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Top 12 Movies that Inspired the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant movies are a good source of inspiration and motivation for those in the restaurant industry. Running a restaurant business sometimes leads to burn out and pushes restaurant owners on their edge, and should they need a quick pick-me-up, going in for a good restaurant movie is always a great choice.

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Movies have a certain influence on its audience, and this influence grows even more to those who can personally relate themselves to the characters. Films connect to the audience and eventually educate, inspire, and motivate the person watching it.

That’s why, for those who work in a restaurant, restaurant movies are unforgettable. It is rare for restaurant owners and workers to see a film that reflects a part of their life on the movie screen, a cinematic approach of their authentic experiences.

This article provides you with a list of inspiring movies about the restaurant industry and aims to give the right motivation to restaurateurs and restaurant employees.


BIG NIGHT (1996)

Starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub, this restaurant movie is about first-generation immigrant Italian brothers running an Italian restaurant. This movie reflects the competitive environment of the Restaurant Industry, and how hard it can be for small business owners to make a mark in the industry.

This movie about a restaurant is titled Big Night as the two brothers struggle to keep up with the competition and working environment, on the verge of bankruptcy, they decide to go all-in for a night as a last effort in saving their restaurant. Thus, Big Night.


This restaurant movie shows the importance of work-life balance when managing a restaurant business. This film is a good way to educate chefs and restaurant managers about the value of good management skills inside the kitchen and the restaurant.

CHEF (2014)

A restaurant movie that showed the vulgar authenticity of the working environment in a restaurant kitchen. This film appealed to owners because it represented the qualities of a dedicated restaurant owner. A person who stands up for himself, and sticks to what he loves doing – cooking food.

It’s a heart-warming story that inspires aspiring restaurant owners to continuously learn from their mistakes, and have faith in their dreams.


Technically, not a restaurant movie but a documentary which engrossed even those who are not inclined with the food industry. This thoughtful documentary featured Jiro Ono, a sushi master, and his two sons.

The film captured the beautiful convergence of food and art. It also exhibited important and useful lessons for restaurant owners and everyone who works in a restaurant. Improvising culinary skills, learning from everyone, building a relationship with vendors and suppliers, and setting a consistent standard are just some of those lessons.


This restaurant movie conveys two messages, first is to don’t get too carried away by the competition and stay focused on your craft, second is how multiculturalism can positively impact a person’s passion for food.

This movie about restaurants showed the stress and struggles felt by restaurant owners if there’s a new competition around their area. Much more, just across the street. While everyone knows that the restaurant industry is highly competitive, few emphasize how hard it is to maintain a healthy competition.

LE CHEF (2010)

A restaurant movie that brought real-life issues in the Food Industry to the screen. This film features the clash of a traditional chef and an experimental chef who manages the same kitchen.

It shows the real-life struggle of the Hospitality and Restaurant Industry in maintaining to uphold traditions while trying to keep up the competition by being innovative.


What if you have limited knowledge about the restaurant business your family wished you to look after? This is the main dilemma of the main character in this restaurant movie, as his specialty is far from what his family asked him to take over.

The character persevered and discovered his new passion which conveyed a message on how crucial it is for a restaurateur to be versatile and to know how to adapt to changes around him.

BURNT (2015)

An inspiring restaurant movie that portrays there’s always a part in everyone that deserves a redemption story. In an industry where they eat stress and pressure for breakfast, it’s not surprising that there are people who go astray of their path.

This movie though shows that as long as you’re willing to do better and learn your lesson from your mistakes, you still deserve a chance to live out your passion with food.



Let’s start with a restaurant movie that reflects the realness and passion for working in a restaurant. It’s an animated comedy film where they have captured the struggles and stress on making your kitchen stand out and maintain its status.

This restaurant movie showed that everyone, who has passion and determination, can cook. It also aimed to inspire business owners who have the zealousness with food to explore the restaurant business.

Spoiler alert: The main protagonist of this movie is a rat.


Restaurant workers may find inspiration and insights on this documentary which followed three restaurateurs on how they manage their own kitchen.

It showed an authentic and genuine experience of restaurant workers which reflects that having a sense of teamwork is important.

WAITING… (2005)

This restaurant movie may not be a big hit for film critics, but this certainly caught the attention of those who work in the restaurant industry. Rob McKittrick, writer-director captured both rewarding moments and stressful moments of working in a restaurant.


If you want a good laugh, this restaurant movie is a must-watch for you. See how the character struggles to draw a fine line between work and personal life.

Unlike others, the main character can’t use work as an escape from the family drama because she works at their family-owned restaurant. 


A good representation is a must for every industry, and people who work in the restaurant industry see restaurant movies as a good way to inspire other aspiring restaurateurs and workers. Movies that reflect the daily complexities of running a restaurant is also one way to communicate to the world about their passion.

Give these movies a shot and let us know if you have a favorite restaurant movie that we missed!