Restaurant Business and Start-ups are Changing Berlin

"Gastro.Startup.Berlin": a book featuring 42 personal portraits and conversations about the new entrepreneurial spirit in the capital
  • “Gastro.Startup.Berlin” documents the culinary transformation in the city
  • Top restaurateurs talk about their personal and entrepreneurial challenges
  • “Ecosystem” and networks: the restaurant business is boosting Berlin as a business location

There are few other places around the world where you will find as pronounced a degree of culinary diversity, cosmopolitan flair and innovativeness as in Berlin. The restaurant business and start-ups together are changing the way the world views Berlin. “Given its freedom-loving, tolerant and cosmopolitan climate, Berlin provides people from all over the world with a wide range of opportunities to action their ideas. This is where talent finds its expression and start-up entrepreneurs can venture to do the impossible – an ideal environment for continuously generating instances of creativity,” writes Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, in the preface to “Gastro.Startup.Berlin.” The young authors have delved deeper into the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and conducted interviews with very different personalities from the restaurant business as well as with start-ups and networkers in Berlin’s food community.

“Gastro.Startup.Berlin” demonstrates that setting up on your own in the restaurant business represents a very particular personal and entrepreneurial challenge. “There is a personal story behind every restaurateur and every start-up. This book pays overdue respect to these restaurateurs and also contains important suggestions for young start-up entrepreneurs“, writes Frédéric Schumacher, a manager at the METRO subsidiary, Horeca Digital, and publisher of this book. Alejandra Loreto and Marian Lenhard have captured the everyday moments of 25 restaurateurs and 10 start-ups in a series of impressive black-and-white photos.

Establishing a business – a personal challenge

Be it star-rated chefs Tim Raue or Markus Semmler, serial start-up entrepreneurs Till Harter or Barbara Jaeschke from Hotel Oderberger, new Berliners Yorai Feinberg or Jennifer Mulinde-Schmid of “Schwarze Heidi” fame – the restaurateurs spread throughout the Berlin metropolitan region have one thing in common: a love of the restaurant business as well as discipline, endurance and a willingness to take risks and to evolve as entrepreneurs. “You have to make major sacrifices and keep picking yourself up off the floor”, says Markus Semmler in summary, one of eight Berlin Master Chef award winners portrayed in this book. The Israeli, Yorai Feinberg, who gave up his international ballet career to run his own restaurant in Berlin states another commonality: “The most important thing is to acknowledge your mistakes fast and to correct them even faster”.

Digitalisation helps – even start-up entrepreneurs in the restaurant business

In order to be able to survive in the ultra-competitive restaurant chain business, restaurateurs also have to run their businesses efficiently. In this context digitalisation becomes a key factor. It helps restaurateurs to keep their minds free to generate creative ideas and to be there for their guests. Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG, advises readers in the introduction to the book not to view digitalisation as a threat but rather as an opportunity: “Digital solutions can make businesses considerably more successful and efficient.”

METRO AG, which supported the young authors in producing this book, wants to anticipate and proactively shape the digital transformation in the restaurant business from Berlin. “Berlin has become our innovation hub”, Koch relates. His company sponsors restaurant-business pilot projects in the city. The “METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars” programme helps start-ups to develop solutions for the restaurant business. The goal of the founders is to make restaurateurs’ lives easier and to turn their businesses into marketable companies.

Restaurant business and food start-up community as economic factors
Blogger Fabio Ziemßen too firmly believes that Germany’s capital is the ideal location for start-up entrepreneurs: “Berlin is a very diverse and adventurous city. It provides an incredibly superb infrastructure of very different networks.” The book also profiles a small number of food start-ups. These test out innovations in the city: “If it works here, then it will work elsewhere too”, say Cologne natives August Ullrich and Philip Morsink from the start-up, Moonshine O‘Donnell, which sells 120,000 Mason jars of handcrafted spirits and liqueurs.

Dr. Stefan Franzke, CEO of Berlin Partner, regards this diversity as an important economic factor. The Berlin Master Chef awards, which Berlin Partner initiated, accolade culinary excellence. Franzke: “The restaurant community happens to be an integral part of a creative Berlin. It is the foundation on which the success that we as the city of Berlin are enjoying at the moment is built”.

Bibliographic Details

Frédéric Schumacher (Publisher): “Gastro.Startup.Berlin” | ISBN:978 – 3 9817-242-7-1 | Price 22 Euro | 100 pages | Brochure
Extracts/Cover Website:

About local global

local global is a Stuttgart-based media business. It handles economic, business and social topics. “wird Wirt – Gespräche mit Stuttgarter Gastronomen” and “Gastro.Startup.Berlin” are the first two books in a series launched by local global that focus on the commercial challenges of the restaurant business. With its is offering digital services to family restaurants.


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