10 Restaurant Success Stories [2023]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Restaurant

If you love cooking and are passionate about entrepreneurship, starting a restaurant can be a fun and lucrative business.

To get started, choose a great location, and hire an excellent support team. You will need a chef to inspect the food and line cooks, waiters, and waitresses to serve the customers. No matter the restaurant type, you need great culinary and business skills to make your dream come true.

If you plan to open a restaurant , gain insight from consumer preferences and focus on serving modern consumers what they need.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a restaurant:

1. One Life Meals ($1.56M/year)

Andrei Calinescu, the founder and CEO of One Life Meals, came up with the idea for his healthy meal delivery service in 2014. After working in the fitness industry and noticing that his clients struggled with meal preparation and variety, he decided to start preparing meals for them himself. With his background in operations and nutrition, he saw an opportunity to provide a complete solution and launched One Life Meals, which has now grown to make 14,500 meals per month and generate $130k in monthly sales.

How much they make: $1.56M/year
Current team size: 29

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Starting A $1.5M Healthy Meals Delivery Business

One Life Meals is a Toronto-based healthy meal delivery service that made 14,500 meals per month and generated $130k in monthly sales in 2018 through their one-on-one consultation, lean protein and seasonal veggies-based meals, and their focus on the client experience.

About
Andrei started One Life Meals almost 11 years ago
Revenue
Andrei grew the business to $130K/month

2. Rosa's Thai Cafe ($24M/year)

Alexander Moore and his wife, Saiphin, came up with the idea for Rosa's Thai Cafe after moving back to the UK and being disappointed by the Thai food options available. They started with a market stall and office catering company, serving authentic Thai food cooked in their small flat. The business grew rapidly, and they opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2008. With a focus on great food and word-of-mouth marketing, Rosa's now has 18 locations across the UK and brings in over $25 million in annual revenue.

How much they make: $24M/year
Current team size: 373

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How This Couple Started A $2MM/Month Business Selling Authentic Thai Food On 18 Locations

How a couple started from a humble weekend market stall in East London to building a Thai food restaurant empire with 18 sites across the UK, now with run rate revenues of over $25mil per year, by combining homely authentic Thai food with local ingredients in a casual cafe environment.

About
Alex started Rosa's Thai Cafe over 17 years ago
Revenue
Alex grew the business to $2M/month

So... can you actually make money with a restaurant?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Grain ($1M/year)

How much they make: $1M/year
How much did it cost to start: $100K
Current team size: 60

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This S’pore Startup Went Against The β€˜Grain’ And Ran Cloud Kitchens Before They Got Popular

Grain is a Singapore-based food and beverage services brand founded in 2014 that uses cloud kitchens to provide wholesome nutritious meals, meal plans, catering services, packaged drinks, and more to their customers while offering a line of Marvel merchandise.

About
They started Grain about 10 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $83.4K/month
Costs
It cost $100000 to start the business

4. Shake Shack ($740M/year)

How much they make: $740M/year
Current team size: 3386

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Shake Shack SuccessStory

Shake Shack went from a single hot dog stand to a global fast food chain with over 270 locations thanks to its fresh, high-quality, and delicious food at an incredible price.

About
They started Shake Shack almost 20 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $61.7M/month

So... can you actually make money with a restaurant?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. Urban Smokehouse ($60K/year)

Andrew Buehler, founder of Urban Smokehouse, came up with the idea for his business after noticing the growing market trend and opportunity for online delivery of perishable items during the COVID-19 lockdown. As a foodie with a background in financial services, Buehler saw the rising demand for BBQ, a food that tastes great but is often inconvenient to make, and decided to create a digitally native BBQ brand that offers pre-cooked and sauced ribs that can be easily prepared at home in under 20 minutes. He launched Urban Smokehouse as a Kickstarter project and quickly surpassed his goal, raising over $30,000 in pre-orders.

How much they make: $60K/year
How much did it cost to start: $15K
Current team size: 1

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How We Hit Our Goal Within 24 Hours On Kickstarter And Raised $30K+ Worth of Preorders

Andrew Buehler launched Urban Smokehouse, the world’s first digitally native BBQ brand, through a Summer Kickstarter campaign, raising over $30,000 in pre-orders; since then, the company has achieved monthly sales of over $5,000 split between their website and in-person pop-ups and events, relying heavily on word of mouth and organic social media.

About
Andrew started Urban Smokehouse about 1 year ago
Revenue
Andrew grew the business to $5K/month
Costs
It cost Andrew $15000 to start the business

So... can you actually make money with a restaurant?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

6. Teranga ($580K/year)

How much they make: $580K/year
Current team size: 50

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Chef Pierre Thiam I African Cuisine Making Moves

Teranga, the African superfood joint and catering business, supplies a fresh take on African food culture, with acclaimed chef Pierre Thiam creating seasonally changing menus with African grains, proteins, and flavors, drawing culinarily curious diners from across New York City.

About
Pierre started Teranga almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Pierre grew the business to $48.3K/month