2019 International Book Award-Winner – Business: Management & Leadership Category
Named One of The Best Business Memoirs of All Time – Forbes.com, 2019
In this book, Mitchell tells the unvarnished story of his rapid rise and rags to riches story that any entrepreneur or restaurant enthusiast will love and learn from. With the voice of a natural storyteller, he reveals the highs and lows of a twenty-five-year journey: from fundraising for his first restaurant to coast-to-coast expansion, and his extraordinary sale of 22 restaurants for $92 million—after which he nearly lost everything, then rebuilt again. Most importantly, Mitchell shares the company culture and values that he believes were the secret to his success.
Today, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants remains independent and privately held, collectively generates over $300 million in annual revenue and operates 57 restaurants from coast to coast.
Cameron Mitchell has the guts to look you in the eye, admit his mistakes, and share the lessons he learned, in this straight-from-the-shoulder story of one of America’s most unlikely companies.
‘Yes is the Answer. What is the Question?’ is a wonderful story about a young entrepreneur who took risks, learned from his mistakes, worked hard, and beat the odds. Cameron Mitchell’s autobiography demonstrates how he created a culture of hospitality and built his business by putting people first. I found it to be an excellent and very personal read.”
Founder & Chairman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.
Cameron’s love for food, life, business, and fun come alive in every tasty page of this wonderful book. I ate it up. Cameron tells the story and shares how the operating culture at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants propelled it to become one of the most prolific, private, multi-concept restaurant companies in the United States.”
Iron Chef, Entrepreneur, TV Personality
Cameron Mitchell’s ‘Yes Is The Answer. What Is The Question?’ is a candid, revealing and highly instructive chronicling of his inspiring journey from a troubled youth, through the Culinary Institute of America—and on to extraordinary success in the restaurant industry. The CIA Family is extremely proud of Cameron and recommends this book to aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business veterans alike.”
Dr. Tim Ryan
President, The Culinary Institute of America
‘Yes is the Answer. What is the Question?’ is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn the secrets of one of the legends of America’s amazing restaurant industry. From his start as a 16-year-old dishwasher to one of the most respected and admired leaders in hospitality, this book chronicles the spectacular results that come when an authentic leader and an organization put their people first.”
President & CEO, National Restaurant Association
Cameron Mitchell’s deep commitment to his team’s personal well-being and professional development permeates his narrative of his company’s founding, setbacks, and remarkable success. His book is an important and instructive read for anyone dedicated to building a positive culture while growing a profitable business.”
Lena G. Goldberg
Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Honest and unique … A penetrating insight into the mind of a successful founder . . . a wonderful example of performance and purpose.”
Leslie H. Wexner
Chairman and CEO, L Brands, Inc.
Mitchell has built CMR around a strong company culture and set of values that put associates first. “Yes is the Answer. What is the question?” is a simple statement that serves as the backbone of a company that identifies itself as “great people delivering genuine hospitality.”
Cameron Mitchell’s successes in business and keen understanding of the restaurant industry have earned him countless awards and acknowledgements. Committed both to his profession and his community, Mitchell completed a two-year term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Culinary Institute of America, the first alumnus to do so. CMR is the lead donor towards a new, $33 million, state-of-the-art Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts School at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Molly, and their three children. He is also an active member of the Young President’s Gold Organization, the Columbus Partnership, and serves on the board of directors of the charter school, KIPP Columbus.