
Black Angus Beef Chain Founder shares business tips, food recipes and personal memoir
Stuart Anderson had led a fascinating life for the past 90 years. He built Black Angus, America's #1 restaurant chain of the 1980s, and ranched on a 26,000 acre spread where he raised cattle. His circle of friends has included Hollywood stars and corporate bigwigs. You'll discover his personal history is a lot like the man - larger than life!
Anyone seeking to go into the restaurant business or moving into a food industry management position will benefit from the lessons offered in this book as Stuart Anderson shares both his success and failures. Told with wit, simple cowboy logic and clever business savvy, there are numerous vignettes included in this memoir to include tales from World War II, Business Startups, Management Feuds, Love Affairs, Community Service and semi-Retirements.
Aside from the personal story and professional information, readers - especially those who ever ate at a Black Angus restaurant in the past - most notably in the 1980s - will enjoy such recipes like the BLACK ANGUS POTATOES AU GRATIN, ORIGINAL BLACK ANGUS RANCH BREAD, BREAKFAST STIR FRY and BAKED STEAK WITH MUSTARD SAUCE just to name a few.
Note: The author, diabetic himself, also offers menu ideas for "special" diet needs.
In addition, reader benefits:
-Discover the ins and outs of profitable restaurant management as imparted by a master entrepreneur
-From initial ideas, failed startups and a relentless pursue for success, Stuart Anderson outlines how he went raising and eating Black Angus beef to building one of the most famous and successful restaurant chains in America voted #1 by consumers numerous times during the 1980s. But not everything remained rosy once Stuart Anderson sold his empire. The author offers his opinion on how a corporate takeover changed his business and ultimately why he retired ... at least the first time.
-Delight in "bone head" mistakes Anderson made early in his career
-Like the case of the "melted chocolate" or "bitter pills for bulls"
-Get a backstage look at celebrity friendships and news-making events
-John Wayne fans will enjoy some "cowboy" fun when the star of Western Movies stops in for a surprise visit.
A letter from the author to his readers:
I woke up the day after my 90th birthday bash and asked myself, “What do I do now? I have lots of time. Maybe?” I don’t expect to blow out 100 candles. The number one question I’ve always been asked is how did I get started. That’s why I wrote a new book titled Corporate Cowboy—being as I was a little of both even though Big John Wayne called me a half a cowboy. I told John, sometimes called Duke, he was the other half a cowboy, and then I ducked for fear of being hit, but he just laughed. I am a cowboy and I know beef.
As founder 50 years ago of the Black Angus/Cattle Company Restaurant Chain, our company, in the late eighties, achieved the great honor of being voted Number 1 Full Service Restaurant Chain in the Nation, by both USA Today and Restaurants & Institutions. When I was 68, I decided it was time to take care of the ranch. I had approximately 10,000 employees in 122 restaurants when I quit. All were company owned—no franchises. How many employees joined me in this achievement in over 50 years? How many kids did we help out to finish high school or go to college. Huge numbers I’m sure. Point being, people like to hear about it, customers and employees alike, and the connection to Black Angus and its founding. This book is about all these people who helped create the chain. I am pleased to write about them.
Corporate Cowboy encourages people to get into the business and helps educate them about its ups and downs. I encourage people to support their local restaurants. The employees would get a kick out of it. It’s a fun book with lots of laughs and written with lots of love. I just want the people who work so hard there and do so much to appreciate the good old days, where it came from and for the reader to appreciate those employees. I enjoy telling the story with smart tips and the lessons learned, and boy, do I have some dandies. Some of the storylines follow.
There’s that old gang of mine. The first of them was a 6’9” bartender, Bruce, who became the Senior Vice President. Don’t forget Ron, the man who always looked like a kid even though he worked with tough, tough landlords. I appreciated those old landlords except for a couple. Then came the army retiree Sergeant Tommy with an Asian background who went from bar-back to Vice President of Operations. Our marketing genius Haig had more fun than most. He utilized the ranch in his marketing which was nice for me as I could walk to my house after filming. Last but not least was a gal we all loved and now miss by the name of Bobbi. She was a big part of the business and left this world too soon. I made her the first female Vice President in all of our parent company Saga Corporation much to the chagrin of their president. You can read about the fight that ensued. There’s a good picture of my VPs in the book. You’ll get to know and love them as I did. I was the smartest of all because I hired people smarter than I. Let’s not forget my beautiful wife, Helen, who worked with me at headquarters from 1973 until we retired and we moved on to full time ranching—my best hire of all. She is a beading addict with a huge heart and has helped so many people in her charity work.
I also included a photo of Helen and I with President Gerald Ford. Because of our great reputation achieved with hard work, we usually had waiting lists at the restaurants. We quoted a time that would usually be shorter so that made people happy. We honored them religiously except for one operator in Texas who let the big spenders go ahead. Eventually people realized what was happening and the line disappeared. I used to tell them only two people could crash the line, one was me and the other the President of the United States.
I hope you consider reading my book.
Corporate Cowboy by Stuart Anderson was a delightful read that had me quickly turning the pages. I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading the book. I live in Ohio and had not heard of the Black Angus restaurant chain prior to reading this. I am not in the restaurant business but found Stuart’s tips and advice important and relevant across many business types and in life. The author was funny and interesting. It felt like I was reading the story of a friend. I really enjoyed getting to know Stuart and learn about his fascinating life. The recipes at the end are a wonderful bonus and I can’t wait to make several of them!
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