From Toro Bravo and Pok Pok to Kachka and Tasty, plenty of Portland restaurants feature their own restaurant cookbooks. Whether you’ve been approached by a publisher or are considering reaching out for a cookbook deal, you’ll want to carefully weigh your decision before creating your own restaurant cookbook.
Before you go signing any book deals or researching publishers, make sure you’ve considered the following:
Are you looking to make buckets of money? Do you want a convenient document to help with training future staff members? A gift to give VIP clients? A consolidated document of the recipes, stories, and information your restaurant was built on? Restaurant swag to sell at your restaurant and during private events? By figuring out your end goal for creating a cookbook, you can better determine if it’s in your best interest.
While restaurant cookbooks can be profitable, they’re also incredibly expensive to create. From food photography, graphic design, recipe tasting, editing, and the sheer amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to the project, many people overestimate the money they’ll make off the cookbook and underestimate the cost to actually create it. Even if you’re getting a big advance, you’ll want to first consider the time, money, and effort that goes into such a big production.
Timing matters. Not just in terms of book sales, but in the actual process of creating a cookbook. Make sure you have the extra funds and extra time to immerse yourself in the process. Remember, this will be time away from your restaurant, so you’ll need someone else available to run things when you’re away, as well as people to help with other parts of the cookbook creation. If you’re a newer restaurant, even if you feel like your current popularity is enough to carry sales, you might want to wait until you have the time, experience, and money to do it right.
Creating a restaurant cookbook can be a great way to solidify your brand, showcase your story, market your restaurant, share your recipes, and make money, but it’s important to consider all the variables before deciding to get started. In the meantime, check out the McDonald Wholesale Blog where we cover everything from how to incorporate a seasonal menu to how to reduce turnover in your restaurant.