The bestselling business book from award-winning restauranteur Danny Meyer, of Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and Shake Shack
Seventy-five percent of all new restaurant ventures fail, and of those that do stick around, only a few become icons. Danny Meyer started Union Square Cafe when he was 27, with a good idea and hopeful investors. He is now the co-owner of a restaurant empire. How did he do it? How did he beat the odds in one of the toughest trades around? In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he learned developing the dynamic philosophy he calls Enlightened Hospitality. The tenets of that philosophy, which emphasize strong in-house relationships as well as customer satisfaction, are applicable to anyone who works in any business. Whether you are a manager, an executive, or a waiter, Danny’s story and philosophy will help you become more effective and productive, while deepening your understanding and appreciation of a job well done.
Setting the Table is landmark a motivational work from one of our era’s most gifted and insightful business leaders.
With the same grace and generosity displayed in his dining rooms, Meyer's instructive how-we-did-it account shares lessons learned on his way to becoming CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. Meyer opened Union Square Cafe in 1985 when he was 27 years old. It hit its stride three years later when he hired chef Michael Romano, and Meyer charts its evolution from a neighborhood to international institution. Initially cautious about expansion, he opened Gramercy Tavern with chef Tom Colicchio three years later, eventually broadening his New York City restaurant empire to 11 establishments including Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Shake Shack and the Modern. Meyer makes a distinction between service ("the technical delivery of a product") and the "Enlightened Hospitality" at the core of his business strategy both necessary for restaurant success. He notes that hospitality "is how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel" and shares tips like hiring "51 percenters," or staff with "skills divided 51-49 between emotional hospitality and technical excellence," and the "Five As" for addressing mistakes: awareness, acknowledge, apologize, act, additional generosity. This honest, modest book will appeal most to foodies and aspiring restaurateurs but also offers insight for entrepreneurs in any industry.
As a veterinarian grateful to my college jobs as a waitress and a coat check girl, I feel capable of serving my clients. I bought Danny Meyer's book to be better at caring for my staff. Furthermore, as a foodie on the receiving end of the table, I have high expectations of every establishment I patronize. Indeed, I wish they all had read and understood "Setting the Table.". Congratulations to Danny Meyer and his more than capable hospitality group on their accomplishments. As of this week and since 2007, I have more than enjoyed two of their restaurants. I anticipate with gratitude in advance all the rest. I congratulate you all on your efforts and assure you that every day a new person sits at your table and enjoys what you do every day.
Emily L. Elliot, VMD
Setting the table for hospitality hopefuls
As someone who has graduated In hopes of working In hospitality I think this book should be read by everyone in the field. Setting the table helps set your mind to a new hospitality experience. Enlightened hospitality should be forever branded in my head and this book reinforces that main idea time and time again.