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Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Businessby Danny Meyer
Synopses & Reviews
From award-winning restauranteur Danny Meyer comes an intimate and inspirational portrait of business well-done, with hands-on advice, enlightening anecdotes, and the fascinating story of Danny's success.
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 mini-empire, which includes five restaurants that are at the top of their game. How did he do it? How did he beat the odds in one of the toughest trades around? In this landmark book, Danny will share 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. And everyone will enjoy reading his insider's view of the sometimes treacherous, and always dramatic, world of restaurants. Rare and Well Done is 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. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bar and restaurant expert and host of Bar Rescue Jon Taffer offers a no-nonsense strategy for making your business successful by creating the right emotional reactions in your customers.
If theres anyone who can prevent a bar or restaurant from going belly up, its Jon Taffer. Widely considered the greatest authority in the food and beverage, hotel, and hospitality industries, he runs the biggest trade show in the business and has turned around nearly 1,000 bars and at least that many restaurants.
As host and co-producer of Spike TVs Bar Rescue, a documentary-style series, Taffer gives struggling bars one last chance to succeed with a mixture of business acumen and tough love. Now hes offering his no-nonsense strategy for eliciting just the right emotional reactions in customers to everyone.
Raise the Bar distills the secrets to running a successful enterprise with Reaction Management, a strategy and philosophy Taffer developed and uses in his business and on Bar Rescue. It works whether youre running a storefront operation or a web-based company, whether youre manufacturing widgets or providing a service.
Taffers overarching philosophy is this: All business is about creating the right reactions in your customers. Even better: You can control those reactions to a very large degree. Raise the Bar is the definitive manual on transforming a bar or restaurant with actionable, proven strategies for immediate impact.
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:
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.
About the Author
Danny Meyer is the President of Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Cafe 2 and Terrace 5 at New York City's Museum of Modern Art, and Hudson Yards Catering. Danny, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 17 James Beard Awards. Danny co-authored the Union Square Cafe Cookbook (HarperCollins, 1994) and Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe (HarperCollins, 2001) with his partner, Chef Michael Romano. In October, 2006, HarperCollins will release Danny's latest book, Setting the Table, examining the power of hospitality in restaurants, business, and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger, Danny has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest. He is equally active in civic affairs, serving on the executive committees of NYC & Co, Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Open for Business 1
1. You Sell One Thing: Reactions 9
2. You as a Reaction Manipulator 24
3. Money Is in Reactions, Not Transactions 48
4. Employees, the Engine of Reaction Management 69
5. Four-Walls Marketing 95
6. Interior Works 129
7. Visibility Is Money 160
8. The Revenue Response 180
9. Innovation and the Risk of Wrong Reactions 208
Conclusion: Last Call 221
Appendix: Creating the Perfect Menu 225
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