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Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of…

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

by Danny Meyer

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I've had this on my shelf for I don't know how long and finally started to read it a few weeks ago. It's a quick and fast read that took this long only because I didn't have steady reading time on vacation. I think I was especially curious to read this now due to the new Shake Shack opening on my corner, although I don't think I've been to any of his restaurants. I work at NYC & Company, which Meyer references frequently throughout the book in the context of his work after 9/11 and for the restaurant committee. In fact, I think I got his book at the office.

I like how Meyer's family history shaped his leadership and business goals - how they helped him to be who he is. While there's a lot of focus on the opening of Union Sq Cafe, it's nice to see the other issues that went into Tabla, Eleven Madison Park, etc. all of which are familiar on the NYC restaurant landscape. Due to the time that had passed between the restaurant openings and the book, Meyer had tme to reflect on the challenges and therefore I think his writing on them was different than it would have been if this book was written immediately after any of the openings.

I'm also interested in Meyer's philosophy on hospitality as it connects to my own work in the industry. A great read. ( )
  skinglist | Aug 23, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060742755, Hardcover)

Book Description
In October 1985, at age 27, Danny Meyer, with a good idea and scant experience, opened what would become one of New York City's most revered restaurants--Union Square Cafe. Little more than twenty years later, Danny is the CEO of one of the world's most dynamic restaurant organizations, which includes 11 unique dining establishments, each at the top of its game. How has he done it? How has he consistently beaten the odds and set the competitive bar in one of the toughest trades around?

In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he's learned while developing the winning recipe for doing the business he calls "enlightened hospitality." This innovative philosophy emphasizes putting the power of hospitality to work in a new and counterintuitive way: The first and most important application of hospitality is to the people who work for you, and then, in descending order of priority, to the guests, the community, the suppliers, and the investors. This way of prioritizing stands the more traditional business models on their heads, but Danny considers it the foundation of every success that he and his restaurants have achieved.

Full of behind-the-scenes history on the creation of Danny's most famous restaurants and the anecdotes, advice, and lessons he has accumulated on his long and ecstatic journey to the top of the American restaurant scene, Setting the Table is a treasure trove of innovative insights that are applicable to any business or organization.

Service with a Smile: Dishing with Danny Meyer
Is the customer always right? According to Danny Meyer, one of America's leading restauranteurs, the answer is no--but "they must always feel heard." Named one of the most influential New Yorkers of 2006 by New York magazine, Meyer, the founder and co-owner of 11 of Manhattan's most influential restaurants, including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Tabla, The Modern, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, has penned Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality, a business book that reads like food lit and equal part personal memoir. Amazon.com senior editor Brad Thomas Parsons took some time from his daily long-distance day-dreaming of Shake Shack and caught up with the ever-gracious Danny Meyer over e-mail to ask about his new book, the Food Network, his favorite cookbooks, insider tips on dining out, and much more.

Read our Amazon.com interview with Danny Meyer

More from Danny Meyer

Union Square Cafe Cookbook

Setting the Table [Audio CD]
Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A New York restaurateur shares anecdotes of his experiences as the co-owner of eleven establishments in one of the world's most competitive arenas, discussing the lessons he has learned about innovative business practices, team building, and customer service.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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