Setting the Table
I’ve got to be honest. I don’t read many books. I’m the type of guy who spends hours on end reading articles on NYTimes.com or cozying up with an extended essay in The Atlantic or New Yorker. Long-form books are not really my type. I think I may have ADD because books can never hold my attention. Despite all that, I devoured Danny Meyer’s semi-autobiographical Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business during the past three weeks.
In Setting the Table, Meyer articulates not what makes him such a great restauranteur but a successful CEO of a food service company. Meyer, who brought us restaurants like Union Square Café, Shake Shack, and Eleven Madison Park, emphasizes the importance of hospitality when providing others a service or product. He divulges a handful of tenets, which, if followed correctly, can lead to a loyal following behind a brand and stable, long-term growth of business.
Meyer begins by describing his childhood and the early roots that formed his interest in food and goes all the way up to the opening of his restaurants in MoMA.Who is this book for?
I would suggest Setting the Table to those looking to enter the restaurant industry, whether it be as a waiter, manager, cook, or anyone else who helps make restaurants possible. I also think that Meyer’s book can serve as a guide to anyone looking to start a business or provide services or products to others. If there is any human interaction in what you do for a living, Meyer’s experiences can serve you well. His story certainly inspires. Meyer demonstrates that through a simple restaurant, one can raise over hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight hunger, ink a national television deal with American Express, revitalize dying neighborhoods, and even pen a New York Times bestseller.
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