David Sax of the blog Save the Deli just emailed me the sad news that legendary Carnegie Deli founder Milton Parker passed away last Friday. Parker was 90, and I'd like to think that he owed his longevity to eating a pound of Carnegie Deli pastrami a week.
Although many Serious Eaters have complained over the years about the rude waitstaff and high prices at the Carnegie Deli, I remain a fan to this day.
The pastrami still rocks, the corned beef hash might be the best I've ever tasted, and the leaden potato knishes are still the tastiest knishes I know. As we found out in our own Serious Eats lab experiments, one Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich "cell" divides into five normal-sized sandwiches.
In Sax's superb story/obit on Parker he mentions Parker's ten principles of success that he articulated in his memoir, How to Feed Friends and Influence People. I would say that Parker's wisdom applies to businesses in general and not just delis. The inspiring principles, after the jump.
1. Keep it Simple
2. Do one thing better than anyone else
3. Create a family atmosphere among the staff
4. Promote from within
5. Have an open ear to staff and customer comments
6. Make it yourself
7. Own the premises
8. Management is always responsible
9. Do not be greedy
10. Have fun working
Number 11 would have been: All pastrami sandwiches must be at least a foot high.
Milton Parker will be missed by Serious Eaters all over the world.