Setting the Table Book Summary - Setting the Table Book explained in key points

Setting the Table summary

Danny Meyer

The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

4.6 (28 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer is a memoir turned business guide, detailing the journey of how Meyer built his restaurant empire from scratch. He shares his insights and values on hospitality and how they have helped him create some of the most renowned restaurants in the world.

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    Setting the Table
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    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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    What is Setting the Table about?

    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.

    Setting the Table Review

    Setting the Table (2006) by Danny Meyer is a must-read for anyone interested in the restaurant industry and the art of hospitality. Here's what makes this book special:

    • With its vivid anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories, it gives readers an insider's perspective on the challenges and triumphs of running successful restaurants.
    • Emphasizing the importance of creating memorable dining experiences, the book provides valuable insights and strategies for delivering exceptional customer service.
    • Through Danny Meyer's passion for food and his commitment to creating welcoming spaces, Setting the Table is far from boring; it's an inspiring and enjoyable read.

    Best quote from Setting the Table

    We have fun taking service seriously.

    —Danny Meyer
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    Who should read Setting the Table?

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

    About the Author

    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 FAQs 

    What is the main message of Setting the Table?

    The main message of Setting the Table is the importance of hospitality and creating exceptional dining experiences.

    How long does it take to read Setting the Table?

    The reading time for Setting the Table varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Setting the Table a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Setting the Table is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into the restaurant industry and the art of hospitality.

    Who is the author of Setting the Table?

    The author of Setting the Table is Danny Meyer.

    What to read after Setting the Table?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Setting the Table, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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