Restaurateurs

Restaurateurs are the individuals who own and operate restaurants professionally. Restaurants are the business establishments where meals and refreshments are prepared and served to customers. The attractiveness of running a restaurant lies in the wide variety of opportunities it offers. There are many types of restaurants—they may specialize in a single offering or serve multi-cuisine, they may have seating arrangements for customers or strictly provide takeouts, they may be budget eateries or posh restaurants. Many enterprising individuals enter into this business as they can open a setup with features those are most suitable to them. Operating a successful restaurant is a challenging job. The restaurateur is responsible for the smooth functioning of the restaurant and has to ensure the satisfaction of customers. They have to appoint and train the chefs and waiters, hire interior designers to design the décor, manage the financial and accounting aspects, and ensure food quality and adherence to food storage standards. Since restaurants directly serve customers, it is vital to ensure that the waiting staff provides optimum customer service. Restaurateurs operating small restaurants also have to perform promotional and marketing duties. Read on to know about the life and works of various famous restaurateurs from all over the world through their biographies and timelines.

More From Restaurateurs

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Restaurateurs

 1 Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders
4
Famous As: Founder of KFC
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16, 1980

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

 2 Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay
4
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: December 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is best known for his Food Network shows, such as the Emmy-nominated Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. He launched many restaurants, such as the Las Vegas-based Mesa Grill and 19 outlets of Bobby's Burger Palace. He has also taught at the French Culinary Institute.

 3 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver
4
Famous As: Chef and Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clavering, U.K.

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: December 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leeds, United Kingdom
Marco Pierre White is known as the world’s first celebrity chef and became the youngest and the first British chef to win three Michelin stars. He has trained chefs Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali, and has appeared on culinary shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars.
Recommended Lists:

 5 Flavor Flav

Flavor Flav
3
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Roosevelt, New York, United States
Rapper and hip-hop “hype man” Flavor Flav co-founded the rap group Public Enemy. Known for his signature style of wearing clocks as ornaments and for his screams of "Yeah, boyeeeeee!” in his songs, he has also starred in several reality shows. He owned two restaurants, which closed down unceremoniously.

 6 Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri
0
Famous As: Restaurateur, Cookbook Author
Birthdate: January 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Mario Batali

Mario Batali
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: September 19, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Mario Batali is an American chef, restaurateur, writer, and media personality. He started hogging the limelight after appearing on some of Food Network's shows, such as Iron Chef America and Molto Mario. Also a well-known philanthropist and social activist, Batali established the Mario Batali Foundation in 2008, which funds pediatric disease research and various children's educational programs.

You May Like

 8 David Chang

David Chang
3
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 5, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arlington County, Virginia, United States

David Chang revolutionized the culinary world with his brand Momofuku, which owns several noodle bars across the world, including a 2-Michelin-star restaurant. He has produced the Netflix shows Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Several issues of his food magazine Lucky Peach have been NYT bestsellers.

Recommended Lists:

 9 Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: May 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shepherd's Bush, London, England, United Kingdom

Heston Blumenthal is a British celebrity chef whose unusual recipes, such as Scotch eggs and triple-cooked chips have been widely imitated. He is considered a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking and his scientific approach to cooking has earned him honorary degrees from several universities. In 2004, he won the prestigious Chef Award, joining the likes of Phil Howard and Gordon Ramsay.

 10 Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: July 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Recommended Lists:

 11 Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé is known for his signature New New Orleans style of cooking and his catchphrases such as “Bam!” He owns several restaurants, has written many cookbooks, owns a non-profit for underprivileged children, and has also hosted Food Network shows such as Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live.

 12 Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc
4
Famous As: CEO of McDonald's (1967-1973)
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

 13 Salt Bae

Salt Bae
6
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey

 14 Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: April 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Clair, Michigan, United States

 15 Richard McDonald

Richard McDonald
4
Famous As: Were American entrepreneurs who founded the fast food company McDonald's
Birthdate: January 31, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: July 14, 1998

Richard McDonald was an entrepreneur who co-founded the fast-food company McDonald's with his brother, Maurice. Their father ran a food stall. As young men, Richard and Maurice took over their father’s business and redesigned the restaurant. The restaurant was highly successful, and the brothers began franchising their system. The first McDonald's restaurant has now been converted into a museum. 

 16 Maurice McDonald

Maurice McDonald
1
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 11, 1971
Recommended Lists:

 17 Michael Symon

Michael Symon
2
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: September 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

 18 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
4
Famous As: Former Basketball player at Point guard position
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics,  Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.

Recommended Lists:

 19 Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert
2
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: March 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antibes, France

 20 Frederick Trump

Frederick Trump
1
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: March 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kallstadt, Germany
Died: May 30, 1918

 21 Kimbal Musk

Kimbal Musk
3
Famous As: Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs
Birthdate: September 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of business tycoon and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, owns the community restaurant chain known as The Kitchen Restaurant Group. He also co-founded the non-profit Big Green, which builds outdoor classrooms, and Square Roots, which specializes in urban farming. He is also a prime Tesla shareholder.

 22 Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon
2
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: April 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Poitiers, Vienne, France
Died: August 6, 2018

 23 Eddie Huang

Eddie Huang
3
Famous As: Film director, Chef
Birthdate: March 1, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Chef and food expert Eddie Huang co-owns the gua bao restaurant BaoHaus in Lower Manhattan. He has hosted shows such as Snack Off and Huang's World. His bestselling memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, was made into a sitcom of the same name. He has also been a food blogger.

