Top critical review
A spaghetti mess of stories sprinkled with a few good chapters.
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2018
Normally I like these types of books and I really like Portillos. I thought this book would have been an easy win. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
I have two main issues with the book. First is the incoherent stories scattered around without a clear narrative. The other being the constant patting himself on the back only with a tiny bit of humility at the end of the book.
The chapter regarding sacrifice was painful. Yes, you worked hard for a very long time. That doesn't mean you were not lucky. There is luck in being in an area that had a need for such a hotdog stand and having the foresight. There is luck in that people actually liked the food. Many individuals work really hard without success.
He goes so far as to say "when someone says I'm lucky, I want to punch them in the face". Now, I'm not saying you didn't work hard or earn what you had, but there is some level of luck involved. There are people who sacrifice more. Do not use it as a way to justify missing out on family life events.
The chapters about the early years of the restaurant and learning how to grow the business was the book's redeeming factor. Also, there is a very strong message in regards to how to treat employees. There was a lot of empathy in his process.
However, I'm not sure anyone involved with creating this book had any self-awareness or the ability to influence the authors into having any.