Howard Cannon (author)

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Howard Cannon
Howard Cannon 1.png
BornJuly 29, 1964
Rockford, Illinois
OccupationExpert witness, author, public speaker, restaurant consultant
SubjectRestaurant industry

Howard Cannon (born July 29, 1964) is an American author, consultant, motivational speaker,[1] and expert witness in restaurant and bar matters. Cannon is the author of Restaurant OSHA Safety and Security: The Book of Restaurant Industry Standards and Best Practices (2016) and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting Your Own Restaurant (2011), among others.[2] Cannon writes and speaks about restaurant safety, as well as the management and starting of restaurants and bars.


Cannon's restaurant career began with a dishwashing position as a teenager from which he worked his way up through various jobs in the restaurant industry until he started his own business.

In 1987, Cannon opened Restaurant Consultants of America, a private consulting firm and expert witness practice.[3][4] He has spoken at restaurant industry events, culinary institutes, corporate events, universities, and high schools as an expert on the restaurant industry.

Cannon authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting Your Own Restaurant, which was published by Alpha Books in 2001.[5][6] That year he founded the Restaurant Operations Institute, a company that provides advice and services to independent restaurants.[7]

Stretch Yourself – Getting Promoted was authored by Cannon and published in 2003 by Pearson Books. A second edition of his guidebook, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Restaurant, was published by Alpha Books in 2005.

Cannon is CEO of the firm Restaurant Expert Witness in Alabama, whose members testify and provide reports about food-related legal matters.[8][9][10] In 2014, Cannon was called to testify in a court case as an expert on state restaurant law.[11]

Cannon's most recent book, Restaurant OSHA Safety and Security: The Book of Restaurant Industry Standards & Best Practices was published in 2016.


Cannon is frequently quoted in news articles about food safety and the restaurant business in general. He has been featured on the TV show Hotel Impossible[12] for consulting and expert opinions for restaurants and bars featured on the series. Cannon appeared as a guest expert for Anderson Cooper on Anderson Cooper Live! in an investigative report on hidden germs in restaurants.[13] Cannon has served as a consultant on many topics for Full-Service Restaurant (FSR) Magazine[14][15] as well as Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) Magazine[16][17] and The Wall Street Journal.[18] He has appeared in the Reader's Digest,[19][20] Fox News, MSNBC, Inside Edition, and Dr. Oz.[21]

Cannon has published articles in a variety of magazines, newspapers,[22] blogs, and websites.[23] He has served as a consultant on the subject of restaurant food poisoning.[24]

Books written[edit]

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting Your Own Restaurant (2001)
  • Stretch Yourself – Getting Promoted (2003)
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Restaurant2nd Edition (2005)
  • Restaurant OSHA Safety and Security: The Book of Restaurant Industry Standards and Best Practices (2016)
  • Restaurant OSHA Safety and Security: Workbook and Test-Management-Level (2018)
  • Restaurant OSHA Safety and Security: Workbook and Test-Employee-Level (2018)


  1. ^ "Food Safety Liability in Restaurants with Howard Cannon". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  2. ^ "The complete idiot's guide to starting a restaurant". WorldCat report. Accessed 2017-07-06
  3. ^ ""How discounting has changed the face of casual dining". The Caterer, November 4th 2010 by: Tom Vaughan
  4. ^ Pizza Today. 28, Issues 1-6. Pro Tech Publishing and Communications. 2010. p. 39.
  5. ^ "Iconic local restaurants survive economy". The Morning Call, 2012-90-22
  6. ^ Black Enterprise. E. G. Graves Publishing Company. January 2003. p. 124.
  7. ^ Verna Gates. "Purchasing power. Birmingham Business Journal, Sep 2, 2001
  8. ^ "8% of Coachella Valley food businesses fail inspection". Ricardo Cano, The Desert Sun, Aug. 14, 2014
  9. ^ "No reservations: Restaurants deal with no-shows by ticketing". CNBC, Liza Hughes, Daniel Bukszpan. 22 July 2014
  10. ^ jbeach (2013-09-19). "CEO of Genghis Grill & Expert Restaurant Witness". Restaurant Owner Radio. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
  11. ^ 'Sister Of Mother Of Hannah Barnes Testifies For Hennens; Says Bringing Lawsuit "Was Absolutely Dead Wrong" '. The Chattanoogan, January 23, 2014
  12. ^ "Meeting the Staff : Hotel Impossible: Alaskan Heavyweights Pictures :". Travel Channel. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  13. ^ "Bacteria-infested lemon wedges and fly eggs on salt dispensers: Anderson Cooper reveals restaurants' horrifying hidden germs". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  14. ^ erica (2016-05-30). "Sporting Polished Dining". Food Newsfeed. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  15. ^ amanda (2011-05-16). "Summer Staffing". Food Newsfeed. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  16. ^ erica (2013-10-31). "Under the Umbrella". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  17. ^ qsradmin (2008-04-22). "1 Smart Duck Looks to Go Public". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  18. ^ DeBaise, Colleen (2009-08-19). "Can You Open a Restaurant With No Money?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  19. ^ "13+ Things You Shouldn't Eat at a Restaurant | Reader's Digest". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  20. ^ "Dirty Restaurant Secrets the Kitchen Crew Won't Tell You | Reader's Digest". Retrieved 2013-10-24.
  21. ^ "Padma Lakshmi on Health Challenges and Her Daughter". Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  22. ^ "Opening a restaurant is risky business". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  23. ^ "What Not to Eat at a Chain Restaurant | Eat This Not That". Eat This Not That. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  24. ^ "5 Ways to Tell if a Restaurant Isn't Clean". SafeBee. Retrieved 2017-01-02.

External links[edit]