Psst, Can You Keep Your Restaurant’s Trade Secrets?

Are Your Restaurant’s Trade Secrets Safe?

I read in Forbes today where KFC keeps Colonel Sanders’ original 1940 hand-written secret recipe under some high-tech security.  To protect their trademark Original Recipe, they built a new home for it in the way of a 770-pound digital safe surrounded by 2 feet of concrete, complete with 24-hour surveillance and motion detectors.  It occurred to me that that level of security is warranted because the loss of the exclusive use of it would do KFC irreparable damage.

As a leader in the restaurant industry, whether you’re at the General Manager, District Manager, VP or COO levels, you probably have access to some level of proprietary information you’re expected to keep confidential.  I know as a restaurant recruiter, there is a lot of sensitive information that my clients and candidates have entrusted me with.

Do you hold the responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of your concept’s secret restaurant recipes?  What would be the ramifications to your brand if the secrets were made known?  What about the damage to your own reputation?  What measures do you take to keep those “trade secrets” a secret?  Share your comments, but not your secrets!

Brian Bruce, an author of multiple articles published online and in several industry trade publications, has been cited in multiple news stories as an authority in Executive Restaurant Recruiting. He’s an Executive Restaurant Recruiter with HHB Restaurant Recruiting and recruits nationally. He can be reached at 405-361-7582 and by email at

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