Which Is The Oldest Operating Restaurant In The World?

Editorial credit: stoyanh / Shutterstock.com
Editorial credit: stoyanh / Shutterstock.com

A couple of restaurants in the world trace their history over a period exceeding a hundred years. A vast array of challenges such as competition and change in trends usually forces the closure of restaurants within the first year of operations according to data compiled by the Perry Group. The data also indicates that restaurants that make it past the initial five years enjoy success for more than ten years. The Guinness Book of World Records declared that the oldest operational restaurant that has been operating continuously is the Sobrino de Botin in Madrid, Spain.

Sobrino de Botin

Initially referred to as the Casa Botin, the restaurant was established in 1725 and for 293 years it has been serving customers with a wide selection of meals. Although the restaurant is in Spain the founder, Jean Botin, was initially from France. Jean Botin's decision to establish a restaurant in Madrid may have been influenced partially by the 1561 decision of King Phillip II to move his court to Madrid which considerably elevated the city's status. Candido Remis, Jean Botin's nephew, inherited the restaurant after his uncle's death and renamed it Sobrino de Botin which has stuck till date. Before his acceptance to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Francisco de Goya, one of Spain's most influential painters, worked at the restaurant. Chefs at the restaurant prepare meals in the same way as when the restaurant started. The restaurants most famous dish is the cochinillo asado, roast piglet. Since the start of the restaurant's operations 293 years ago its oven has never been put out which creates a unique aroma within the restaurant. The hotel's collection of wines is also famous around the world. The Gonzalez family took over running the hotel from the Botin family.

Stiftskeller St. Peter

The Austrian restaurant, Stiftskeller St. Peter, is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. It is claimed that Alcuin of York mentioned the restaurant in his Carmina anthology written in 1803 which would make it the oldest Central European Inn. Claims have been made that some world famous people including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most prolific music composers in history, dined at the restaurant. The hotel mainly serves Austrian cuisine with a few international meals to cater for the global clientele. The restaurant's selection of wines is world famous.

Union Oyster House

In 1826, the Union Oyster House was established and is now one of the oldest hotels in America. During its initial days, the restaurant was known as the Atwood and Bacon Oyster House. The hotel is the oldest American restaurant to operate continuously since it was opened. The American government in 2003 declared the hotel as a National Historic Landmark. Some of the most famous clients to patronize the hotel include the Kennedy family.

Challenges Facing Restaurants

Many problems hinder the success of hotels and one is insufficient finances. Most restaurants close down as the owners cannot keep up with the cost of doing business. Insufficient funds may cause restaurant owners to hire insufficient staff to reduce the expenditure. Having a small team may affect the performance and significantly reduce customer satisfaction.


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