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Setting the Table

The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

By Danny Meyer
16-minute read
Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer

In Setting the Table, famous restaurateur Danny Meyer explains how to develop a great restaurant. Drawing on his own experiences of working his way to the top of the industry, he outlines the sheer power of great hospitality and the wondrous success it can bring.

  • Those interested in the art of fine dining
  • People who work in the hospitality industry
  • Anyone hoping to become a restaurateur

Danny Meyer is the founder and co-owner of several highly rated restaurants, cafes and other food-related businesses around New York City. He's coauthored several cookbooks. Setting the Table is his first bestselling book.

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Setting the Table

The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

By Danny Meyer
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer
Synopsis

In Setting the Table, famous restaurateur Danny Meyer explains how to develop a great restaurant. Drawing on his own experiences of working his way to the top of the industry, he outlines the sheer power of great hospitality and the wondrous success it can bring.

Key idea 1 of 10

Danny Meyer combined his passions for fine dining and hospitality by opening his own restaurant.

Everyone loves great food. Many people love dining out. But not everyone ends up opening their own restaurant. That takes a lot more enthusiasm, as the author's story illustrates.

Danny Meyer grew up with a passion for international food. Meyer's father had a deal with the airline Lineas Aereas de Nicaragua that allowed the family to fly around the world inexpensively. So Meyer from a young age travelled and learned to love all the different foods he tasted.

Many of the family’s journeys were to Europe, where Meyer was amazed by not only the cuisine but also by the culture of hospitality that he noticed was largely missing back home.

As a child, sometimes his love of food went too far. He often snuck food into his bedroom (with the help of his housekeeper!) and ate secretly. Naturally, he suffered from health problems as a result.

Yet even though Meyer knew food was his passion and he wanted to somehow make a business out of it, he wasn't sure what his first step should be. He'd been to college, and both he and his parents were skeptical about the idea of him working as a restaurateur, thinking such a profession might be “beneath” him.

Meyer eventually decided to create a restaurant which would serve only the very best cuisine and provide the excellent service he'd seen as a child in Europe.

That's how he opened the Union Square Cafe.

The author's dream came true when the cafe was launched, but the business still needed time to grow, and Meyer himself needed more time to develop further restaurants and eventually his own business model.

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