Synopses & Reviews
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Context, context, context, trumps the outdated location, location, location.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.
"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.)
“Restaurateur Danny Meyer offers a rich menu of business tips.” Time magazine
“Anyone in the hospitality industry would do well to consult ‘Setting the Table.” Wall Street Journal
“Danny Meyer, restaurateur nonpareil, shares his never-fail recipe for business success.” Vanity Fair
From a legendary restaurateur comes an intimate and inspirational portrait of business, with hands-on experience, behind-the-scenes restaurant anecdotes, and the fascinating story of an unparalleled success in one of the world's most unforgiving business arenas.
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.
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.
About the Author
Danny Meyer, a native of St. Louis, opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, in 1985 when he was twenty-seven, and went on to found the Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, North End Grill, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, as well as Jazz Standard, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient. Danny, his restaurants, and his chefs have earned an unprecedented twenty-five James Beard Awards. Danny's groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table
, was a New York Times
bestseller, and he has coauthored two cookbooks with his business partner, Chef Michael Romano. Danny lives in New York with his wife and children.
Michael Romano joined Union Square Cafe in 1988, preparing his unique style of American cuisine with an Italian soul. In 1993, Michael became Danny Meyer's partner. Under Michael's leadership, Union Square Cafe has been ranked Most Popular in New York City Zagat surveys for a record seven years. The restaurant also received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year. Michael has coauthored two cookbooks with Danny Meyer, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Second Helpings. He is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards, including the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in New York City in 2001, and in 2000, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.
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