Feeding Friends and Influencing People

Feb 01, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Milton ‘Milti’ Parker, owner of the famous Carnegie Deli in New York said he and his then partner, Leo Steiner, had a simple criterion for determining how things were going when they first took over the business. “If we were left with more cash at the end of the week, we considered the deli a success,” he said.

Today, the Carnegie Deli is going strong some 68 years after it was first opened and Mr. Parker, with co-author Allyn Freeman, shares his views on the deli’s history, what it takes to be successful at business, cheesecake and various other topics in How to Feed Friends and Influence People: The Carnegie Deli; A Giant Sandwich, a Little Deli, a Huge Success.

In the book, Mr. Parker outlines the 10 rules that have guided him in making the Carnegie Deli a success.

  1. Keep it simple. The Carnegie is in the deli business, that’s it.
  2. Do one thing better than anyone else. There were 300 delis in New York when Mr. Parker became the owner of the Carnegie. Today, only 30 of those remain in business.
  3. Create a family atmosphere. Coming to work shouldn’t be like coming to work.
  4. Promote from within. People make a lifelong career at the Carnegie knowing that when someone retires they will move up.
  5. Have an open ear to staff and customers. Ask a question and then listen to the answer.
  6. Make it yourself. The essence of being unique.
  7. Own the premises. No need to deal with the landlord when you are the landlord.
  8. Management is always responsible. Everyone knows where the buck stops.
  9. Do not be greedy. The desire for quick bucks have a way of ruining reputations built up over years.
  10. Have fun working – ’nuff said.

How to Feed Friends and Influence People: The Carnegie Deli; A Giant Sandwich, a Little Deli, a Huge Success (including a coupon for a free slice of cheesecake at the deli) can be purchased at the usual places online and in stores.

You can also visit the Carnegie Deli online at http://www.carnegiedeli.com/.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your 10 (give or take) rules for what it takes to run a successful business?
George Anderson – Moderator

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