Setting the Table

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80 Ratings

Setting the Table Book Summary

In October 1985, at age twenty-seven, 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 eleven 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.

Some of Danny's other insights:

Hospitality is present when something happens for you. It is absent when something happens to you. These two simple concepts—for and to—express it all.

Context, context, context, trumps the outdated location, location, location.

Shared ownership develops when guests talk about a restaurant as if it's theirs. That sense of affiliation builds trust and invariably leads to repeat business.

Err on the side of generosity: You get more by first giving more.

Wherever your center lies, know it, name it, believe in it. When you cede your core values to someone else, it's time to quit.

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.

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Setting the Table - Danny Meyer Reviews

  • The Best Book I've Ever Read on Running a Business!

    By Shameika C
    Words cannot truly express how profound Danny's word and vision have been. Danny's philosophy on "enlightened hospitality" is applicable to every area of business, not just restaurants. This book is ultimately a bible on leadership skills. I highly recommend this as a read to anyone who is trying decipher what type of future leader they want to evolve into or anyone looking to delve deeper into understand who they are as a leader. I'm a fan of Danny Meyer for life and grateful that he decided to share his wisdom through this book.
  • Excellent read

    By Wakiuru
    Highly enjoyable. Loved the many insights which extend way beyond the restaurant business. A study in taking one's passion and being able to inspire others. Perhaps the highest compliment is I will make it a point to patronize his restaurants even more frequently.
  • Bravo!

    By Wiser wino
    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
  • Danny Meyer knows his stuff.

    By Guja
    Very intelligent. A must read for anyone is the hospitality industry. I'm a veteran in this industry and I learn something new every time I read this book.

Danny Meyer - Setting the Table E-Book

Setting the Table - Danny Meyer E-Book coming soon..