Step two is courting longevity. In the restaurant business that means sticking to your core plan.
"I think maybe less experienced restaurateurs ... feel like they have to always change everything," Bastianich said. "I think that that's a big mistake… Believe in your concept. Have a clear vision of what you're going to do. And then put it in a space that makes sense economically. And believe in what you're doing."
The last piece of the puzzle was supplied by Cohen, who said that creating a positive experience for each customer will help keep them coming back.
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It's the feeling that you have when you're in here," he said. "It's not just the great food. It's not just the great prices. It's, 'Gee, I feel really good in here. I feel like supporting them.' A lot of New York restaurants and bars get that wrong because they're just trying to turn the table or make the money. And you have to want the people to be there."