 24 Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz
3
Famous As: Chairman & CEO of Starbucks (1986-2000, 2008-17)
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Businessman Howard Schultz has served as the chairman and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company and as the owner of the basketball team Seattle SuperSonics. He has written several books on business, including the NYT bestseller From the Ground Up. He has also launched the Schultz Family Foundation.

 25 Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless
2
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City

 26 Joe Bastianich

Joe Bastianich
3
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: September 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States
Restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich co-owns 30 restaurants across four countries, with his mother, Lidia Bastianich. His ventures include the Michelin-star-rated Babbo and the Pizzeria brand of eateries in Los Angeles. He has been a judge on the MasterChef franchise and has also authored several cookbooks and a bestselling autobiography.

 27 Carl Ruiz

Carl Ruiz
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: April 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 21, 2019

 28 John Schnatter

John Schnatter
3
Famous As: Founder of Papa John's Pizza
Birthdate: November 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jeffersonville, Indiana, United States

Entrepreneur John H. Schnatter, also known as Papa John, established Papa John's Pizza in the 1980s, using the money he got after selling his car. He resigned as the CEO of his company in 2018, following a controversy regarding his comments about protests by NFL players.

 29 Prue Leith

Prue Leith
3
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: South Africa

British-South African chef and culinary expert Prue Leith had begun her career with a lunch-supplying business. She later launched her Michelin-starred restaurant Leith's in Notting Hill and a culinary school. Best known as a judge on The Great British Menu, she is also associated with various charitable initiatives.

 30 Barron Hilton

Barron Hilton
3
Famous As: CEO of Hilton Hotels Corporation
Birthdate: October 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Died: September 19, 2019

The second son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, Barron Hilton was initially a skilled photographer and had even learned to fly planes. A sports enthusiast, he had also been the AFL president. A philanthropist, too, he left 97% of his wealth to his own charitable foundation.

 31 Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio
2
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: August 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States

 32 Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann
3
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: September 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

 33 Jim Ross

Jim Ross
3
Famous As: Commentator
Birthdate: January 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Bragg, California, United States

 34 Nobu Matsuhisa

Nobu Matsuhisa
2
Famous As: Chefs
Birthdate: March 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan

 35 Rick Stein

Rick Stein
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 4, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Churchill, Oxfordshire, England

Celebrity chef Rick Stein has managed the U.K.’s Stein Hotel and Restaurant with his first wife, Jill Stein. He later became the head chef and co-owner of Rick Stein at Bannisters in Australia, with his second wife, Sarah. He has authored cookbooks and presented culinary shows such as Seafood Odyssey.

 36 Paul Prudhomme

Paul Prudhomme
2
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur, Non-fiction writer, Businessperson
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Opelousas
Died: October 8, 2015

 37 Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990

 38 Ming Tsai

Ming Tsai
2
Famous As: Restaurateur, Squash player, Actor
Birthdate: March 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach

 39 John Torode

John Torode
3
Famous As: Celebrity chef
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Australian celebrity chef and restaurateur John Torode initially worked at the U.K.-based Conran Group's restaurants. He is also known for his appearances on shows such as This Morning and the revival of MasterChef in 2005. He owned the Luxe and Smiths of Smithfield and has also authored several cookbooks.

 40 Rene Redzepi

Rene Redzepi
2
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: December 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

 41 Geoffrey Zakarian

Geoffrey Zakarian
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, US

 42 Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: February 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pula, Croatia

Lidia Bastianich is an Italian-American television host, celebrity chef, restaurateur, and author. She owns many restaurants in the US, including one in Manhattan. Bastianich is the recipient of several awards and honors, including a couple of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Also a philanthropist, Lidia Bastianich supports various non-profit organizations, such as the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which aims at promoting Italian-American heritage.

 43 Rocky Aoki

Rocky Aoki
3
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 10, 2008

 44 Jon Taffer

Jon Taffer
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Great Neck, New York, U.S.

 45 Graham Elliot

Graham Elliot
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

 46 Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: March 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu, France

 47 Sean Tuohy

Sean Tuohy
3
Famous As: Sports Commentator
Birthdate: November 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 48 Aarón Sanchez

Aarón Sanchez
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chihuahua, Mexico

Aarón Sanchez is a Mexican restaurateur, celebrity chef, and television personality. He co-owns the New Orleans-based restaurant, Johnny Sánchez. Apart from hosting the Emmy-nominated show Taco Trip, Sanchez has also appeared on other popular cooking shows like Iron Chef America. He is also credited with founding the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund which aims at empowering chefs from the Latin community.

 49 Sarah Willingham

Sarah Willingham
2
Famous As: Restaurateur, Businessperson
Birthdate: December 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent

It is believed Sarah Willingham had begun working in the hospitality industry at age 13. Apart from managing the popular restaurants Planet Hollywood and Pizza Express, she also manages a huge portfolio that includes The Bombay Bicycle Club and The London Cocktail Club. She has also been part of Dragons' Den.

 50 Terence Conran

Terence Conran
1
Famous As: Designer
Birthdate: October 4, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kingston upon Thames, England

Best known as the founder of the Design Museum in London, British designer and restaurateur Terence Conran had begun a furniture studio while still a student. He later launched popular interior and furniture design firms such as the Conran Design Group and Habitat. He has also penned several books.