Anyone who owns or manages a restaurant knows it’s not a business for the faint of heart. It’s an all-in job, with ever-present surprises and challenges, plenty of competition and a fickle audience looking for the next new thing. Many restaurants never make it past the first year. But these 18 standout owners, chefs and others have cracked the code. They have figured out how to thrive in a challenging environment through a mix of determination, creativity, outside-the-box thinking and sheer grit. Their stories illustrate the many paths to success restaurants offer and the keys to overcoming roadblocks to growth. And the diverse lessons they have learned in their drive to succeed, shared here, provide actionable insights for any restaurateur looking to win.