Institutional changes within the restaurant industry increased chefs’ autonomy and enabled their creative freedom, turning some of them into entrepreneurs (Rao, Monin & Duran, 2003). But, these changes created also the need to develop the ability to reconcile the professional, artistic and business tensions by chefs (Gillespie, 1994). Consequently, the fine dining segment became innovative and entrepreneurial, and the phenomenon of celebrity restaurateur emerged.

Competence reflects the capacity to effectively interact with one’s environment (Johannisson, 1991). Gaining entrepreneurial competence requires restaurateurs to build capacity to create new means-ends frameworks and successfully deliver them to the market (Sarasvathy, 2001). While research showed that role models and achievement motivation facilitate the process, the understanding how this process occurs remains under-theorized. Hence, this paper explores how role models and achievement motivation facilitate entrepreneurial competence attainment.